DRAMA; 2hr 9min
STARRING: Catherine Frot, André Marcon
Self-delusion is a blessing for Baroness Marguerite Dumont (Frot). She's mad about opera and, as the patron of the Amadeus Club, she performs for a select audience at her magnificent estate. But there's one insurmountable catch: Marguerite's voice is shriekingly off-key and she is the only person in the room who is oblivious — both to that and the sad truth of her marriage. Her adored, disdainful husband, Georges (Marcon), has a mistress (Astrid Whettnall) to whom he dismisses his wife as a freak. Her smarmy recital guests titter behind her back. Buttressed by the class system of 1921 Paris, the baroness caterwauls away. And stranger still, writer-director Xavier Giannoli's loopy, affecting film is inspired by the real-life story of American misfit Florence Foster Jenkins.
Like all bubbles, Marguerite's is fragile: her money and misjudgment make her potentially easy prey for the unscrupulous and the desperate. Will a grand plan for a public concert topple her house of cards? Her cause certainly looks hopeless, yet as sweetly and needfully embodied by Frot, Marguerite is no mere figure of fun. What is delusion, after all, but a more forgiving reality?