Florence Foster Jenkins opened nationwide yesterday. So, in traditional fashion, I met up with Scooter and his new beau, Joe (copycat), to take in the movie for a second time. In a much larger theater than the one (my) Joe and I experienced in London, what most struck me about this second viewing is how truly funny the film is. I recall a fair amount of giggling in London, but this time people were doing what I call the "quiet laugh," where they're laughing so hard you don't really hear much actually coming out after a while. This made me laugh harder as well, particularly after a few of the sort of 'barks' that come out of Meryl's mouth during her Carnegie Hall performance.
The theater wasn't completely full, and of course our trio was probably on average fifteen years younger than the majority of viewers, but that's typically standard operating procedure for many Meryl films. In general this encore experience solidified for me that not only is Florence a great film, but that Meryl's performance is truly astonishing. Specifically how challenging, and therefore how impressive it is to achieve the nuanced "badness" of singing she was adept at portraying. On multiple occasions last night I found myself thinking "nobody else could do that."
Its opening night gathered a modest $2 million on a total of about 1500 screens...half the number of theaters for the six films above it Friday night. Hopefully everyone gets out there and sees it!