Truth be told, Florence Foster Jenkins was a wildly underrated performance. Like, I'm literally the only person I know who's even seen the movie, and Meryl did receive her TWENTIETH OSCAR NOMINATION for it. Frankly, before #MerylMadness began, I thought that some of her nominations - Devil Wears Prada, for example - were just lazy on behalf of the Academy. Like there were literally NO other impressive performances that year to choose from?
Then I watched them. Her performances in Julie & Julia and Into the Woods certainly did not deserve to be nominated. But her work in Devil Wears Prada and Florence Foster Jenkins totally did.
Her performance in Florence is legitimately heartbreaking. She's the Poor Little Rich Girl, a miraculous but untouchable survivor of Syphilis, a trust-fund baby, with little else to live for in life but her passionate love of music - the closest she'll ever get to true romance - and God has cursed her with the world's most awful singing voice. The tragedy is all the more heightened by the fact that everyone in her life is greedy for her disposable wealth, and will lavish her with praise and support so long as she keeps paying them.
The entire time you're sitting there wondering if she's really that deluded, or if deep down she knows she can't sing but doesn't care, because everyone's pretending she can. It's like an exaggerated, twisted, and arguably darker take on The Emperor's New Clothes, except the Emperor is a sad old woman dying of Syphilis and her "clothes" are the one thing in life that bring her joy: to sing, to sing at the top of your lungs, not because of who might be listening but because of how it makes her feel.
A moment of appreciation for Florence: