Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Florence Foster Jenkins - 2 nominations
Lead Actress - Meryl Streep (her 20th nomination)
Costume Design - Consolata Boyle
I have to start by acknowledging that Meryl Streep holds the record for the most acting nominations by a woman, with Florence Foster Jenkins marking her 20th Academy Award nomination (she has won three times). As it happens, Jack Nicholson holds the record for the most acting nominations by a man, which is 12 nominations. So I think it's fair to say that Meryl Streep has the most acting nominations ever by any person. If only President Trump thought she was talented, imagine what she could accomplish. (Sorry, I couldn't resist that joke, even if it is a little bit political, which has nothing to do with this film.)
Having gotten that out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about the adorable Florence Foster Jenkins, a film based on a real life person who was a leading patron of the arts of her time, and who so ardently loved the opera that she herself couldn't resist being a part of it. And, like we sometimes do with very wealthy people, we let them believe that they have equal ability and expertise, just because they are wealthy. So here comes Florence, with her riches, her philanthropic heart, and her abysmal singing voice. To be fair she does hit a lot of high notes, they just aren't necessarily the ones she is meant to be singing.
Supported by a husband her loves her and who is her true companion (even if they are not in a traditional marriage) and who helps her believe she can do anything. He makes sure that everyone gives her the adulation she desires, even if the applause is not authentic. This film is so endearing that you want to laud her effort and her enthusiasm, despite the lack of talent. I would have dearly loved to see Hugh Grant get a nomination for his incredibly sensitive portrayal of Jenkins' husband. It was a role Grant was meant to play, using his charm and his tenderness to perfection.
The costumes in this film are something to behold, honoring the history of splendid costuming in the opera. Though I doubt this nominee is the frontrunner for the win, it most definitely deserves to win over all of the other nominees. The costumes are exquisite and ornate and very worthy of recognition.
Florence Foster Jenkins, while not a film of usual Oscar caliber, is most worthy of your attention.