Meryl Streep’s Florence Foster Jenkins was first announced almost a year and a half ago, although the premise for the film was so exciting, so hilarious and simultaneously heartbreaking, that the countdown from that day until now, when we finally have the film’s first trailer, has seemed eternal.
Florence Foster Jenkins was an actual woman, “a New York heiress and socialite who coveted a career as a great opera singer, but who lacked any real ability.” She became famous in the 1940s because she had the money to jumpstart a singing career, and also because people are assholes. She would attract huge audiences, who would come not to enjoy her voice, but to laugh at her. Like assholes.
The trailer gives us a huge amount of Streep just totally embarrassing herself, but it also either shows us a good chunk of the third act of the film, or else the timeline of this whole thing is different than what we were probably expecting. The climax of Jenkins’ real-life story— which takes up a fair amount of these two-plus minutes— seems to be the night she sold out Carnegie Hall. Because how do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice Independent wealth.
Hugh Grant also looks to be playing to his peak charm here, as Jenkin’s partner and manager, St. Clair Bayfield, “an aristocratic English actor who was determined to protect Florence from the truth that while the voice she heard in her head was beautiful, to everyone else it was hilariously awful.”
Oh, and here’s a clip of the real Jenkins singing. If you can make it past the 16 second mark, you’ve got stronger ears than I do.