A big batch of additional production stills and on-set pictures from “Florence Foster Jenkins” have been added to the photo gallery. Also, UK fans will have to wait less than a month to own the film on home video. After its theatrical release in May, “Florence Foster Jenkins” will hit the UK market on DVD and Blu-Ray on September 05, 2016 – only weeks after the film’s US release.
On Monday, Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg joined on stage at the 92nd Street’s cultural community center after a screening of “Florence Foster Jenkins” for Annette Insdorf’s Reel Pieces discussion series. Be sure to check this very insightful hour, filled with information on the film’s true story, the making and working with Stephen Frears. Streep, Grant and Helberg reflect on their early days as actors, their favorite work and the changes that were made to the final cut of “Florence Foster Jenkins” (spoilers ahead). On an even better note, 92nd On Demand has also posted a complete interview with Meryl Streep in November 2000, after a screening for “Postcards from the Edge”, in which she remembers filming the Mike Nichols comedy and also sheds light on the making of more recent films at that time, “Before and After” and “Marvin’s Room”, so be prepared for another great hour on video. Enjoy!
A compilation of 10 television spots for “Florence Foster Jenkins” has been added to the video archive, all promoting the film’s August 12 release in the United States. After positive reviews upon its UK release earlier this year, US critics are equally embracing the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, the go-to source for collected reviews, “Florence Foster Jenkins” has received a stunning 92% positive collected reviews. Visit their site for all collected reviews – here’s two snippets from Variety: “An audience picture first and foremost: one wholly sympathetic to its eponymous subject’s delusional drive to delight crowds with or without the requisite artistry,” and from The Hollywood Reporter: “Aiming for the same kind of affectionate comic tone as The King’s Speech, this gentle musical farce from director Stephen Frears hits more than a few flat notes, but still delivers gentle laughs and classy star performances.”
Article courtesy The Boston Globe: Meryl Streep had a very busy week, even for her. She gave a shout-out to Hillary Clinton at the DNC; inked a contract to appear in “Mary Poppins Returns” – a movie musical from “Hairspray” creators Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman that will also star Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda – and geared up for the Aug. 12 rollout of the biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Still, there she was Saturday, alongside her former Yale Drama School classmate John Shea at a benefit for the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket. (Surprisingly, it was Streep’s first time on the island.) The handsome Shea, who’s perhaps best known for playing Lex Luthor in the ’90s TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” got his start as a TWN apprentice in 1968 and has remained ever grateful. TWN, which had no rivals when it was founded in 1956, had fallen on hard times before Shea took the reins as artistic director seven years ago — for the munificent fee of $300 per season, according to his wife, sculptor Melissa McLeod. Saturday’s benefit drew some 240 high-rollers to the Nantucket Hotel’s ballroom at a cost of $2,500 per person — and $50,000 for the privilege of booking Streep’s table, a fee gladly forked over by prominent DC lawyer (and TWN board member) Max N. Berry. Other high-profile attendees included film producer Armyan Bernstein, who directed Shea in 1984’s “Windy City” (and followed his friend’s lead in acquiring a summer home on the island), and benefactress-about-town Wendy Schmidt (wife of Google ex-CEO Eric Schmidt), looking Titania-like in a sleek silver-beaded silk chiffon shift.
Streep’s contribution to the cabaret show, performed with Shea and their fellow Yale classmate Joe Grifasi, was a silly spoof of “Medea” penned way back when by then-fledgling playwrights Christopher Durang and Wendy Wasserstein.
It looks like we’ll be seeing Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in another Disney movie together, TheWrap has learned. Streep is in early negotiations to join Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The film would not only reunite the “Into the Woods” co-stars but is also putting them back with the movie musical’s director Rob Marshall and producer Marc Platt. Disney has slated the follow up to the 1964 classic for a Christmas Day 2018 release. As TheWrap previously reported, Blunt will star as Poppins and will be joined by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will play a new character – streetlamp lighter Jack. Set in Depression-era London, the sequel will follow adult Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, Poppins helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. “Mary Poppins” first entered pop culture through P.L. Travers’ 1934 book, which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August 1964. The film, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, won five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Andrews. Still yet to be made into movies, Travers wrote seven more books featuring the no-nonsense nanny, which were published between 1935 and 1988.
Here comes a great new interview from the September issue of the Wall Street Journal, accompanied by a stunning pictorial by Brigitte Lacombe: When Meryl Streep steps from her limousine onto the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square, everything about her comportment—as she strikes poses with castmates Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg, greets fans along the stanchions and hugs past co-stars like Stanley Tucci who’ve turned out for her—announces that she’s been here before. “It’s quite a scene, isn’t it?” she later says about the glittery film premiere. “It doesn’t get old. I mean, who gets to see a movie with 1,600 people?” With her hair in an elegant but simple updo, Streep confidently strides the red carpet in a black silk jumpsuit, heeled ankle boots and a long, beaded statement necklace. As she reaches the entrance to the theater, the emcee for the event introduces the star of Florence Foster Jenkins to a cheering crowd. He then asks her, “We know you can sing, because we heard you sing in Mamma Mia. So how difficult is it to sing badly?” She smiles. “Surprisingly easy.” The complete article can be read over at The Wall Street Journal.
Everytime my emails are flooded with expletives and “I’ll never watch any of your movies again”, I know that Meryl Streep has been possibly doing something political the day before :-) On Tuesday, Streep has attended the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night to draw attention to the historic moment of Hillary Clinton’s nomination for president, the first time a woman has earned the honor for a major political party. “What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit and it takes grace,” Streep said. In her praise of Clinton, Streep mentioned that the Democratic nominee “has taken some fire over 40 years, over her fight for families and children. Where does she get her grit and grace?” While celebrating other famous female firsts throughout American history, Streep also focused on the road ahead — and beyond.”You people have made history, and you are going to make history again in November, because Hillary Clinton will be our first woman president,” she told the crowd. “She will be the first, but she won’t be the last.” Her speech can be watched in the video archive, screencaptures and pictures from the convention and the rehearsals have been added to the photo gallery.
Florence Foster Jenkins didn’t make many recordings, but they had to be heard to be believed: “We heard them at drama school, when I was a student,” said Meryl Streep. “Yeah, it was pretty specifically great!” Streep plays Lady Florence, as she liked to be called, in the new film, “Florence Foster Jenkins,” about the amateur soprano often called the world’s worst opera singer. “Most of her notes,” as one critic put it, “were promissory.” Mason said, “So many of the great singers of her time are not remembered, but she is.” “Well, that’s a tragedy, actually!” Streep laughed. By the late 1930s, Florence’s performances were notorious. Mystifyingly, the society pages indulged her with glowing notices. “Madame Jenkins’ annual recitals,” the New York Daily Mirror wrote, “bring unbounded joy to the faded souls of Park Avenue and the musical elite.” Composer Cole Porter was a fan. And astonishingly, at the peak of her notoriety in 1944, Florence took the stage at Carnegie Hall and performed to a sold-out house. The full segment can be watched in the video archive with screencaptures being added to the photo gallery.
It’s not a good month for Meryl Streep’s former film directors. A week after the passing of Michael Cimino, Argentine-born Brazilian director Hector Babenco has died. He was 70. In 1985, he was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for “Kiss of the Spider Woman”. The film, starring Meryl’s former co-star, the late Raul Julia, was also nominated for best picture and William Hurt won the Best Actor Oscar. In 1988, Babenco directed “Ironweed” with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, who were nominated for best actor and actress Oscars. A great article on the making of “Ironweed” can be found in the magazines archive.
Yesterday, Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg have attended the New York press conference for “Florence Foster Jenkins”. The film, which has had a successful run in the United Kingdom back in May, will premiere in US theaters this August. Besides a couple of pictures, a full video from the press conference has been added as well. The video can be watched here. Also, a video transcript of the DGA Theater Q&A for “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep and William Ivey Long has been added as well. Edit: Pictures from the New York Screening and Q&A have been added, with many thanks to JustJared.