The tragic comedy of Ms Florence Foster Jenkins’ singing adventures would leave you in stitches. The same as how her audience must have felt in the 30s.
Prior to watching Florence Foster Jenkins, I spent an hour scouring the Net for information about this legendary (ahem) soprano. Throughout this, one question burnt furiously in my mind. Did the real Florence Foster Jenkins know how terrible her singing was? Did she have some sort of higher comprehension of music. Or was she, as a forummer scorned, no more than a rich indulgent woman with too much money and time on her hands?
The movie answered these questions with a firm no. An answer mostly told through extended scenes of Jenkins’ devoted husband energetically shielding her from mockers and deriders. There were also scenes of music professionals sucking up to her, which implied she was also kept in blissful ignorance for the sake of her patronage. Yet, the way the story unfolded, it was simply impossible for her not to at least have a clue that her singing was truly awful. This contradiction didn’t make the movie baffling, though. Instead, it thickened the delicious mystery around the real Florence Foster Jenkins. At the same time, it encourages you to consider several philosophical questions. Questions like, what is love? What should true love for music be? Must one’s love for music be bridled, just because one can’t play an instrument like a virtuoso, or sing like one?
For the real Lady Florence, the answer was obviously a loud no.
Might I also add too that born today, Lady Florence would likely be worshiped by a huge cult following on YouTube and social media. With numbers that would put most of YT’s superstars to shame.
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Ahem! In the spirit of Lady Florence, may I invite you to visit my YouTube Channel. I assure you, you wouldn’t have to endure any form of awful singing.