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Florence Foster Jenkins Blu-ray Review

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“Florence Foster Jenkins” is one of 2016’s best films.

Set in New York, 1944, the biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins” revolves around the titular character (a wealthy music loving woman who is dying of Syphilis) and her supportive, loving and protective husband/manager/actor St. Clair Bayfield. Their marriage is an usual one, however, as they not only live in separate homes, but have no physical relationship. St. Clair even has a secret life (and mistress) on the side. One day, Florence decides to start up her opera singing lessons again and sets out to find a pianist to accompany her sessions. This is when a talented young pianist (Cosmé McMoon) enters the story. Thrilled by the opportunity, Cosmé soon becomes horrified to learn that Florence cannot sing. At all. Worse still, Florence proceeds to have a recital, make an album and do a concert at Carnegie Hall. Not only does Cosmé fear for his career and reputation, but St. Clair has to also try and shield Florence from learning that people think she is a joke.

Going into “Florence Foster Jenkins,” I wasn’t expecting much from this film going off of the plot. A true life story about a bad opera singer didn’t exactly sound like something of interest. Boy was I wrong. Director Stephen Frears’ film turned out to be a moving biopic about a woman pursuing her dreams and giving it her all despite her lack of talent. It’s a very heartfelt and ultimately bittersweet story that surprises you at every turn.

The real reason the movie is such a success though is due to the trio of performances that absolutely sell the movie. It ‘s almost a given at this point that Meryl Streep gets nominated for virtually every film she acts in, but this time she truly deserves to be nominated. She gives such a bold and brave performance and truly stand out as the titular character. Hugh Grant is an actor I initially wasn’t very fond of back in the 90’s but he truly turned his career around and has been doing interesting roles in everything from “Love Actually” to “Cloud Atlas.” He gives what is arguably his career best performance here and he should also garner awards attention for this complex role. The biggest surprise here is Simon Helberg of “The Big Bang Theory” fame. He gives a really charming performance of an anxiety ridden pianist concerned about his career who ultimately becomes friends with Florence. Again, a supporting actor award seems like a no brainer at this point.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? A flawless transfer. The colors and lighting really shine here.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The music (however bad it may be) soars in this DTS track.

Extras:
* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* 4 deleted scenes.
* “The Music And Songs Of Florence”- The title says it all.
* “Designing The Look”- A featurette on the costumes and production design.
* “Florence Foster Jenkins World Premiere”- Interviews with the cast and crew on the red carpet.
* “Q&A With Meryl Streep”- A costume designer (William) and Streep acquaintance interviews Streep from the Director’s Guild Theater in New York. The interviewer is a little awkward to be honest but Streep has some interesting things to say about her past.
* “Live At Carnegie Hall”- Carnegie Archives director Gino Francesconi talks about the historic venue and its history (including Florence Foster Jenkins performing there).
* “From Script To Screen”- A featurette on the script (which is based on true events) and its journey to the big screen.
* “Ours Is A Happy World”- An extra that basically sells the movie.

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November 27, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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