‘Margeurite, is about legendary singer Marguerite Dumont. I say legendary because Ms. Dumont is from that line of singers who do not sing in tune. This film is from 2015, and I am amazed how similar it is from that Meryl Streep film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ from this summer. These are two different singers, but eerily their stories are almost identical.
Just like Foster, Dumont is a wealth woman who used her money to satisfy her desire to sing, and started at ‘music clubs’ who benefited from her donations. And both stories culminate in a big solo concert/recital. ‘Marguerite’ has a last quarter epilogue that tries to explain how she was not able to discern her bad singing, and it is its most unsuccessful part, but for the most part I preferred this movie from Foster’s. What sealed the deal for me – Catherine Frot’s subtle, and realistic performance. I wrote my thoughts here about how I didn’t like Meryl Streep’s over the top and caricature-ish performance, and Frot just does the opposite – her Marguerite seems more real, more sympathetic, and totally believable. As a character, I get the impression that Marguerite is a worse singer than Foster – the latter is almost okay, while Marguerite, based on her singing here – as a singer, is just disastrous. (Somewhere in my music collection, I have recordings of both and should do and compare-and-contrast)
As a film, I enjoyed ‘Marguerite’ a lot. It’s a very elegant movie, and is successful in presenting a life story.