Meet Marguerite Dumont: a wealthy music connoisseur who loves opera, specifically, to sing opera. But while the French socialite indulges in her musical passion, those around her watch her performances for comic relief rather than appreciation of her talent.
Whilst her husband and friends keep up the charade that Marguerite has a beautiful voice, the pretence can only go so far – things reaching a critical moment as the singer is due to perform in her final sell out concert.
Loosely based on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins, French language film Marguerite is the directed by Xavier Giannoli, whose previous work includes such films as Superstar (2012), In The Beginning (2009) and When I Was A Singer (2006).
The film presents as a period drama of similar ilk to recent blockbusters Suffragette and The Danish Girl. But Marguerite is quirky, well written and heartfelt, verging on the realms of dark satire and makes for a fresh change from the safe-playing biopics that have made the festival rounds in recent years.
Marguerite has an undeniable charm that well demonstrates the talents of its lead actress. Frost manages to deliver a comedic performance with true heart, combining humour and empathetic emotion with her singing. One wince-worthy moment sees Marguerite delivers a heartfelt yet soul destroying rendition of 'Le Marseille', as she seems to not recognise that around her is a Dadaist show – her desecration of the French national anthem its soundtrack.
Yet as in Giannoli's previous work, Marguerite feels a tad lumpy. Despite addressing a number of complex issues such as infidelity, friendship, self-image and mental health, it is difficult to stay invested in the narrative for the film's two hour duration, and it would have benefited from skimming.
Expect some stunning costume and set design in this charming, if not entirely memorable new film. Go in with an open mind (and a little patience) and you won’t be disappointed.
Marguerite UK Release date 18 March.
Florence Foster Jenkins biopic: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant are also due to appear in an English language biopic of the same subject entitled Florence Foster Jenkins: watch this space for more details.
Florence Foster Jenkins UK Release date 6 May 2016
|What||Marguerite, Catherine Frot Film|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
On 18 Mar 16, Screen Times May Vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to see the film's IMDB page|