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Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

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The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.

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106 ( 52)
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Phineas Stark
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John Totten
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Dr. Hermann
Brid Brennan ...
Kitty
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Pat Starr ...
Mrs Vanderbilt
Maggie Steed ...
Mrs James O'Flaherty
Thelma Barlow ...
Mrs Oscar Garmunder
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Storyline

Florence Foster Jenkins, an heiress form NYC always wanted to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. An injury in her youth deterred that dream. So she sets out to sing her way to Carnegie Hall knowing the only way to get there would be "Practice Practice Practice". Her husband supports her venture and the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins playing Carnegie Hall becomes a truly historic event. Written by stephen scialli

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The inspiring true story of the world's worst singer.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material. | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 August 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Florence  »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,601,313 (USA) (12 August 2016)

Gross:

$27,370,107 (USA) (21 October 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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| (some footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Meryl Streep said of co-starring with Hugh Grant as her romantic partner; "I always thought I was too old. But he got older". See more »

Goofs

In several scenes, a 1949 Packard is parked on the street. Due to wartime production stoppages, the newest cars in 1944 were 1942 models. See more »

Quotes

St Clair Bayfield: No mockers and no scoffers!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 74th Golden Globe Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Take It Easy
Words & Music by Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh
Performed by Fats Waller
Licensed Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Published by EMI Robbins Catalog Inc, Sony/ATV Harmony
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tragic tale about mental illness told on an operatically grand scale.
4 May 2016 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

Genre labels shape your expectations of a movie but they are also manipulated by promoters to influence audience response. Both Marguerite (2016) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) are being sold as "hilarious comedies" whereas in reality they both tell a sad story of self-deception and mental frailty, albeit in funny ways. Marguerite is a comedy of manners, while Florence is a tragi- comedy, the genre that shows the sad truth behind the apparently ridiculous. Both films are bio- pics, with one satirising vanity the other telling a tragic tale about a mental illness that is displayed on an operatically grand scale.

Unlike the fictitious Marguerite who is 'loosely based' on the real person, Florence is closely based on the wealthy and generous arts socialite Florence Foster Jenkins who came to public notoriety when she hired Carnegie Hall for her operatic recitals in 1944. Both films (and still available YouTube recordings) show the full force of how badly the real Florence sang, but that's where the similarity ends. Early in the film we learn that Florence (Meryl Streep) has defied medical science by living well beyond the usual lifespan of a syphilis victim, a disease she contracted on marrying when 18 years old. She endured decades of archaic mercury and arsenic medication with progressive loss of mental functions and chronic exhaustion. Her second marriage remained celibate by mutual agreement and her husband (Hugh Grant) was free to have affairs but was devotedly protective of Florence. The cinematic impact of these facts change the film from a satire to a study of pathos and tragedy as Florence is seriously unwell and singing is the only thing keeping her alive.

While Marguerite amplifies the ridiculous as seen from the other side of the Atlantic, Florence is an American-owned story and any ridicule is tempered with compassion. The combined acting virtuosity of icons Streep and Grant will most likely earn the film Academy nominations as these timeless stars are superb in their parts and their chemistry together is wonderful. Top production values are evident in the period set and costumes, and the whole film has an elegant authenticity that underscores the seriousness of mental degeneration, whether its on the stage of Carnegie Hall or elsewhere. Audiences might leave cinemas still chuckling at the singing of Marguerite and Florence, but many will leave Florence with sympathy for her desperate desire to be something that nature made impossible.


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