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Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Florence Foster Jenkins

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florenceWhen her lifelong dream of becoming a concert pianist is derailed by an injury to her hand, Florence (Meryl Streep) is not deterred. Florence’s first love in life is music – she becomes a patron of the arts in New York City and alongside her devoted husband St. Clair (Hugh Grant), she performs in their night club Verdi. She also spends a great deal of time training as an opera singer. The problem? Florence cannot sing. At all. But, with the encouragement of her husband and her voice teacher (David Haig), Florence perseveres, and when she feels she’s ready, books Carnegie Hall for her biggest performance yet – performing for the troops.

Based on a true story, this movie is a pure delight from beginning to end. Kudos to Ms. Streep, who actually sings quite well. It takes a lot of skill to be able to sing that badly! Not only that, but she really does a wonderful job of capturing Florence’s character – a kind of innocence with a ton of determination behind it. Hugh Grant is great as Florence’s husband and biggest supporter, and you’ll find yourself questioning his motives more than once. Simon Helberg (Walowitz on Big Bang Theory) is perfect as the piano player, who, just like us, is trying to figure out what the heck is going on here. For sure one of my new favorite movies. Rated PG-13.

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