My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, August 21

Florence Foster Jenkins

She’s done it again. Meryl Streep. Done it again. Another dramatically different role to go with all the other dramatically different roles she’s played in just under fifty years of acting. And she will probably win another nomination for best actress with this heart-breakingly hilarious role as “the world’s worst singer.” This time she’s Florence Foster Jenkins, a patron of the arts in New York City just before the end of WWII. Florence dreamed of being an opera singer and had enough money to make it happen with a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. She had performed on other occasions but only for small, carefully selected audiences. Her husband St. Clair (Hugh Grant) indulged her singing ambition by bribing her voice coach to praise her voice. He bribed Arturo Toscanini to praise her voice. He hired an accompanist, Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg) to overlook her painful shrieks and flats when she practiced. Her performances were so bad they were laugh-out-loud hilarious, and Florence mistook that the applause was for her vocal beauty and not her comic awfulness. Florence and her husband had a platonic relationship because at eighteen, on her honeymoon, Florence had contracted syphilis from her first husband, and would not jeopardize the health of her second husband, St. Clair. And he was devoted to her so much that he overlooked her terrible voice and paid others to do the same. The accompanist, Cosme McMoom, could only roll his eyes at the sounds she emitted. We know Simon Helberg from his role as Arnold on The Big Bang Theory, but here he was, playing the soft-spoken pianist who came to share St. Clair’s fidelity to this would-be singer. It’s interesting to note that Helberg was the one playing the piano in all the scenes, just as Streep did all the singing. I can only guess how difficult it would be for a singer as good as Streep to sing as horribly as she did in this role. But just as she’s done with other roles, she did her homework and must have practiced for a long time to sing so off-key. This latest role as Florence Foster Jenkins can now be added to her many other diverse roles during her career; the harpy, cigarette-devouring matriarch in August: Osage County; the truly noxious nun in Pride; the Polish immigrant in Sophie’s Choice (for which she won the first of her Oscars for best actress in 1982); the iron lady Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (for which she won her second Oscar for best actress in 2011); the delightfully wicked witch in Into the Woods. The list could go on and on with romantic leads in The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Bridges of Madison County, The Deer Hunter, and Out of Africa. Will Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg be nominated for their roles in this movie? Possibly. Will Meryl Streep be nominated for her role in this movie? Probably.

Books, anyone?
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