“Florence hears an amazing opera singer and wants to sing just like that … what’s heartbreaking and funny is that she couldn’t sing,” saysÂ Meryl StreepÂ in Paramount Pictures’Â new featurette for her upcoming film “Florence Foster Jenkins,” a true story about anÂ ambitious but tone-deaf diva (watch it above). “When it goes wildly off, that’s when it gets hilarious … The idea of finding joy in what you’re doing, that’s something everyone can understand.”
It’s certainly a dramatic stretch for the actress revered for her talent to play an entertainer famous for her lack thereof, so is “Florence” the ticket to Streep’s landmark 20th Oscar nomination? She already holds the all-time record with 19, and she’s already been nominated three times this decade so far: a Best Actress win for “The Iron Lady” (2011), a Best Actress nom for “August: Osage County” (2013) and a Best Supporting Actress bid for “Into the Woods” (2014).
It couldn’t hurt that “Florence” is directed by Stephen Frears, who has a great track record with actors. In recent years he has earned Judi DenchÂ Best Actress nominations in “Mrs. Henderson Presents” (2005) and “Philomena” (2013). He also directed Helen MirrenÂ to a Best Actress victory in “The Queen” (2006). Several other films of his have earned Oscar nominations in various categories, including “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988), “The Grifters” (1990) and “Dirty Pretty Things” (2002). He himself was nominated for Best Director for “The Grifters” and “The Queen.”
Joining Streep in the “Florence Foster Jenkins” cast are Hugh Grant, Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Helberg. It opens August 12. Watch the above featurette and then discuss more of Streep’s career in our message boards.