Flo­rence Fos­ter Jenk­ins Out 6 May

GT (UK) - - SCREEN -

While every­one un­der­stand­ably bows be­fore Meryl Streep’s un­abashed thes­pian fare. For ev­ery The Iron Lady there’s, lest we for­get, a Ricki and the Flash. Which is why Flo­rence Fos­ter Jenk­ins is such a treat, a half­way house that’s equal parts farce and heart. Based on the true story of Flo­rence Fos­ter Jenk­ins, a woman la­belled the world’s worst opera singer, and who sounds like a cat be­ing crammed into a toaster, it’s a com­edy given a sur­pris­ingly bit­ter­sweet, dra­matic edge by the rev­e­la­tion that she suf­fers an in­cur­able ter­mi­nal ill­ness, is pre­dom­i­nately clue­less as to her own lack of tal­ent, and is sup­ported by a pi­anist (ten­derly played by The Big Bang The­ory’s Si­mon Hel­berg) and a hus­band (Hugh Grant) who do ev­ery­thing they can to keep it that way. The hi­lar­ity of her per­for­mances is ridicu­lous­ness in­car­nate, and Streep cer­tainly gives it her tune­less all in com­mit­ting to the cat­er­waul­ing cause, but it’s the deftly-mea­sured script and sup­port­ing per­for­mances that gift it a heart-warm­ing, in­spi­ra­tional side. If we all sang, dance and acted like no one was look­ing, the world would be a bet­ter place.

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