Streep is typically spectacular as the caterwauling clubwoman, giving a performance which treads the fine line between delicate and deluded with grace. Hell, she’s even a magnificent bad-singer.
It’s a shame then that the world created for her heroine to inhabit can’t hit any of its own notes. For once Frears’ direction lacks the vim and vigour that this tragicomic tale needs – when her resolve crumbles the strength of the film falls flat.
Helberg nigh on steals Streep’s show, convincingly commanding the roles of comedy foil and outsider proxy, but Ferguson, however, is more wasted than Jenkins’ tuning fork.
Despite a trio of worthy central performances, a story worthy of attention and an exciting era to set it in, Florence Foster Jenkins is tonally all over the shop.
CAST: Meryl Streep, Simon Helberg, Hugh Grant, Rebecca Ferguson
DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears
WRITER: Nicholas Martin
SYNOPSIS: The story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Streep), a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.