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It may have taken 20 years for her screenplay to become a major motion picture, but 85-year-old Ruth Sacks Caplin has become the toast of Hollywood. Her movie, “Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont,” which is based on a British novel, opened in limited release to critical acclaim last year and is set for nationwide release this month. But bringing her words to the big screen was a labor of love for her family. Caplin, whose husband, Mortimer, is the founding partner of the tax boutique Caplin & Drysdale, provided financial and legal support for the movie, but it was her son Lee, a producer in Los Angeles, who never gave up hope. “Every year or two, Lee would see if we could get the rights to make the movie,” Caplin says. Finally, she says, he called and said, “We can do it.” The movie, which stars Joan Plowright, centers on a lonely older woman who strikes up a friendship with a young writer. The project has already garnered Oscar buzz for Plowright. Caplin says she was never really an aspiring writer. She wrote the screenplay as a private pleasure, she says, never expecting anyone to read it. Now that entertainment-biz people have, she calls all the attention “exciting” and “overwhelming.” While “Mrs. Palfrey” may be Caplin’s first foray into the world of movie-making, it may not be her last. “There are other movies tucked away in a drawer,” she says. “Lee thinks we should exhume some of them.”
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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