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Recommend Review: Meryl Streep as "Florence Foster Jenkins"(Email)

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This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column atTowleroad

It takes a gifted singer to sing this horribly.Every other note is wrong.No phrasing goes unmangled by shortness of breath.No lovely moment meant to soar cannot be shattered by a flat ear-piercing decibel.The central conceit of Stephen Frears new comedyFlorence Foster Jenkinsis that Florence,a considerably wealthy patron of the arts played by Meryl Streep,lives for music but is ghastly at it.The inside joke,given the casting,is that we all know La Streep can sing with the best of them.She followed the "is there nothing she can't do?"revelation ofIronweed's tragic showstopper "He's Me Pal"(1987,Oscar-Nominated) with transcendent country crooner feeling inPostcards From the Edge(1990,Oscar-Nominated),and just kept on singing whenever a movie gave her the opportunity all the way up through last year'sRicki and the Flashwhich was practically a concert film there were so many scenes of Streep at the mic,rocking out.

Florence Foster Jenkinsdoesn'trock out.Florence is not that kind of girl andFlorence,also,is not the kind of movie...


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