giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Was disappointing. I think we just need to ban men from writing and directing movies.

Basically, the issue here is that the trailers make this look like it's about a woman - Florence Foster Jenkins - but the movie isn't all that interested in her. She's kind of a bizarre object who we never get to know, whose inner life remains an absolute mystery start to finish, as we learn about the psychology of the two men in her life (her husband and her pianist). The trailer makes it seem like it's a movie about optimism and hope inspiring people, but it isn't - it's some kind of weird mismash of privilege, kindness, and madness - except mostly it's not about anything much, because Florence Foster Jenkins should be the center, and she's not, presumably because men can't be assed to actually tell a story about women. I think men need a time out.

The New York Times review unintentionally captured the heart of the problem when it said that the movie leaves us chewing on the question whether Hugh Grant's character really loved her, or was just in it for the money.  But that shouldn't have been the question.  The question should have been, if Florence was that schooled in, and enamoured of, music, how is it that she wasn't aware of her own limitations?  Was she just crazy?  Was there some part of her that understood, and denied, the problem?  Why were people so devoted to her?  Did she do anything to engender their loyalty?

Those questions weren't even approached, because the movie didn't care about her at all.

Indeed, the Wikipedia entry on her life suggests she had far more agency and self-awareness than the movie was willing to allow her - hardly surprising, because that would have required making her a complex figure, rather than a vehicle for exploring men.
 

Date: 2016-08-16 01:39 am (UTC)
cesperanza: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesperanza
This is an excellent review, even as it inspires in me a world of UGGGGGGGGH over everything that male-dominated culture cannot and will not understand. It's like the old narcissism joke, "Enough about me - what do you think of me?" Instead it's, "Oh, enough movies about men; what do men think about women?"

Date: 2016-08-16 12:08 pm (UTC)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
From: [personal profile] schneefink
Wow, way to completely miss the point. Sounds like a complete waste of a movie about a fascinating figure.

Date: 2016-08-19 03:12 pm (UTC)
odessie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] odessie
Yes, all of this - I was really disappointed in the film and you've put your finger onto why. There's such an interesting story there but they failed to tell it; instead we got admittedly lovely sets and costumes, nice performances, and all the focus on the men's less interesting stories instead.

My grandad was a huge fan of Foster Jenkins - had all her records, collected a couple of original posters and programmes, used to tell my mum stories about her - and my gut feeling is he would have been very let down by this film, cos he respected how unique she was in a way I feel the filmmakers didn't. :(

Very pretty costumes though.

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