In the opera biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins,” it ain’t over ’til the deluded lady sings — and boy oh boy, would her listeners like it to be all over.
Meryl Streep plays the aging socialite of the title, a woman who was never very talented — but was certainly convinced that she was. In the breezy new trailer for the film, Jenkins certainly knows how to walk into a room. But things tend to head south once she opens her mouth.
The real Jenkins was a young piano prodigy, but the music in her fingers didn’t translate to her voice box. She gave her first singing performance at the age of 44 and was convinced that the audience laughter during her arias were “hoodlums… planted by her rivals.” The socialite, who died in 1944 at age 76, steadily gained notoriety over the years for her annual concerts, culminating in a sold-out Carnegie Hall recital that eventually earned her heaps of mockery.
Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda will co-star. Playing Jenkins’ common-law husband St. Clair Bayfield, Hugh Grant will partner up with Streep in yet another older woman/younger man team-up from director Stephen Frears, who employed the same strategy in two of his previous films, “Philomena” and “The Queen.”
“Florence Foster Jenkins” will open in the U.K. on May 6. We eagerly anticipate a U.S. release date. Venice Film Festival hit “Marguerite,” which is loosely based on Jenkins, hits U.S. theaters March 11.