Re "Iron Lady' portrayal is inaccurate," Mailbag, Jan. 27

I read with great interest Dr. R. Claire Friend's letter regarding "The Iron Lady," currently in release in movie theaters. While I share Friend's disappointment in how the story unfolded (all too few flashbacks reminiscing the former prime minister's achievements, chief among them her meteoric rise) focusing more instead on her diminished state of mind, I take particular issue with the doctor taking Harvey Weinstein to task as the doctor did.

The Weinstein Co. bought and distributed the film; that is the extent of their involvement. Granted the promotional trailers were misleading, suggesting that the film was a biography of Margaret Thatcher, not a memoir of a former world leader whose life has been reduced to a series of recollections of her glory days.

I would suggest that Friend save her lecture(s) and accusations of "perfidy" (Friend's word, not mine) for the writer, Abi Morgan, who is directly responsible for the screenplay, not the Weinstein brothers. Granted, Morgan's screenplay pales in comparison to the screenplay of "The Queen," by Peter Morgan (no relation), Morgan exercised what is commonly referred to as artistic license. Enough said.

I am grateful for Miramax (the Weinstein brothers' former company) and the Weinstein Co. for distributing independent films to a broader audience that would most likely only be screened in a handful of cities.

As for Meryl Streep's magnificent performance, her nomination (her 17th) is surely well-deserved, as is the film's one other nomination, for makeup. So I will add my two cents in and say that it will be a great injustice if Viola Davis does not win the best actress Oscar for her stoic performance in "The Help," along with Octavia Spencer's marvelous supporting performance.

I would suggest that in the future Friend keep her day job and refrain from film criticism, especially considering that she saves her criticism for film maker(s) not the distributors, and let's keep our founding fathers, Jesus Christ, God and Ronald Reagan out of it. The film is a work of art, not the official biography of Lady Thatcher.

Bette Doremus

Newport Beach


Try visiting all schools in Newport-Mesa district

Re "Community Commentary: Smith's generalizations about Newport-Mesa are wrong," Feb. 7:

Trustee Karen Yelsey,

I think your letter would have read very differently if any of the schools in your section of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar were Title 1, low-performing schools and your neighbors were driving to Huntington Beach and other neighboring cities to educate their children.

Not only does Costa Mesa struggle with low-performing students who flounder with mediocre, at best, to poor education options, but we also watch our property values suffer when Title 1 schools are considered the best option for our neighborhood. I suggest you visit all the schools in N-MUSD and not just read bar graphs and pie charts. Thanks for listening.

Katie Shoenberger

Costa Mesa


Newport-Mesa's bridge to 'nowheres'

The infamous "bridge to nowhere" promoted by politicians in Alaska finally faded from consideration (and late-night TV jokes) because it was clear the residents at one end, on the island it was supposed to serve, didn't need or want it. Here, we have the Newport Beach City Council promoting the "bridge to nowheres" — plural because residents at the two ends of the proposed 19th Street bridge, in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, don't need or want it. And they've made this clear to Newport Beach City Council. Who isn't listening. Yet.