Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Nicholas Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Stanley Townsend, Allan Corduner


Plot: The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Believe Your Dreams


Story: Florence Foster Jenkins starts in 1944 as Florence (Streep) performs alongside her husband St Clair Bayfield (Grant) with the theatrical performance for the people of New York City. After Florence falls out with her current pianist the couple must find a new one, Cosme McMoon (Helberg) fills the void perfectly as her new venture into opera.

There is one big problem with this dream, Florence simply can’t sing and even with her vocal coach Carlo Edwards (Haig) any stage performance is a distant dream. Once the first show happens the elite of the friends all love the show for the wrong reasons, and to make matter worse St Clair has been having an affair with Kathleen (Ferguson).

Once Florence’s song make the radio she continues wanting to support the soldiers returning from war even with St Clair wanting to hold her back from the embarrassment she could cause herself.


Thoughts on Florence Foster Jenkins


Characters/PerformanceFlorence is a woman that has been shielded from the world for her whole life, she has only been respected by her power in society. When she wants to sing her own style of opera she does become a laughing stock but on a level where the everyday man can enjoy her attempts. St Clair is the supportive husband who also hasn’t lived his dreams but living off the money Florence is giving him, he happily cheats on her but knows the funds will end if he gets caught. Mr McMoon is the brilliant pianist who is grateful for the chance to play alongside the high society but questions where his career could go after working with Florence.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep was fantastic as always in the leading role with Hugh Grant giving us one of his best performances in years. Simon Helberg steps up from television to give us a performance we all know he is capable off and never looks out of place next to the bigger names.

StoryThe story shows us what it is like to follow your dreams even if you don’t have the talent, while this does focus a lot more on the idea of being protected by the lack of talent it is the similar style you would treat your own child who enjoys something they are not going to succeed at. I do feel the story shows the divide we once had between the rich and powerful to the everyday person which is clear to see with how the music is received.

Biography/Comedy/MusicFlorence is an incredible brave lady who showed if you want to try something at any age you can try, even if you are not the best. The comedy in this film is light hearted throughout which I did enjoy with the music adding to the comedy going on through the film.

SettingsThe settings created show us the time period the film is set in perfectly with New York being the main location.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable movie that people can get a laugh out of without being stuck wondering what is going on or not admiring Florence.


Overall: One to be watched and enjoyed.




A Brilliant Monster (2018)

Director: F.C. Rabbath

Writer: F.C. Rabbath, Adam Bertocci (Screenplay)

Starring: Dennis Friebe, Nick Leali, Bill Kelly, Joy Kigin, Alea Figueroa, Reid Meadows, Sarah Alexandria


Plot: Troubled childhood to successful author and a secret life that is waiting to be uncovered.


Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Original & Entertaining


Story: A Brilliant Monster starts as Sophie (Figueroa) is being interviewed by detectives John Logan (Kelly) and Abby Dunne (Kigin) investigating the famous author Mitch (Friebe) who has become a prime suspect for the latest missing person, Luke a bully from Mitch’s at school.

When Sophie reveals the truth about how Mitch gets his stories, the detectives are not buying it but go along with the idea as it looks like a lead to getting to the truth about the other missing people as the numbers continue to increase.


Thoughts on A Brilliant Monster


Characters – Mitch is one of the most popular authors in America, he constantly fresh and original material makes him different to the rest of the authors in the industry, but Mitch has a secret to how he gets all these ideas, one that is deadly for some. Abby is a detective investigating a string of disappearance, she believes Mitch is behind everything after hearing a story about how he gets his ideas but due to her past mistakes she needs to play it safer than normal. Nick is the best friend of Mitch that doesn’t have the skills on a literal level but supports his friend through his difficult times.

PerformancesDennis Freibe is great in the leading role, you can see how desperate to succeed and just how confident he is in make sure everything happens in his life. Joy Kigin does a good job in the detective role without bringing too much fresh to the role just playing it safe throughout. Nick Leali does a good job in the supporting role even if it does feel like the character he plays is Seth Rogen trademark friend.  

StoryThe story follows how an author keeps a secret about how he writes the bestselling books, but when things start getting desperate Mitch must look in a new direction. We dive into the idea that authors could go to extreme lengths to get the next piece of work, even if it means going too far. This does have an original idea when it comes to what is going on, which is good to see and it one that would be able to bring the audience into wanting to see more from the characters in the story.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror of the film comes from what Mitch is up to, it is twisted with what he does too, we are also left wondering just how far Mitch would end up going.

SettingsThe settings do come of basic, we have a few random meeting spots with publicists, Mitch’s home and the police station as everything builds up to the final moments.

Special EffectsFor a low budget movie, the effects do all work very well and not showing us the full truth until the ends helps us wonder what they will show us.

Scene of the Movie –
What Mitch’s secret looks like.

That Moment That Annoyed Me What Abby sees is slightly disappointing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a clever, independent movie, that shows original ideas, strong performances and a tale that will keep you wondering for the rest of the film.


Overall: One for all the horror fans out there.




The Simpsons Challenge – Season 4 – Episode 4 – Lisa the Beauty Queen

The Simpsons Challenge

Season 4

Episode 4 – Lisa the Beauty Queen

Couch Gag – This time we get the family confusion yet again, slightly disappointing.

Plot SynopsisLisa enters the Little Miss Springfield pageant.

What is going on reallyWe start with the school carnival where we do have the ridiculous look at how Disney would sue a school fair. We also get to see more of the skills Principal Skinner from the war. We also get plenty of different events but the worst in when Lisa believes she is ugly.

Homer is delighted to have won a ride in the Duff Blimp but now he must do parenting with Lisa feeling depressed about her image. Searching for help at Moe’s because that is always the place he turns too. Here Homer learns of a Little Miss Springfield contest and continues to show he strength at a parent by selling his blimp ticket for the entry fee.

This goes against Lisa wishes but when she learns about what Homer gave up for this and agrees to enter and learning she isn’t the ugly one, she is about to bloom into a beautiful girl.

Star Character


Final ThoughtsThis episode got to show us that a parent will always believe and support their children through even the most difficult moments of their lives.

Rating 4/5