The Closet of Time
19th Century,1920s & '30s,1940s & '50s,1960s & '70s
Meredith Ann Hughes
My Maternal Grandmother, daughter of German Immigrants from The Bronx, lost her son and parents first 3 weeks January 1919 to The Great Flu. She tried life again in Chicago, met my Maternal Grandfather, horribly abusive. She showed me big tender love, kindness, her life ended by a hit and driver.
EXT. INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DAY Walking toward a white church, ANNIE, a little girl and her GRANDMA MINNIE. The church bells toll 10 times. GRANDMA MINNIE Pick up that penny Annie. It will give you good luck. ANNIE But Grandma, you always tell me to pick up the pennies. It is your turn.
ANN (O.S.) They taught me to never give up. Do your best. From the Black Forest to New York, Chicago, Popcorn Ridge, to a home somewhere, create your own Closet Of Time and may it be a loved one. Be that turtle and always climb to the top, believe in yourself, no matter the obstacles.
Black Forest Germany, German Train & Stations, Karlsruhe, Rotterdam, Ships, English Train Kingston of Hull to Liverpool, Steerage Ship to NYC, The Bronx, Chicago, Popcorn Ridge Vevay Indiana, Indianapolis
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Name: Grandma Minnie
Age: from age 5 to age 86
Key Traits: Aspiring,Adventurous,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Religious,Selfless,Visionary,Strong Moral Code,Honorable
Additional Character Details
Name: Granddaughter Ann
Age: 4 years to 24 years
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Engaging,Empathetic,Obedient,Selfless,Visionary,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Age: 25 years to 45 years
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Modest,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Obedient,Patriotic,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Visionary
Additional Character Details
Age: 23 years to 45 years
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Obedient,Religious,Patriotic,Selfless,Visionary
As told from a Granddaughter's eyes, her Grandmother's parents immigration in the1800's from Europe to New York City, striving and excited to come to America, selling their farm, steerage ship passage, passing Liberty Enlightening the World, only to find the difficulties of surviving in The Bronx NYC, only to perish from The Great Flu in 1919. Grandma Minnie lost her parents and 7 year old son all in January 1919 of The Great Flu. Minnie loosing her family life pursues a new life in Chicago, marries, only to live and strive on Popcorn Ridge with an alcoholic abusive husband from moonshine hills of Vevay Indiana by the Ohio River. Minnie endures life, lives off the land like a man. Long gone are her big hats and lace dresses of New York City at the turn of the century. Long gone are the Sunday Family times in Central Park New York City. Now is the stark presence of the Full Moon in the dark of the night and a hoot owl which sits right by her bedroom window. Her husband does not return until dawn after his night at the pool hall and poker games. Life is men's work boots, flour sack dresses. She cries to sleep most nights. After the barn ignites with Minnie in it, they sell the farm and move to a city where Minnie in her 80's is killed by a hit and run driver. This was her American Dream. My Grandmother Minnie loved me and taught me so much. The Closet of Time is her Scrapbook she kept from 1890 to her death. We found her Scrapbook hidden in The Closet Of Time.
A granddaughter recounts her grandmother's story, reading a diary she found in Minnie's closet. A story of many losses, overcoming obstacles, and love.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Not exactly. The author uses the logline segment to talk about her personal relationship with the film's protagonist when she should use the section to describe the plot. In the short summary, the author adds two scenes from the script, which out of context, do not make much sense to the reader.
Draw of Story
The author's proximity to the story is felt from the first pages and makes the narrative more personal and sentimental.
The dialogues. They are highly descriptive, putting in words everything the characters are doing or feeling or thinking, leaving no room for the reader's imagination and sensations.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is the challenging life of many immigrants who arrived in the United States at the beginning of the last century. The search for the American dream, the expectation for a better life that ends up in disappointment. The painful life of women at a time when only men had a voice in society.
Assume the narrative is further refined, cutting excessive dialogue, developing conflicts and characters better, and focusing on European immigrants and women's drama at the beginning of the last century. In that case, the film could attract a wider audience.
It all depends on the development of the script. As it is, I believe not because despite raising relevant themes, the narrative loses strength on the dramatic side.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE IMMIGRANT: AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, POLISH EVA AND HER SISTER GO TO NY IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE, HOWEVER THEY ENCOUNTER AN ABUSIVE MAN WHO WILL DESTROY THEIR EXPECTATIONS. BROOKLYN: A YOUNG IRISH WOMAN MOVES TO BROOKLYN AND FINDS OBSTACLES IN HER NEW HOME.
What’s New About the Story
Although clichéd as a narrative tool, having a granddaughter telling episodes of an immigrant's life from her secret diary is an exciting choice for this story.
Minnie, Leah, and Ann are likable characters. We know little about Ann because she is only the storyteller of her grandmother's tale, but the love she feels for Minnie and the affection she tells her story brings us closer to her. Minnie is the central figure in the plot, a simple yet strong woman who survives the most painful challenges and has never given up on love. Leah brings a lighter air to the action, for being a little girl who witnesses the abusive father but continues to experience her childhood universe surrounded by her beloved animals.
Uniqueness of Story
If the author expands internal conflicts and invests more in actions/conflicts and less in descriptive dialogues, the narrative would gain more strength and relevance.
WORK IN PROGRESS
It is a work in progress because the challenge faced by immigrants and women in the early twentieth century is relevant and draws attention. Having the granddaughter as a narrator and author of the script is positive because it makes the story more sentimental and complex. However, the script needs improvements in many areas. The story is good, but the narrative structure itself needs further development to achieve the desired result.
Tips for Improvement
To be recommended, first of all, the author should reformulate the dialogues. Some excesses sound graceful, poetic, and a bit childish, but the excessive use of words throughout the script makes the narrative tiring and less attractive. We already see what these characters are doing and going through, so descriptive dialogues are redundant. Making the dialogues less evident in each scene is a challenge for every screenwriter, but it's essential for this story. Due to the author's proximity to the characters, she has described too much of their feelings, but for the narrative to follow a more attractive path, the audience needs to feel with the characters and not just hear them talking. Having a narrator who connects stories is a resource widely used and even avoided by many writers, but in this case, the tool worked well. However, the scenes of the granddaughter could have a little more prominence. In addition to reading the diary and going through episodes in Minnie's life, Ann could experience her own conflicts and be more active in the story. How does getting to know her grandmother's story in-depth transform Ann throughout the film? It is a narrative layer that could make the story more complex. The progressive sequence of facts, since the departure from Germany, is very rich in details. However, as the storytelling is done through episodes from a diary, the structure loses its dramatic strength. It could be more appealing to tell pieces of Minnie's life, but maintaining a dramatic line that could be followed from the beginning to the end, even when starting a new episode in Minnie's life. The story is relevant, having Minnie's granddaughter telling the story makes it richer in details, but the narrative structure, dialogues, and character development could be improved so that the final result would reach the level the topic deserves.