Meryl Streep has dazzled audiences with her impressive vocal chords in musical blockbusters like “Mamma Mia!” and musical character dramas like “Ricki and the Flash,” but she’s about to sing like she never has before on the big screen: terribly. In Stephen Frears’ upcoming drama “Florence Foster Jenkins,” Streep plays the eponymous New York City socialite whose soprano vocal skills earned her the title of the worst vocalist of all time. Simon Helberg, Nina Arianda, and Rebecca Ferguson co-star.
The official synopsis reads: “The voice Florence Foster Jenkins heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her ‘husband’ and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.”
In the hilariously effective teaser above, Streep’s vocal abilities are all but hidden, as the viewer is treated to the shocking reactions of the crowd instead. Anticipation is being built around just how bad Streep will sound, and we can’t deny it’s working.
The film opens in the U.K. on May 6. Paramount Pictures will release the film domestically, though no official U.S. release date has been assigned.