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In defense of Florence Foster Jenkins

Hypothesis: “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts.”

Postulate: Okay. America can survive and prosper on a visual diet of football and MMA.

As a rule I don't watch the Golden Globes or any awards show but my daughters were home from college and they like to watch them so I jumped in for a few minutes to see who snagged a trophy. Not surprisingly "The Crown" won big, but since QE2 runs the world (and certainly the entertainment industry) I yawned and having watched the series myself I must say that it is pretty good except for John Lithgow playing Churchill (how can a an American be cast as the most English of Englishmen). But the highlight of the evening was watching the Queen Bee of all awards shows receive a lifetime achievement award and, rather than reflect on a lifetime of achievement, go crazy with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).


What you miss by just watching the clip above was the full context of the remarks which included a glowing and humorous set of anecdotes by Viola Davis and impressive montage of clips from Meryl Streep's long and illustrious career. I've been watching this woman perform for my entire life in scores of rolls (usually on dates because there's no way I'm thinking "wow, the new Meryl Streep movie is out and I can't wait to see it" but a lot of women do think that) and I've always enjoyed her work - captivating and very moving characters "brought to life" as it were by a master thespian. DJT called her "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood" in his counterpunch tweet this morning which I think is just plain wrong (though probably very effective) because Meryl Streep is about as good as it gets. But he did expand his thinking for the NYTimes and declare, quite accurately, that Ms. Streep is “a Hillary lover” and, as such, her comments came as no surprise. And this gets to the nub of the issue upon which I'd like to expound for just a few sentences.

Meryl Streep is a brilliant and, I would imagine, very formidable person who's career has brought her in contact with some of the great minds, both living and dead, ever to put pen to paper. She's traveled the world, seen parts of this country and studied its people in depth to pull off her uncanny mimicry and obviously has a lot of soul, sense of humor and heart. She's really done it all - seen the bright light of heaven and the moral depravity of humanity and not just seen it but has BEEN it on stage and screen so why in God's name is she waisting 5 minutes of what should have been the lifetime achievement speech to top ALL lifetime achievement speeches to talk about Donald J Trump? It makes no sense unless you discount everything she's ever accomplished with the one overriding concept that as "a Hillary lover" everything including a lifetime of work means nothing because of Trump. If so, I pity this great actress because, as great as she is, she's got a gigantic blind spot in her brain that prevents her from seeing - even seeing the truth in her own work.

Streep was absolutely awesome in Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" playing Mike's girlfriend Linda and I think she, more than anyone else in the film, held the movie together until its climactic ending. It kicked off a 40 year career of outstanding movies of every type culminating in her most recent effort - a ComDram titled Florence Foster Jenkins about a woman who loved Opera and decided to sing it even though she couldn't carry a tune, had no vocal range and sounded horrible. No matter, everyone who flutters in Forence's orbit pretends that she's wonderful and heap praise and accolades on her efforts. Delusional with the praise of boot-lickers and a lying spouse this art lover decides to perform at Carnegie Hall to a general audience. Result: disaster and death.

Somewhere along the line Bill should have given Hillary this advise:


But he didn't stop her - he pushed her because he wanted to get back in The White House and he convinced all the "Hillary lovers" to clap and cheer her astonishingly abysmal performance. Now one of those suporters is bitter and lashing out - turning what should have been a moment of personal glory and reflection on a life well spent into a moralizing diatribe against her future president and his supporters. Florence Foster Jenkins Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't worth defending - go ahead and love her for her commitment to the art of politics despite her manifest deficiencies in practicing said art - but don't be surprised if an audience of real people don't want to live with her songs for 4 years.

Comments

D.W.I. said…
Yes!
D.W.I. said…
Yes!

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