Florence Foster Jenkinsi is an exercise in outrageous obscenity cum unadulterated Americana of epic proportions.
It's a "true story", of course. The character being true-storied is Florence Foster Jenkins, born 1868, muchly appreciated in the final decades of her life in the exact manner of Julia A. Mooreii. Before reaching 1944 however, Florence liked being the center of attention, like any seven year old girl, developed gargauni of artistic talent, like any fourteen year old girl, was confronted with a time-appropriate paternal refusal to entertain her nonsense, to which she responded in the then-revolutionary but today trite manner of eloping (her lot was a syphilitic goon, and so she caught the French blessing on her wedding night) and found herself reduced soon enough to "giving piano lessons" to support herself - very much exactly like today's "strong, independent, educated" Florences befouling that land. Sometime in 1910 she ran into some British goof (in case you were wondering how come Hugh Grant got the role - not like the idiot can act) and the next year her father died leaving her a modest fortune. She then proceeded to "be ready with a game-plan" and "leave her mark" through the quite American procedure of spamming social clubs with membership applications and otherwise making friends and influencing people.
The film dresses this sordid story into all the velvety dogvomit of human filth. I have never witnessed poltroonism of the caliber scripted into St Clair Bayfield's role, nor can I avoid the quote.
The concert is for true music lovers, not mockers and scoffers like you and your artistic friends.
You know, trolls. "Chilling" the "internet discourse" of fatties, uglies, transexuals and other oratanii.
"The piece was spiteful, vicious and wholly inaccurate and it has caused a great deal of upset. Do I need to remind you that Madam Florence is a very close personal friend of Arturo Toscanini's? It would be such a pity if the Post were excluded from Carnegie Hall. Thank you for your understanding, Mr Thackrey. Thank you so much. Thank you."
"I bought up every copy of the Post within two blocks."
"Well done, and I very much doubt that the piece will be in the afternoon edition, so... a few more hours."
You are familiar with this nonsense, yes ? For it's alive and well, in 2015 like in 1915, as American as apple pie. No, they don't expect it to work, it's not a technology and it's not even properly speaking magic. It's just being very extremely incredibly dumb, on the level of amoeba navigating by gradient. Marine beasts from a time before central nervous systems were a thing, and rings of ganglions sufficed for all the work of reasoning.
"I cannot play Carnegie Hall with Madam Florence. Maybe you could speak to Mr Totten, tell him it's not such a great idea. Surely he'd understand."
"It's too late. She's given a thousand tickets to the War Veterans Association."
"Well, I... What did Kathleen say?"
"Kathleen... has left me."
"Oh. Jeez, I'm so sorry. That's awful."
"Please, Cosme, will you do it?"
"Mr Bayfield, I am a serious pianist. I have ambition. I..."
"Oh, you think that I didn't have ambition? I was a good actor. But I was never going to be a great actor. It was very, very hard to admit that to myself. But once I had, I felt free from the tyranny of ambition. I started to live. Is ours not a happy world, Cosme? Do we not have fun?"
This is it, this is all. This is what America is, and the most it could ever be. It never was anything more, and it never will be anything more. "Let's make America great again" strictly expresses the hope beyond hope that the nonsense might somehow return. Like it our not - your ethical choice, and your moral obligation with regards to this matter can not be avoided. You might not be interested in it ; nevertheless it is interested in you. Whether you like it or not, you will have to take a stand, and there's no possiblity of dodging this draft. Empire-of-the-nude-emperor or Republic-of-the-trolls, what is it going to be ?
"Please, Mr Bayfield."
"You see, we have to help her because without loyalty, there's nothing."
"We'll be murdered out there!"
"You think that I'm not aware of that? For 25 years, I have kept the mockers and scoffers at bay. I'm very well aware of what they might do. But Florence has been my life. I love her and... I think you love her too."
"Singing at Carnegie Hall is her dream. And I'm going to give it to her. The only question now is whether you will stand by your patron and friend in her hour of need, or whether you will focus on your ambition. Please, Cosme. Will you play for your friend?"
"Oh, golly. Oh, golly gosh."
"Come on, you're gonna play at Carnegie Hall. How many people can say that?
Oh, boy, we're gonna die out there."
And of course the Klein Zaches (truly the whole thing is a reconstruction of ETA Hoffmann's Zinnober story, except with an alternately-castrated stirpituraiii) dies content with all the misery it has caused, through its crooked existence unworthy of sunlight and maculant to the very Earth itself. "They can say I couldn't sing, but they can't say I didn't!"
There isn't anything more substantially despicable ; nor anything more fundamentally American. This is it ; hopefully to be soon and permanently washed away, scrubbed off, never to be heard from again.———
- 2016, by Stephen Frears, with Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur chick, apparently Hugh Grant camp follower for some reason). [↩]
- There's a very nasty, dirty and miserable vein in the aesthetic soul of the inhabitants of the Great Black Swamp & Vandalia, from New York westwards. Doubtless born of their own perceived inadequacy and assorted inferiority complexes layered over centuries, they enjoy nothing more than the spectacle of a next-door-Joe undertaking a respected endeavour, failing scandalously, and remaining unaware. Even should the unawareness be pretense through and through, or perhaps especially should the unawareness be naught by conceit. It is, in fact, how they plan to go through life, all of them, all the time - so to them, this is art, true art, truer at any rate than the other kind. [↩]
- English has no equivalent. Stirpe means kin ; a stirpi means "to extinguish", but is reserved for vermin. Stirpitura is the noun equivalent of the past participle of that verb, so the closest English approximation would be "thing which was extinguished for being vermin and therefore no longer exists", but it's always applied to a present, concrete referent. The implication that the thing denoted shouldn't exist, and that its continued existence is an offense to the gods, the natural order and humanity altogether is quite strong. [↩]