Meryl Streep is a good enough singer to know how to sing badly in just the right way. Not inept enough to torment her listeners but enough to make them chuckle and — who knows? — perhaps invite a little pity or compassion. And yet her bad singing is missing from the trailer for Stephen Frears‘ Florence Foster Jenkins (opening in England on 5.6, no U.S. date from Paramount). In real life self-delusion has never seemed funny to me. It’s the kind of thing that you just want to escape from. How, then, will this play? It’s probably more than just a one-joke film but I wonder what the added elements could be.
Posted last August, and titled “Duelling ‘Diva Can’t Sing A Lick’ Flicks”: “Obviously Xavier Giannoli‘s Marguerite, a French-Belgian-Czech co-production based on the life of notoriously mediocre opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins, has beaten the Meryl Streep-Stephen Frears version of the same story to the punch. The Giannoli film will play at the Telluride Film Festival right after its big debut at the Venice Film Festival, having shot in the Czech Republic between September and November of last year. The Frears-Streep version only began shooting in London last May, and will most likely open in the fall of ’16.”