It’s been a good movie week in our house. One that will stay with me for a very long time is Florence Foster Jenkins. This is a bio-pic about a woman who was not extraordinary. She didn’t have great talent. She doesn’t have the kind of story where you see her succeed against all odds.
Mrs. Jenkins was a woman of means. She had lots of money and no children. She was married but that is irrelevant. While they didn’t say how old she was, we figured she was in her late 60’s in the period of her life portrayed in the movie.
This was a woman with passion. She wanted to sing. She was terrible. She had no talent but she sang anyway. She made a record – according to the movie that record was the best seller that particular record studio ever made. She sold out Carnegie Hall. She was well loved.
What is so impressive is that despite it all, she sang. She wanted to sing and she did. She had a devoted audience who showered her with praise and affection.
It is this line from the movie that will stay with me forever “People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”
That’s the kind of woman I want to be. I want to create because I can not because I am good at it or because it will get me something. For Florence, it was the love of music that gave her life meaning. She didn’t have to be a star. She had surrounded herself with the right kind of people. She was practically fearless.
It reminds me of another movie I watched well over twenty years ago – Stepping Out (see trailer below). Lately that movie keeps popping into my head. I watched it once and at the time it was an okay movie. What gets to me now is this idea that it is never too late to follow a passion. It’s never too late to follow a dream. And no one says you have to be good to pursue something you love.