We went to the cinema this evening, to see the somewhat incredible story of Florence Foster Jenkins, also known as the worlds worst singer. Personally I had never heard of her, in my childhood world the worst examples of musical destroyers was mrs. Miller and Liberace. Liberace wasn't all that bad really, it was his strange divamanners that spolied it. Or did the trick, I don't know.
The film about mrs Foster Jenkins is a strange one, directed by Stephen Fryars and with music by Alexandre Desplat, also one to make music for Harry Potter. Meryl Street, the one and only, is a marvellous piece of actress. I have no idea about the real singer, but she interprets the personality and innerlife of this lady, in a very sensitive way. One does laugh, because it is so hysterically bad and hilarious. But its also very sad and devastating, and you end up wishing no one will ever tell her for real why they keep coming to her concerts. Both mrs Streep and Hugh Grant ( resident in Sweden on summervacations nowadays ) does splendid jobs and puts their utmost into the characters. And so does many others in this film. Like Simon Helberg, excellent.
How important isn't it, that someone tells us the truth before we are starting to make serious mistakes, getting hurt or seriously hurting others? The truth can be painful, yes, but its the only thing that really holds. To a sane mind, given with respect and tenderness, the truth will help us grow and take the responsibility given us, and nothing more.
But singing off key won't start any wars. Nobody was forced to listen to her, nobody took severe damage from it, there was no threat to internal affairs, there was riddicule on her behalf, but she didn't know. When she finally found out, it did break her heart. But she lived and burned for music, thinking it could heal and sooth a world in flames. And nobody can argue there. I can't say if it was wrong to keep her in the dark about her total lack of talent, but decades of singing made her loved and appreciated. If the real lady was anywhere near the filmversion, she would be impossible to dislike.
Hitler enjoyed music, Wagner f.i and those nationalistsongs that would make the boys ready to fight and die for him and his cause. The issue of music, however, is to awake emotions and enjoy the listening. Healing, encouraging, soothing, inspiring. Off key? Well, you don't have to listen, it won't force itself on you.
But when a leader is off key, you have no saying and can't turn it off. So, I liked the film, we all did.
But I won't buy her records.....below is the lady herself...