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#30793 - 01/05/16 11:51 AM Current Movies 2016
Barbara Offline
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Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
How about starting off the new year with a little Grand Guignol, Quentin Tarantino style? The Hateful Eight has it all -- macabre humor, great dialogue, and extreme violence. Extremely extreme. The story is set right after the Civil War, and Samuel L. Jackson's first appearance as a bounty hunter gives you fair warning of what's coming. He's in an immense snow field, nothing but white all around, waiting by a pile of three corpses with a saddle on top of them (his horse died).

Most of the action takes place in a sort of halfway-house where eight of the characters are sheltering from a storm, and at times I thought I was watching a stage play: the confined, almost claustrophobic space, wonderfully articulate people going at one another, the ensemble acting. I wasn't completely happy with Kurt Russell's performance; he slipped into camp on occasion, even getting a bit hammy. But Jackson and the rest of the cast were excellent -- Michael Marsden, Channing Tate, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, others who were unfamiliar to me.

If Tarantino's ultra-violence is too much for you, then skip this one; it's a bloodbath. But you'll be missing a helluva good movie.

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#30794 - 01/06/16 02:22 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Yeah, it's bloody all right. I had to go alone because my wife gets squeamish at Tarantino movies. But I liked it. Tarantino is the only director who can make you laugh out loud while saying "Ewww!" at the same time.

Russell did ham it up in the early part of the movie, in the stagecoach scenes. But by the time they were all at the way station, he blended into the ensemble OK. There was one other performance, though, a small part that was so over the top it stood out like a sore thumb. A blond woman called Six-Horse Judy, bouncing around, talking like Pollyanna, waving her arms. She's killed off almost immediately after she's introduced ... a VERY small part.

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#30797 - 01/06/16 07:11 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
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Oh, right, the arm-waver -- I forgot about her. Her performance is so out of key with the rest of the movie that I have to think she was directed to play it that way. But I can't think of any reason for it.

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#30798 - 01/07/16 06:02 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Ah, she's a redshirt. She appears only in a flashback to demonstrate how easily the bad guys kill. That doesn't explain the arm-waving, though.

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#30800 - 01/08/16 05:33 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Christopher]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
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Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Oh, dear...is it really that violent?

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#30801 - 01/08/16 08:46 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
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Really.

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#30802 - 01/08/16 08:47 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
Austin
Unregistered


Really.

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#30803 - 01/09/16 02:58 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Yes yes really. I went last night and Austin is right...you sit there gasping and laughing at the same time. I thought it was an outstanding movie, but I can see how it might be tough going for some. Lorna, you know your own tolerance for violence on the screen...you can always walk out if it gets to be too much.

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#30891 - 02/23/16 12:22 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Rita]
Barbara Offline
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Luckily, I just got to see Joel and Ethan Coen's Hail, Caesar! before it disappears from the theaters. Absolute delight from beginning to end. It's a spoof of 1950s movie-making, and the inside jokes keep coming at you nonstop. Great cast, and ALL the performances were good; I was especially impressed by Alden Ehrenreich's turn as a singing cowboy. But the most appealing thing about Hail, Caesar! is the sheer love of movies that's evident in every scene of the film.

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#30899 - 02/28/16 01:32 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Oh dear, I skipped this one because the previews were rather farcical. I didn't realize it was a Coen production, not that that's any guarantee against farce. But now I want to see it.

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#30905 - 03/03/16 09:06 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Is it really leaving theaters so soon? (Quickly checks listings.) Yup. Moving on to some distant/esoteric locations tomorrow.

I enjoyed it very much too. It's more episodic than story-driven, but all the episodes are enjoyable, the cast is consistently at its best, and it offers little surprises along the way.

Like Alden Ehrenreich, who I agree is a standout among the bigger names. One realizes that though his character has made a career in formula pictures as a singing cowboy, he himself is not dumb. He knows that when he's set up on a date (with a Carmen Miranda type) at a Hollywood night spot, his job is to spread a bit of publicity -- but he's also fun company for his companion, and who knows? they might decide to go out together again.

Even better, when in an emergency the studio puts him into a Coward-style drawing-room comedy, he knows perfectly well how miscast he is (never says so, but we can see him sizing up the situation), but he'll still give it his very best shot, and try like the dickens to get it right. That's where the real humor of the scene comes from. "Would that it were so simple."

That's one of many refreshing instances (connected to what Barbara said about love of movies) in which the movie doesn't condescend to the characters. They're not caricatured as one might expect; they're mostly working hard at their jobs.

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#30915 - 03/06/16 05:50 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Jon]
Austin
Unregistered


Now I want to see it too!

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#30979 - 04/26/16 03:50 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
If you're thinking of going to The Huntsman: Winter's War...don't.

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#30980 - 04/27/16 05:18 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
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Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Really? We were thinking of going this weekend. Charlize Theron...?

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#30985 - 04/27/16 08:46 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
Barbara Offline
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Yes, she's the reason I went. But she's in maybe one-sixth of the movie, appearing very briefly at the beginning and not again until the final scenes. The bulk of the movie is given over to other people, one of whom is a leading man who barely knows how to talk. The visuals are good, but so much of the story just plain doesn't make sense -- gaps in logic are the norm, unfortunately, not the exception. The movie looks as if the graphics were done first, and then some sort of script cobbled together to fit the pictures.

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#30986 - 04/28/16 02:35 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Huh. Thanks for the warning.

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#31044 - 06/01/16 07:59 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
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Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Money Monster is well worth a couple of hours of your time. You know the situation, I'm sure (George Clooney is a TV Wall Street tipster who is taken hostage by a young man who lost everything he owned by following a tip he heard on the show.) This is not one of Clooney's major movies like Michael Clayton or The Descendants, but it is suspenseful and often quite funny, and its resolution-with-a-price keeps it out of the "caper" category.

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#31053 - 06/06/16 08:56 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Yes, this is a good one, and the TV show itself is a parody of Mad Money with its show-biz financial advisor. Fortunately, Julia Roberts didn't have to walk much or laugh, so she was tolerable. Clooney was Clooney, with more gray hairs than I've seen before.

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#31072 - 06/21/16 10:07 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
The "National Theatre Live" movie showings that I've seen have all been enjoyable and worthwhile, but I've had to drive an hour or so to get to a theater showing them.

Tonight, for a change, it's only two miles, to the nearest mall. Perhaps they're hoping that this will have wider appeal: a repeat showing of One Man, Two Guv'nors with James Corden -- the play which won him a Tony as Best Actor in 2012 when it moved to Broadway. As the title suggests, it's a modern-day (actually 1963, set in Brighton) adaptation of Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters. I'm looking forward to it.

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#31073 - 06/22/16 08:01 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I really enjoyed it. The live interaction with an audience (literally in a couple of cases, as members of the audience are pulled in to help out with the farce plot) obviously isn't the same when you're watching events on a screen, but I was still laughing helplessly on several occasions. These NT Live events are a great thing to have.

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#31085 - 07/18/16 10:35 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Jon]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
That one didn't show here. I would dearly love to see a production of the original Goldoni, which keeps popping up in theater history books but I've never known of an actual performance. Tomorrow night there's an NTL showing of The Audience with Helen Mirren. My son saw it live in New York; he said it isn't much of a play, mostly a showpiece for Mirren. But that was enough. smile

While the board was down, I posted the following on Facebook (I still don't like that place). It's probably dated now, but here goes anyway:

If you have a chance to see Love and Friendship before it leaves the theaters, don't miss it. L&F is the title of Jane Austen's first novel, but the movie itself is the story of Lady Susan, her second novel (both written when she was a teenager). I'm sure the filmmakers had an excellent reason for borrowing the earlier title; I only wish I knew what it was. The satire is less subtle than in her mature works, and for that very reason it makes a perfect rebuttal to those who think Jane Austen wrote romantic novels. There's no way anyone could watch L&F and think it's a romance. Alas, there is one thing in the movie I didn't like: the wigs. They're terrible.

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#31099 - 07/20/16 02:20 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Long gone from here...if it ever was here. I don't remember seeing it advertised.

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#31132 - 07/27/16 07:09 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Rita]
Austin
Unregistered


I can't let Star Trek Beyond pass without mention. (Beyond what? Imagination?) These movies are probably more fun for someone who never saw the original cast (is there such a person?), but I enjoyed it all the same. Very fast-moving, very ensemble...all the crew got their moments on the screen. I had trouble understanding what Chekov was saying, because the fake accent was hard to hear through. Good summer flick.

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#31133 - 07/27/16 09:23 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
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Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
This one is more intense than the other Trek movies with this new cast; the danger seems more real. There's even tension in the quiet scenes, although there aren't many of those. It's a busy screen, filled with hi-tech gimmickry (a J.J. Abrams trademark) -- but the matte paintings showing distance are too clearly fake. The story makes sense, most of the time. And it is indeed fast-paced. I really like Karl Urban's Dr. McCoy; he's the only one in this cast who makes me believe he'll become the original character in time.

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#31135 - 07/28/16 11:26 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
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Loc: Dayton, Ohio
One thing I don't like is the romance between Spock and Uhura. It's completely out of character for Spock. Whatever happened to Pon Farr?

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#31136 - 07/28/16 06:15 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
David Dvorkin Online
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Registered: 05/08/99
Posts: 331
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA
The Spock-Uhura romance was hinted at in the first episodes of the original show. In the very first episode, as I remember it, Spock was not entirely unemotional.

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#31137 - 07/28/16 08:11 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: David Dvorkin]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Hmm, I don't remember a hint of romance, unless you call Nurse Chapel's unrequited yen for Spock a romance. I do remember in the very first episode Spock's smiling in delight over a flower...but that was when Christopher Pike was still captain. But once the show was revamped on orders from NBC, Pike was gone and Kirk was in, Spock became more robot-like, and Majel Barrett was demoted from second-in-command to nurse. But yes, this current Spock is more like nine-tenths human than just half. Maybe he just doesn't want to wait for Pon Farr.

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#31139 - 07/28/16 09:23 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
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Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Hold on a sec, Chris -- you're talking about "The Cage". That was the first episode written but it wasn't the first one shown; it's the one in which Spock shows such delight over a flower. "The Cage" was later broken up into segments and incorporated into "The Menagerie". The first episode shown was "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; maybe that's the one David was referring to -- although I don't remember any hint of romance in that one either.

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#31142 - 07/29/16 06:05 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
David Dvorkin Online
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Registered: 05/08/99
Posts: 331
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA
My vague memory is always too vague, so I Googled a bit. Other fans remember something between Spock and Uhura, but the only specific reference I could find was to the episode Charlie X, where Spock plays the Vulcan lyre in the rec room while Uhura sings to him, the scene containing flirtation and sexual tension.

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#31144 - 07/30/16 05:24 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: David Dvorkin]
Austin
Unregistered


After Saturday errand-running was finished, I dug out my old VHS tape of "Charlie X", dusted it off, and took a look. The flirtation in the rec room...it was a put-on! There were other people in the room, and Uhura performed this parody of seductive singing, aimed at Spock who everybody knew was the least likely male on the Enterprise to respond. She even got a couple of laughs out of her audience. And all the time Spock had this wry little smile on his face. He knew he was the butt of the joke.

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#31145 - 07/31/16 12:00 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
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Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Lorna, see what you started? grin

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#31146 - 07/31/16 09:28 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Yes, and I'm soooo glad Austin kept his tapes!

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#31180 - 08/16/16 02:21 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Here's a happy thought: Florence Foster Jenkins is now playing. Folks, this is one you don't want to miss. It will make you laugh louder and more often than any other movie in recent memory, and it still manages to be rather touching. Meryl Streep never gives a bad performance, but she is dead perfect in the title role. It's a performance you'll never forget. She got surprisingly good support from Hugh Grant as her husband/manager/errand boy/flatterer/interference-runner/cajoler/comforter. Simon Helberg was good as the befuddled young pianist who thought he'd been hired to accompany a real opera singer.

I have an old vinyl LP titled Florence! Foster! Jenkins! Sings!!! which is so awful it makes you laugh out loud. So I was wondering if the movie would use FFJ's own recorded voice -- but no, it's Streep's voice all the way through. And she captures FFJ's ghastly singing "style" perfectly. The audience in my theater applauded at the end.

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#31181 - 08/16/16 12:35 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Austin
Unregistered


Man, have I ever got to start paying attention to the movie listings! I didn't even know this movie was in the works much less completed and now showing. Thanks for the heads-up.

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#31189 - 08/21/16 06:37 AM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Lorna Offline
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Registered: 04/22/05
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Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Oh, what a wonderful movie! I loved every sour note in it! Beautiful performances by everybody. In addition to meeting the vocal demands, Meryl Streep did a wonderful job of keeping your sympathy for a well-meaning but foolish woman. I want to see this one again.

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#31190 - 08/21/16 02:46 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Lorna]
Austin
Unregistered


Amen to that! It's a laugh-out-loud movie that ends up being unexpectedly moving. The men around FFJ saw her as a cash cow, but they gave her what she wanted...except the one thing she wanted the most. No one could give her a voice.

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#31192 - 08/22/16 06:21 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: ]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
The first time FFJ sang in the movie (smartly delayed to allow for an adequate build-up), I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks. And what she did later to the Queen of the Night's aria...well, it's indescribable. If Meryl Streep doesn't win every acting award in the book, there ain't no justice. This is the first time I've ever liked Hugh Grant in a movie, but his aging pretty-boy persona was absolutely right for this role.

Disturbing to learn the poor woman had syphilis, contracted, she said, on her wedding night. Even more disturbing to hear she was being treated with mercury and arsenic. Penecillin was discovered back in the 1920s, wasn't it?

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#31193 - 08/22/16 11:57 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Christopher]
Barbara Offline
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Registered: 04/24/99
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Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
In 1928, yes. But penicillin was not accepted as a treatment for syphilis until 1943, only one year before FFJ died. So she would have been given the standard treatment of mercury and arsenic.

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#31194 - 08/23/16 02:35 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Barbara]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
I didn't get to see this until last night, and what a joy it was to find a movie you could love from beginning to end! Chris, you're not the only one who cried tears of laughter. Streep is amazing, the way she kept her/FFJ's dignity even in her most foolish moments. That scene at the end was very moving, when she fantasized herself singing the music the way it should be sung. Hell of a movie.

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#31195 - 08/23/16 06:19 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Rita]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
You can bet that part of the purpose of that fantasizing scene was to remind the audience that Meryl Streep really can sing. But it probably was true to life. FFJ must have heard herself that way.

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#31197 - 08/24/16 08:10 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Christopher]
Rita Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 3264
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Sometimes syphilis can cause hearing loss, and I'm wondering if she just didn't hear that what was coming out of her mouth didn't match the music she was hearing in her head. Probably she was just self-deluded, as everyone assumes, but hearing loss is a possibility.

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#31198 - 08/25/16 10:04 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Rita]
Mike Offline
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Registered: 12/09/00
Posts: 340
Loc: Brooklyn
OK I never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins and I didn't know they made a movie about her but I had to go just to see what you all were talking about. I cant even remember the last time I laughed so hard. It was sad too but more funny than sad. Great movie.

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#31199 - 08/26/16 06:41 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Mike]
Christopher Offline
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Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 3558
Good on ya, Mike.

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#31202 - 08/27/16 05:17 PM Re: Current Movies 2016 [Re: Christopher]
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
I just came back from seeing Florence Foster Jenkins this afternoon. It was everything everyone has been saying, though I found it more touching than funny (funny though it decidedly was, at moments). But then, though I heard my first FFJ recordings in high school, I've never been able to laugh wholeheartedly at them, because she wasn't in on the joke. (And it is indeed true that such reviews as she received for her handful of public performances were always euphemistically phrased, just as we heard in the movie.) Hugh Grant's portrayal was not only touching and convincing, it was (as far as I can tell from my little reading on the matter) true to history: her second husband was indeed devoted to her in many ways, and tried his best to avoid any public exposure or exploitation of her.

There was a play making the rounds a few years ago called Souvenir -- I saw it in Baltimore. In it, Judy Kaye played Madame Florence, and there was one other actor (/pianist), to play Cosme McMoon. Very effective, and Judy Kaye was splendid as she always is. It used the device of letting us hear her sing as she imagined herself, just once near the end. (In the play, it's the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria," not "When I Have Sung My Songs.") I wonder if anything was paid to the playwright as a courtesy (even if not legally required); it seems a rather substantial "borrowing."

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