Florence Foster Jenkins ★★½

In this entertaining but flat Florence Foster Jenkins, Meryl Streep plays a wealthy socialite in an attempt to pursue her wildest dream as an opera singer. While Streep is at her usual power of impersonating larger-than-life human beings, the film doesn’t seem to return the favor. Stephen Frears’ visually opulent biopic seems to be a charade of actors being theatrical. Like Jenkins herself, the film never lays its feet on the ground. Streep was given a moment of reality doses by the end, but it’s still not enough to uplift the film’s explicit frailties.

At the end, Florence Foster Jenkins just scratches the shimmering surface of its lead character which never goes into depth of her psychology. There was a moment in the film where I hoped Frears could go a bold move but he insisted of going the Hollywood route—the more crowd-satisfying choice. The performances are theatrically par. Hugh Grant returns in a satisfying performance, as well as Simon Helberg who played Jenkins’ pianist, and confidante. As for Streep, I wished that someone could really challenge her artistically. She’s good in everything she does, but there’s something fairly predictable in her recent career choices. Honestly Streep doesn’t need to prove anything at this point in her career, however it doesn’t hurt to surprise audiences nor revitalize your brand as an actress. Show me something I’ve never seen or expected from you, Ms. Streep. Love, irrelevance.

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