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Monday, February 6, 2017

Report Card---"Florence Foster Jenkins"

I am amazed that this movie wasn't nominated for Best Picture.
It is wonderful on so many levels.
Certainly not the least of which is Meryl Streep's performance.
I've said it before, I'll say it again:  she's the best we have.
The entire movie takes place in 1944.
So you know that there are all those great cars.
It is stunningly shot.
Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg are both wonderful.
It is a true story that I knew nothing about.
Florence Foster Jenkins was an opera singer very much in the way Mrs. Miller was a singer.
She practically kept the Metropolitan Opera afloat financially.
And her wish was to play Carnegie Hall.
Hugh Grant, as her husband, was determined to make that happen for her as her health was failing..
This entailed bribing an entire audience so she wouldn't be laughed off the stage.
Watching her rehearse, and perform in public is beyond funny.
And tragic at the same time.

On to the scoring:   

Is it interesting?


Compelling even?


Is it controversial?

At the time, probably.  Now, it's just a piece of history.

Is it a story worth telling?


Is it good storytelling?

Great storytelling.

Is it well written?


Is it well cast? Well played?

Beautifully on all levels.

Well shot?


Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

Very much.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Immediately.  And, of course, as indicated, I loved the cars.

Is it too long? Too short?


Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Totally, and totally.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Never predictable. Always surprising

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Often.  Mostly about how great Streep is.

Is it funny?

A major hoot.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

By the time I got around to seeing it, they weren't sending DVDs any more.
And this was the one I really wanted to see.
It was available on On Demand for six bucks.
I went to the hip.
I would have spent twice as much.

Is it impressive?


Overall grade: A+.

If it was nominated it would be in my top three.  But there are so many good choices this year.

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. i'd seen a off-broadway show about FFJ that was laborious to sit thru. i went into this film expecting to not like it & was delightfully surprised. everything was great and i'm shocked that helburg didn't get a best supporting nod. he was terrific.

  2. I actually saw this in an honest-to-God theater - the AMC River East 21, hard by Navy Pier.

    I bother to mention this because seeing anything in a plex these days is a major effort for a retiree on a fixed income; in this case, for a Saturday matinee, $10 to get in and another $12-$15 for hot dogs and pop.
    (I shudder to think what it would have cost if I'd had anyone with me ...)

    Well, I liked it fine.
    Ms. Streep, who I is a really good singer, nailed it.
    So did the whole cast.
    Worth the time, worth the bus-and El trip, worth the money.
    Now the Question:
    Should Ms. Streep win the Oscar ...
    ... will it be worth a full week's worth of Trump Tantrum Tweets?
    In these times that try men's (and women's) souls, I realize that we must all be willing to pay a price, but still ...

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."