SCENE 1 - INT. APARTMENT - DAY
The hallway is a mess. A window opening onto a light well is
The door to the apartment is suddenly broken open. A plain-
clothes detective, two uniformed police officers and several
firemen - also in uniform - enter and look around. They all
wear gloves and masks that cover their mouths and noses.
Behind them, the superintendent and his wife also push their
way in. They're both holding their noses. In his free hand,
the superintendent holds a pile of mail and promotional
flyers. Behind him, comes a female neighbor.
(to the superintendent and the
Wait Outside please.
He signals to a police officer who herds the curious
onlookers back out through the door.
(to the superintendent, pointing to
a pile of mail)
What's the date of the last letter?
The 16th from what I can see...
The plain-clothes detective has tried in vain to open the
door on the left. It has been sealed up with adhesive tape.
(to the fire officer)
Can you try?
While the firemen go to work on the door, the plain-clothes
detective goes into the adjoining dining room. He opens the
windows quickly and turns to go into the room to the left via
the double doors. They are locked and the gaps are also taped
up. He turns to the right and goes into the living room,
where he also opens up the windows...
The door is open.
...and comes back into the hallway, passing by the waiting
firemen. Once again, we hear snatches of dialogue between the
police officer and the janitor.
...no as far as I know. During the
whole time, they had a nurse, but
it's been a while since I last saw
her. My wife has been...
The plain-clothes detective enters the bedroom which is now
accessible. Its windows are open and the draft makes the
curtains billow into the room.
(to the firemen who are now curious
enough to come and stand by the
Did you open the windows?
The firemen shake their heads.
The PLAIN-CLOTHES DETECTIVE turns toward the big double bed
placed against the back wall of the bedroom. On the right-
hand bed, there's only the bare mattress. On the left-hand
bed lies the partly decomposed body of an old woman. Where
once there were eyes, now there are only gaping holes. The
corpse has been neatly dressed and is adorned with flowers
that have already dried out a little. On her chest is a
SCENE 2 - White letters on a black background: THE CREDITS
SCENE 3 - INT. CONCERT HALL - NIGHT
All we see is the audience pouring into the hall. GEORGES and
ANNE, both are around eighty, are part of this crowd. They go
to their seats in one of the rows near the front. Once
everybody is seated, we hear the usual ANNOUNCEMENT asking
people to turn off their mobile phones. Some people, caught
with their phones switched on, hasten to comply. Then the
lights go out. APPLAUSE.
Off-screen, we hear the soloist make his entrance. THROATS
ARE CLEARED here and there. Finally, the MUSIC begins.
SCENE 4 - INT. ARTISTS DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
The music from Scene 3 continues. The soloist is surrounded
by admirers who congratulate him.
Now Georges and Anne push their way into the room. (If the
soloist is female, they will be carrying flowers, like most
of the others).
When the soloist notices their presence, he leaves his group
of fans, heads towards them and greets them very warmly,
visibly glad to see them.
SCENE 5 - INT. BUS - NIGHT
Continuation of the MUSIC from Scene 3.
Georges and Anne are seated side by side in the half empty
bus. Anne talks enthusiastically, Georges says something from
time to time, and smiles now and then. They are both relaxed
SCENE 6 - INT. APARTMENT - HALLWAY - NIGHT
The door to the apartment is unlocked and opened from the
outside. THE MUSIC ENDS.
Georges comes in, turns on the light. He and Anne observe the
open door. Around the lock, one can see the traces of an
attempted forced entry.
Georges bends down and runs his fingers over the deep
They used a screwdriver or
something like that...it doesn't
look very professional...
But who would do something like
No idea. Why do people break in?
Because they want to steal
(laughs briefly out loud)
Hey, why not? If I thought about
it, I could come up with at least
three or four people we know who've
After having examined the outside of the second leaf of the
double door, he comes in, closing the door behind him.
What time is it? Can't we call the
I'll do that tomorrow morning.
Anyway, they didn't see anything.
He unbuttons his overcoat and heads toward the large closet
in the hallway.
Don't let it spoil your good mood
Or the police?
Come on, give me your coat.
She goes toward him, he takes her coat off and hangs it with
his in the closet.
Imagine if we were here, in our
beds, and someone broke in.
Why should I imagine that?
But it's terrible! I think I'd die
So would I.
He undoes his shoes.
Shall we have a drink?
I still fancy a drink.
He puts away his shoes with the others and slips on his
slippers. Anne has gone into the bathroom.
Go ahead then. Mathilde told me
that in her building, the attic
apartment was burgled from the
loft. They just knocked a hole in
the wall, cut out all of the
valuable pictures from their frames
and disappeared without a trace.
He goes toward the kitchen.
They must have been professionals.
As he passes in front of the bathroom, he stops and appears
to be looking at Anne.
Did I tell you, you looked good
SHORT PAUSE. THEN:
What's got into you?
With a gentle LAUGH, Georges disappears into the kitchen,
where he turns on the lights. We hear him FIDDLING AROUND,
apparently getting a glass and some wine. After a short
Weren't those semiquavers in the
presto incredible? What staccato!
Don't you agree?
You're proud of him, huh?
SCENE 7 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Georges wakes up. He looks with amazement beside him, then
raises his eyes. Anne is sitting upright, her back against
After a while, the RINGING of a kitchen egg-timer leads us to
the next scene.
SCENE 8 - INT. KITCHEN - DAY
The egg timer in the kitchen RINGS.
Georges is seated in front of the window, at a table which is
half set for breakfast. He has mobile phone raised to his ear
and a phone book opened in front of him. Anne is getting up
from the table. She goes toward the stove, turns off the gas,
takes the egg out of the pan with a spoon and runs it under
cold water. Like Georges, she is still in her robe.
(on the phone)
What about next week? No but still,
it would make sense to get it done
soon. It might give people silly
ideas. And anyway, it's too ugly to
look at... Wednesday? What time?
OK... Will you bring the paint with
you too, to paint over it? But at
least some primer...Yes, OK. Thank
He hangs up.
You can depend on that guy.
(who comes back to the table with
the egg) I hope so. The last time,
he kept us waiting for ages, if you
(laughs while acquiescing)
Yes, that's true. (Reacting when
she places the egg in his egg cup)
Thanks. If I call a regular
professional, we'll still be
waiting two months time.
(more to herself)
She has sat down. Looks straight ahead. He cracks open his
egg, puts salt on it, eats.
The Frodons waited three days when
their toilet was blocked. Not
He eats. Wants to put on more salt, but the saltcellar is
The saltcellar is empty.
He looks up for an instant, as if he expected her to deal
with it. As she doesn't react, he realizes the
inappropriateness of such an expectation, gets up himself,
heads for the kitchen cupboards and fills the salt cellar.
I don't know if he's going to bring
us the CD. Maybe he won't come at
all. In any case, he didn't mention
it. I'd like to buy it. It was
really good and I don't want to
wait long for it. We could go to
Virgin this afternoon and buy it.
What do you say?
He comes back to the table and sits down again.
Hmmm? Anne? What's the matter?
She looks at him and doesn't answer.
What's going on? What's the matter?
He waves his hand in front of her eyes and laughs nervously.
Helllloooo!!! Cuckoo!!! I'm here!
She continues to look at him without reacting.
(serious now) Anne! What's going
He waits, looks at her. No reaction. He stands up slightly,
leans over the table to sit beside her. Tries to make her
turn toward him.
Anne, what's the matter?
He manages to get her torso to turn halfway toward him, but
her eyes look through him.
He takes her face in both hands and turns toward him.
She stares into the void. He drops his hands. Then sits
beside her, for quite awhile.
Finally he gets up, heads for the sink, turns on the tap,
wets a tea towel, wrings it out a little, comes back and
places it on Anne's face. Waits for a reaction that doesn't
come. Then he pulls up her hair in the nape of her neck and
applies the cloth there. Then sits down and looks at her
(close to tears)
Once again they both remain seated. In the background, we
hear the GUSHING of the tap that in his panic he has
forgotten to turn it off.
Making a sudden decision, he gets up, rapidly crossing the
hallway, he goes into the bedroom where he starts to dress
agitatedly, which takes him quite a lot of time. Suddenly,
the GUSHING of the tap stops, which had accompanied us as far
as the bedroom.
George doesn't notice it immediately, then he stops short.
Finally he returns, half dressed, into the kitchen.
Anne is seated in the same place and looks at him.
What are you doing?
She turns toward the breakfast.
You left the water running.
Georges stares at her.
(both aghast and furious)
Hey, what's going on? Are you
completely crazy? Is this supposed
to be a joke, or what's going on?
She looks at him with amazement.
What did you say?
Is this a joke? Is this meant to be
What joke? I don't get it! Why are
you talking to me like that? What's
got into you?
Georges comes from the door to the table.
Anne! Please! Stop this game. It's
What game, for Christ's sake? What
on earth's the matter?!!
Georges is about to answer in a similarly irritated tone,
but gradually begins to suspect that he could be mistaken. He
tries to calm down, takes his chair that has remained beside
Anne, sits down and looks at his wife. She doesn't know how
What's the matter? Why didn't you
To what? To me, to everything.
Just now. A moment ago.
Please tell me what's wrong. What
am I supposed to have done?
Georges first looks away reluctantly, then looks at Anne. He
doesn't want to believe that its serious.
I don't know what to say. Do you
really not know what just happened?
But what DID happen?
(almost reluctantly bowing his head
as he speaks) You were sitting
there, staring at me. You didn't
answer me when I asked you what the
He picks up the wet tea towel from the table.
I put this tea towel on your face,
and you didn't react.
Anne looks at the towel, then at Georges, and shakes her
head, perturbed that she can't understand. Georges looks at
her. He sees the damp marks on the collar of her robe.
Look... There's still dampness on
Anne follows his gesture, tugs on her collar and sees the
damp marks. She slowly grasps that something is awry.
When... When was it?
Just now, a few minutes ago.
There's no "So". I went into the
bedroom to get dressed. I wanted to
Yes, and then you turned off the
Yes. Because you left it on.
I don't understand.
Neither do I.
Don't you think it's best if I call
Why? What can he do?
I don't know. Examine you.
I'm fine. There's nothing wrong
Anne, please!! That's absurd. We
can't pretend that nothing
But what DID happen?
I'm here. I'm having my breakfast,
and you're telling me things
happened that I don't understand.
Can you explain how the tea towel
No, I can't!
Who turned on the tap?
Can you remember that?
(more and more desperate, close to
tears) No I can't! Do you want to
torture me? Leave me in peace!
Georges looks at her.
Don't you think it would be better
to fetch Dr. Bertier?
She takes her cup of tea, as if to show how well she is, and
drinks it up. When she wants to re-fill her cup, she
completely misses her aim. She notices it, puts down her cup
and bursts into tears.
SCENE 9 - INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT
We see wide shots of the apartment. The hallway. The bedroom.
The living room. The dining room. The kitchen. Nobody in
SCENE 10 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
EVA, around 50, has come to pay a visit. Anne isn't there.
You know how he is. Once he's got
something into his head, he has to
go through with it. In the end,
everybody was delighted. And
besides, it didn't hurt our
financial situation. We're playing
until the 28th.
Then we have 10 days to rest, then
we go to Stockholm for four days,
and then to Kumo in Finland. Heaven
knows where that is. At the North
Pole. But Geoff's already been
there few times, and he loves it.
We're playing the "Dowland
Transcriptions" there and then
we're back in London.
What about the children?
Liz is at boarding school and John
is living his own life. He's twenty-
six years old.
What does he do?
He's a student. We rarely see him.
He's got his own ideas. Life Geoff.
They don't really get along. Geoff
wants to advise him on everything,
and John doesn't like that at all.
Is he good?
I think so. He's less impulsive.
That sounds rather derogatory.
No!! He's not like Geoff. Quiet,
but stubborn. I think he'll do all
right. At the last Conservatory
concert, he played the solo part in
the Haydn Concerto. It was very
good. Geoff was there and
congratulated him at the end.
What do you mean?
Did you both make up?
(with a little laugh)
My God, you know him, don't you?
Over the winter, he suddenly
discovered his passion for a viola
player who'd been in our ensemble
for years. What can I tell you? It
was a huge drama, and the poor
little darling wound up trying to
commit suicide. That scared him and
he came back to me in full remorse.
I've got used to it now. What's a
bit embarrassing is that the
ensemble, you can't keep any
secrets from anyone.
Do you love him?
Yes, I think so.
Georges gestures that it's too complicated.
What can I say? The carotid artery
was blocked. They did an ultrasound
scan, two in fact, and they said
they had to operate on her. She was
scared. She was confused and
scared. You know she has always
been afraid of doctors. They said
the risk was very low and that if
they didn't operate, she'd be
certain to have a serious stroke.
And what do they say now?
Just that it didn't go well. It's
one of the 5% that go wrong.
It's pretty upsetting.
He looks at his watch.
Usually at this time, I take a nap.
My blood sugar is somewhere down in
I'm so sorry.
What can I do for you?
Nothing. It was nice of you to come
despite all of your stress.
She doesn't know what to say.
No, really. There's nothing you can
do. We'll see how things go when
she's back here in the apartment.
We'll manage. Maybe I'll get a
caretaker in, or maybe I'll manage
on my own. We'll see. We've been
through quite a lot in our time,
your mother and I.
All this is still a bit new.
(with a little laugh)
It's funny. I don't know if I
should say it. Maybe it'll
embarrass you. But when I came here
a short while ago, I suddenly
remembered how I always used to
listen to the two of you making
love when I was little.
For me, at the time, it was
reassuring. It gave me a feeling
that you loved each other, and that
we'd always be together.
SCENE 11 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
A carpenter and his assistant are raising the base of the
double bed. Georges watches.
SCENE 12 - INT. HALLWAY - LIVING ROOM - DAY
The door of the apartment is opened. Georges comes in. Behind
him is Anne in a wheelchair, pushed by a paramedic. A second
paramedic (as young as the first) follows with a suitcase and
a large bag. Behind them, the superintendent.
Georges tries to rid of the three as quickly as possible. He
stuffs a twenty euro note into the hand of the first
Here. Thank you very much. It's for
both of you. You can just put the
things down here. There, beside the
window, right. We'll be okay on our
own. Thanks a lot.
The two paramedics exchange a brief glance, say thanks, and
leave the apartment, passing the superintendent as they go.
(to the superintendent)
Thank you, Mr. Mery.
If you need anything, just call
downstairs. If we can help at
Right now everything's fine. I'll
let your wife know as soon as we
It's nice to have you back, Mrs.
Yes. Thank you, Mr. Mery. Thank
The superintendent hesitates another moment.
Yes... So... Goodbye then, ma'am.
Welcome home again. Goodbye, Sir.
Goodbye, Mr. Mery.
He leaves the apartment.
There is a brief moment of perplexity. Then Georges says:
(with a nervous smile)
Where do you want...
In the living room.
Georges pushes her toward the living room door, walks around
the wheelchair, opens the door, comes back behind the
wheelchair and pushes Anne into the LIVING ROOM.
The doorway is narrow. The wheelchair only just passes
through it. Georges pushes Anne toward the sofa and the
armchairs and then steps in front of her.
Shall I make some tea?
(with a faint smile)
First come sit with me.
George registers her smile; he knows he's behaving in a
clumsy way. He sits down in one of the two arm chairs.
Can you help me into the chair?
Georges stands back up.
He extends his hands. She puts on the wheelchair brake, lifts
the footrest with her left foot, raises her right leg from
the footrest with her left hand and then extends her left arm
It's best if you put my arm around
your neck and your right arm around
me, that way it'll be easy.
He does as he is told, pulls her up as they hobble together
the short distance to the second arm chair. Cautiously, he
lowers her down and helps her sit herself straight. Because
they are not used to it, the whole process appears awkward
He smiles because it seems silly to him to answer "Don't
mention it". Then he sits down opposite her.
At first they are both ill at ease, but then they accept the
fact that words do not come easily. After a long while,
during which we hear the intermittent sound of the TRAFFIC
(softly almost to himself)
I'm glad you're back.
(in a voice just as soft)
Another PAUSE. Then Anne says:
Promise me one thing.
Please never take me back to the
She looks at him. He has understood.
Don't talk right now. And don't
give me any lectures. Please.
What can I say, it's...
Nothing. Just don't say anything.
SCENE 13 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
He helps her into bed, then throws the blanket over her.
Thank you. Thank you, Darling.
You don't have to hold my hand all
the time now. I can look after
myself, you know.
And don't feel guilty. That would
be pointless. And a drag. For me
I don't feel guilty.
Go over there now. I'm not a
cripple. You can easily leave me
alone for two minutes. I won't
(with a slight smile)
Did you buy the new book on
I've already read it.
Do you want it? I'll get it for
He goes out of the room to fetch the book. She remains lying
there, waiting, and runs her healthy left hand through her
hair to make herself look prettier, then smooths out the
blanket that has slipped out of place a little. After a
while, we hear Georges shouting.
I don't know where I put it.
Don't worry. It isn't that
Yes, it is. Hold on, maybe it's in
the... Just a moment! Viola! Here
you are! Nothing like an infallible
She smiles, looks in his direction. He enters with the book
in his hand.
I thought I'd left it over there in
the other room, but I'd already put
it away. Tidy people just can't
help being tidy.
(taking the book)
She puts the book on her stomach. Looks at Georges.
Right now, take care of yourself.
And don't wait to see how I hold
the book in my hand, OK?
He looks at her for a moment longer, then leaves the bedroom.
She waits till he's outside. Tries to relax. Then she
remembers the book. She takes it in her left hand and tries
to open it. It's not easy for her.
Then she notices that she's forgotten her glasses. She rests
the book back on the bed cover and fishes for her glasses on
the night stand. In the end, she manages it. Then she opens
the book again, and tries to read.
SCENE 14 - INT. KITCHEN - DAY
The superintendent's wife puts the filled supermarket bags on
the counter. Takes the stack of mail that she had put on top
of one of the bags and puts it down beside them. Then she
takes out the receipt and the change.
Unfortunately the strawberries were
already moldy. I'll go and get you
some fresh ones tomorrow from the
market. My husband will bring you
the bottled water this afternoon.
I'm not supposed to carry anything
heavy: my back, you know...
Sure, no problem.
It came to 76 euros and 40 cents.
There's the till receipt and here's
your change: 23 euros 60.
Thank you very much. Keep the
Thank you, sir.
Short embarrassed PAUSE.
SUPERINTENDENT'S WIFE (CONT'D)
Well, I'll be off. Call me if you
need anything else.
Yes. I will.
Is your wife well? ...
Yes, she's OK. She's recovering.
Fine. Give her my regards. My
husband and I are very glad she's
Yes, we are too. Bye, Mrs. Méry,
thanks so much.
She heads toward the front door of the apartment, turns
around again toward Georges.
SUPERINTENDENT'S WIFE (CONT'D)
I'll bring you the strawberries
tomorrow around noon, if that suits
He nods, she closes the door as she leaves.
SCENE 15 - INT. HALLWAY - TOILET - DAY
He stands in front of the closed door of the toilet, waiting.
After a while, we hear the noise of flushing. After a while
longer, we hear
There. Can you come in, please?
He opens the toilet door, goes around Anne, pulls her up, she
puts her left arm around his neck, keeps herself upright that
way, he pulls up her pants under her skirt. Then they slowly
hobble out of the toilet and he sits her back down in the
SCENE 16 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
They are both lying in their beds. Anne sleeps, BREATHING
NOISILY. Georges lies with his eyes open, listening
attentively to her breathing.
SCENE 17 - INT. KITCHEN - DAY
The sun shines in. Georges has cooked something simple. They
are both in a good mood, eating and drinking.
... some banal romance or other
about a nobleman and a lower middle-
class girl who couldn't have each
other and who then, out of sheer
magnanimity, decide to renounce
their love - in fact I don't quite
remember it any more. In any case,
afterwards I was thoroughly
distraught, and it took me a bit of
time to calm down. In the courtyard
of the house where grandma lived,
there was a young guy at the window
who asked me where I'd been. He was
a couple of years older than me, a
braggart who of course really
impressed me. "To the movies", I
said, because I was proud that my
grandma had given me the money to
go all alone to the cinema.
"What did you see?" I started to
tell him the story of the movie,
and as I did, all the emotion came
back. I didn't want to cry in front
of the boy, but it was impossible;
there I was, crying out loud in the
courtyard, and I told him the whole
drama to the bitter end.
So? How did he react?
No idea. He probably found it
amusing. I don't remember. I don't
remember the film either. But I
remember the feeling. That I was
ashamed of crying, but that telling
him the story made all my feelings
and tears come back, almost more
powerfully than when I was actually
watching the film, and that I just
She looks at him, smiles, then turns back to her food.
That's cute. Why didn't you ever
tell me before?
There are still a few stories you
Aha...? Don't tell me you're going
to ruin your image in your old age?
You bet I won't. But what is my
She takes a mouthful, eats ponderously. Then she looks at
Sometimes you're a rotter. But
Can I take you for a drink?
SCENE 18 - INT. HALLWAY - DAY
He does physiotherapy exercises with her. Counts the
repetitive movements of the exercises.
SCENE 19 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
She's lying on the sofa. He's seated in the armchair. They're
both reading the newspaper. After a while:
Listen to this! My horoscope.
Motto: You have lots of verve, but
need to be more serious!
Love: High-class conversation is
what you need.
Work: You're motivated again. But
proceed with care.
Health: Loosen up by doing
exercises. It'll give you renewed
You've only yourself to blame if
you read stuff like that.
Brief PAUSE. Then:
Tomorrow afternoon is Pierre's
You have to go.
I fear I must. I don't want to go
Who does like going to funerals?
Oh, I know a few people who do.
Annette can never wait to get all
dolled up again. And François
You're mean. What would you say if
no one came to your funeral?
(dryly) Nothing, presumably.
She shoots him a glance, smiles at his irony. Then she says:
Have you talked to Jeanne since I
was in the hospital? I mean, does
she know I can't come?
What did she say?
She was shocked.
(a bit irritated)
My God, what are people like when
they're shocked? She couldn't
believe it, she was speechless. I
don't remember any more. In any
case, not exactly. I've spoken to a
lot of people since.
No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be
unkind, but I just don't see the
point of talking about it all the
Do I talk about it all the time?
SCENE 20 - INT. HALLWAY - LIVING ROOM - DAY
The front door is unlocked from the outside, and Georges
enters. He's back from the funeral, dressed for the occasion.
He turns on the light. He's wet. Clearly, it's been raining.
As he closes the door again, his eyes fall on Anne. With her
back to him, she is sitting on the floor in front of the
opened window of the light well, half propped against her
What ... ?!
Shaken, he heads toward her, picks her up and seats her in
the wheelchair. Outside, in the light well, it is raining.
(once she's seated in the
Why are you back already? What time
Georges has understood immediately. He closes the window
Then just stands there, at a loss.
Forgive me, I was too slow.
Can you wheel me into the living
He turns toward her, pushes the wheelchair into the living
room between the two armchairs. Turns on the light. Stops
beside the switch. They both look exhausted.
You're always good at surprises.
Yes. Why are you home earlier?
I didn't come home earlier. I took
a taxi. In August, there isn't a
lot of traffic.
That's true. How was the funeral?
How was it, go on, tell me!
He thinks an instant, then goes and sits down facing her in
an armchair. Looks at her. She raises her head and returns
his look. He understands that he can't insist right now. Long
PAUSE. Then he begins:
It was rather bizarre. The priest
was an idiot. Then one of Pierre's
co-workers made a speech that was
embarrassingly emotional. His old
secretary came with a radio-
cassette player and after the
speech she put on "Yesterday" by
the Beatles. You can't imagine.
Everybody turned round to look at
her. Apparently, it wasn't planned.
His grandchildren were there. Of
course they giggled as soon as the
music began. Then the urn was put
on a huge stretcher that was
obviously designed for a coffin,
and out we went into the rain. They
placed the urn on a small electric
cart that crawled along for what
seemed like an eternity to the tiny
hole they had dug. A lot of people
had to stifle their laughter. It
must have been terrible for Jeanne.
There's just no point in going on
living. I know it can only get
worse. Why should I inflict it on
us? On you and me.
You're not inflicting anything on
You don't have to lie, Georges.
Imagine you were me. Didn't you
ever think something like this
could happen to one of us?
Of course I did. But imagination
and reality have little in common.
But things are getting better every
Georges, I don't want to carry on.
You're making such efforts to make
everything easier for me. But I
don't want to go on. For my own
sake. Not yours.
I don't believe you. I know you.
You think you're a burden on me.
But what if things were the other
way around? What would you do then?
I don't know. I can't be bothered
to think about being you. I'm
tired. You tire me. Everything
tires me. I can't talk. I want to
go to bed.
He looks at her. Finally he gets up and pushes her wheelchair
out of frame.
SCENE 21 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
She is lying in bed. The bedside lamp is on.
We hear the RADIO coming from the living room: a program
about the fauna and flora of the South Seas, or something
SCENE 22 - INT. HALLWAY - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Georges comes out of the kitchen and opens the front door. On
the doorstep stands the soloist (male or female) from Scenes
3 and 4.
(somewhat perplexed, but pleased)
Oh hello! Nice to see you.
Forgive me for dropping in on you
like this, Professor. I tried to
reach you by phone a couple of
times, but no luck.
I'm sorry. I only pick up the phone
when I've stored the caller's
number and I can see who's calling.
Why didn't you leave a message?
Anyway, do come in...
He closes the door behind his guest.
I just couldn't manage to come by
after the concert. I was so sorry,
because I was so pleased you came
Come with me.
While they pass into the living room, they continue to speak:
... And now, an unexpected
opportunity has arisen because
François Mitry called me - you know
him, he's my agent - to say he'd
arranged for me to meet the boss of
the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
tonight to talk about their new
So I flew to Paris this morning,
and while I was in my hotel, I
thought, I'll just give it a try
and drop in. After all, it's
virtually just around the corner.
Sorry, these are for your wife.
He takes the bouquet of flowers from its wrapping paper and
hands it to Georges.
Isn't she at home?
Yes, she is. I'll go and get her in
a minute. Have a seat.
I hope I'm not disturbing you too
No, not at all. I'm happy that you
came. We were so thrilled by your
concert. We hoped we'd see you
again soon. Please do have a seat.
Can I can get you something? A cup
No, no, thank you very much.
Hold on, I'll just freshen up the
flowers; in this heat they wilt so
I've only just bought them. They
should keep quite...
But Georges has already left the room with the bouquet and
closed the door behind him. The soloist looks around him.
After a few moments we hear the VOICES of Anne and Georges in
the distance, without understanding what they're saying. It
lasts a while.
Finally Georges opens the door and pushes Anne, in her
wheelchair, into the living room.
Martin! What a delight. How lovely
to see you!
The (male or female) soloist has got up and doesn't quite
know how to handle the situation.
Mrs. Laurent! Lovely to see you
Don't get up. Come on, sit yourself
down and don't look so shocked.
The soloist sits down hesitantly, Georges pushes the
wheelchair between the two armchairs and also sits down.
Brief embarrassed PAUSE.
I'm so proud of you. We were both
in raptures after your concert.
Georges wanted to buy your new CD
the very next morning.
Oh God! I wanted to bring you the
CD, but I left in such a hurry that
I forgot it. I'm so sorry. I'll get
one today and drop it by.
No, no, don't worry. We want to
make a contribution to your
success. Even if it's only twenty
You've already contributed so much.
I owe you so much, Madame.
You owe it to your hard work and
(shaking his head a little) Do you
remember, when you first gave me
the Bagatelles to play? I was
twelve at the time, and in my
youthful arrogance I said: "But why
the Bagatelles?" And you really
gave me a piece of your mind.
They both smile. PAUSE. Then he goes on:
So what happened?
My right side is paralyzed, that's
all. It can happen when you get
Let's talk about something else,
Don't be offended. But I want to
enjoy the lovely interlude you've
given us with your visit.
You haven't told us yet what's been
going on since the Paris concert.
The soloist is a bit thrown by the couple's behavior.
Well, actually I've spent most of
the time in London studying. Then I
went to Copenhagen for two
performances, that was Schubert
too. My whole life revolves around
Schubert at the moment. The
concerts with the Impromptus and
the Moments Musicaux, and for my
bread-and-butter work I'm
developing the sonatas. Not the
late ones, I think I still need a
couple more years for those.
(The dialogue concerning music will be modified according to
the performer chosen.)
Could you do me a favor?
Would you play Für Elise?
Um, I don't know if I remember it
very well. Beethoven, it's been a
long time since I've... But if you
Give it a try.
He looks at Georges, then at Anne again, gets up, goes to the
grand piano and plays.
SCENE 23 - INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Georges is leaning against the chest, and watches Anne, who
is practicing maneuvering her new electric wheelchair.
Forward, backward, turning. In the end, she goes round and
round in circles several times. He laughs, so does she.
SCENE 24 - INT. BEDROOM - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Anne is lying in bed. A book rests on her stomach. She
listens to the PIANO playing coming from the living room.
After a while the music stops.
What's the matter?
Georges is seated in front of the open piano. His hands in
his lap, he looks straight ahead.
SCENE 25 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
The superintendent's wife runs the vacuum cleaner over a
SCENE 26 - INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Anne is seated on a stool. Georges washes her.
SCENE 27 - INT. KITCHEN - HALLWAY - BEDROOM - TWILIGHT
Georges has cooked himself a steak and is eating. On the
radio, we hear the EVENING NEWS. Suddenly, coming from the
neighboring room, a LOUD CRASH and the SOUND of crockery
breaking. Stifled CRY from Anne. Georges gets up, irritated,
crosses the HALLWAY and enters the BEDROOM.
Anne lies on the floor, beside the overturned night stand, in
the midst of the crockery and remains of a meal.
(shocked, and hence furious)
Good God, what are you doing?
He hurries toward her and pulls her up rather roughly into
Have you lost your senses?! I don't
believe it! How stupid!
He points to the broken objects.
Look at that! Did you need to do
that? Can't you call me when you
(meekly) I'm sorry.
Yes, so am I.
Georges bends down, and begins to gather up the scattered
The lamp is broken too.
SCENE 28 - INT. BATHROOM - HALLWAY - ANNEX - DAY
Georges, in pajama pants, naked torso, brushes his teeth. The
Georges spits out, wipes his mouth, goes into the hallway and
over to the front door.
Yes? Who's there?
No answer. Georges is very irritated. O.S., Anne calls to
Georges? What's going on? Who is
Georges opens the door. Outside, however, instead of the
usual landing, we see an empty room lit a giorno but without
a window, about as large as the rooms in the apartment. It
looks like an unpainted room in a new apartment. A couple of
ladders are propped against the opposite wall. At the other
end of the room, to the side, is a small door. Georges is
stunned, and doesn't understand what has happened.
Hesitating, he crosses the room toward the door.
O.S., in the distance, Anne's worried voice:
Georges? What's going on?
Georges opens the small door. Behind it is a narrow,
windowless corridor, as brightly lit as the room. At the end
of the corridor, a door. Georges heads toward this door and
opens it too. Behind it is a tiny windowless room, equally
bright as the others. Everything is very quiet. Georges
enters, turns round, then goes back along the corridor,
crosses the room, comes through the apartment door into the
hallway of the apartment. But it too is now empty and bright,
with bare unpainted walls, no doors; only the door to the
bedroom is open. Behind that too, it appears to be empty and
bright. Georges goes toward it.
At the same time, we hear GEORGES' VOICE. At first he groans,
but then begins inarticulately hollering, louder and louder.
Shortly after, we also hear:
Georges, what's going on?
SCENE 29 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Darkness. GEORGES HOLLERS
Calm down will you! There's nothing
there. It's nothing.
She manages to switch on the bedside lamp. Georges is sitting
up in his bed, having just awoken, wide-eyed with terror. His
breathing is labored.
Anne extends her good hand toward him, caresses his back to
calm him. He slowly calms down and flops back on his pillow.
What was it?
He doesn't answer. Continues breathing heavily. She caresses
(still with labored breathing)
I didn't understand... I thought
I'd gone mad... It was something
SCENE 30 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Close shot on the screen of a cell phone. We read on it:
Coming to Paris on 12th. Plan to stop by in afternoon. Hope
all well. So look forward to seeing you. Love Eva.
We hear O.S. the voice of
Eva. They're coming on the 12th.
He crouches down in front of Anne who is seated on the bed,
puts his mobile phone back in his pocket and continues to put
on her socks and her shoes.
No idea. Apparently she's coming
When is it?
I don't know exactly. What day is
it today? I'll go and look.
I don't want that.
Geoff doesn't need to come.
Georges doesn't agree, but continues to dress Anne.
I don't need any comments on my
predicament. I can only take his
British humor in small doses.
SCENE 31 - INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Once more the set of physiotherapy exercises. Things are
going better. Georges smiles encouragingly at Anne, noticing
her improvement. She reacts like someone duty-bound, but
SCENE 32 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Close shot: a CD is inserted into a player. As the MUSIC
begins (the concert heard in Scene 3), Georges takes a card
out of the envelope that contained the CD and reads it to
Dear Madame Laurent, Dear Monsieur
Laurent, it was beautiful and yet
sad to see you. My heartfelt wishes
that things will get better.
With deep gratitude, your former
The MUSIC makes their SILENCE less awkward. Then, after a
long while, Anne says:
Stop the CD.
He hesitates, looks at her, then stops the music. They remain
SCENE 33- INT. KITCHEN - ADJOINING ROOM - DAY
They eat. Suddenly, Anne says:
Where are the family albums?
The family albums? I don't know,
there, in the other room. Why?
Can you get them for me?
I'd like to look at them.
Georges hesitates, and doesn't understand the suddenness of
He finally gets up and goes into the adjoining room. He comes
back after a few moments with a stack of albums, pushes away
the remains of Anne's meal and sets down the first album in
front of her.
(a bit irritated)
With her able hand, Anne opens the album, looks at the
photos, turns the pages, looks.
Life...so long... What a long
Georges looks at her. She continues to thumb through the
pages. After a while she turns toward him.
Stop watching me.
(caught in the act)
I wasn't watching you.
Of course you were. I'm not that
SCENE 24 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
They are both lying in bed. Georges reads the day's news to
Anne from the newspaper. When he looks over to her, she has
fallen asleep. He then puts the newspaper on the night stand
and turns out the light.
SCENE 35 - INT. BEDROOM - HALLWAY - BATHROOM - DAY
It's morning. Georges is helping Anne to get out of bed into
her wheelchair. As he does it, he notices that the bed and
her nightgown are wet.
You're soaked through.
What do you mean?
He sits her back on the bed and goes out of the room.
I'll be right back.
During this time, she remains seated, feeling embarrassed,
and waits. He comes back with a towel and puts it on the seat
of the wheelchair.
It's no big deal. Come on.
He lifts her out of the bed into the wheelchair and pushes
her through the hallway into the bathroom.
He lifts her out of the wheelchair, sits her on the stool and
takes off her wet nightgown, pulling it over her head. She
starts to SOB inconsolably. He caresses her face.
Come on, darling. It's nothing
serious. Things like that happen..
I can't... take it any more.
He holds her tightly against him, strokes her hair, feeling
My love. My darling.
SCENE 36 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Anne is in bed. She's on a drip. Eva is seated on a chair
beside the bed.
... thinking about whether it
wouldn't be better to invest the
money in an apartment block. If
inflation gets going again,
property is the only sure thing.
Right now, savings accounts pay
1.75% at best. Four years ago,
Geoff bought some stocks with a
small sum of money and the whole
thing collapsed. So now we're
obviously worried. Unfortunately,
in the meantime, other people have
had the same idea, and property
prices are going through the roof.
Since we came back from
Scandinavia, I spend all my spare
time looking through newspaper ads.
To put an end to the PAUSE that follows, she adds:
It takes time, that's all. We'll
find something in the end.
Another oppressive PAUSE.
(slowly) Yes yes I have... I
have... the grandmother... woman
with house... not... the house then
I don't understand you, I'm afraid.
... yes... now... it's all... house
sel... sel... sel... was... in two
strokes of... so quickly... god
it's hard... to say... sell...
money gone... left... there too...
PAUSE. Eva has tears in her eyes.
SCENE 37 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Georges and Eva's husband, GEOFF, around fifty. He speaks
with a British accent.
... three times a week... I'm not
experienced enough. We'll see if
How much is she asking?
It's paid by the hour. We'll see.
Geoff nods. Georges shrugs.
It's hard to say. Sometimes I get
the feeling she's totally unaware
of the state she's in. And then I
feel the opposite. It's... I don't
And what about the doctor? What
does he say?
Eva comes in through the door. She's in floods of tears.
She only talks gibberish. I don't
Geoff gets up, hesitantly.
He goes toward her and leads her to the armchair where he was
...come here, sit down, it's OK.
She shakes him off, irritated, and sits down.
Nothing is OK.
At first he's vexed by her brusque response, but then goes to
sit down on the sofa. Meanwhile, Eva turns to Georges:
What's going on, actually? You
can't just leave her lying on her
bed like that! She's
unrecognizable! It's ridiculous!
We can't do anything for the
moment. Calm down, darling. She's
getting medical treatment, they
give her the necessary medication,
and there are no other options
What does that mean, "no other
options"? Why isn't she in a
She had a second stroke. Bertier
examined her and felt we could
spare her all the hospital
Anyway, they wouldn't keep her,
they'd send her to a care home.
What they do in those places, we
can do here.
Eva looks at him, amazed.
And she won't be put in a care
home. I promised her that.
Don't you think you're taking on
Have you got a better idea?
Geoff doesn't know what to say. Eva has composed herself
somewhat and blows her nose.
I can't believe that these days
there's no way of handling this
No one's stopping you from finding
Eva gets up, furious, and goes to the window. Georges follows
her with his eyes.
Believe me, I love your mother as
much as you do. So please, don't
treat me as if I was a total idiot
incapable of doing the obvious.
I didn't say that. I'm simply
questioning whether what I see
going on here is the answer to
Don't you want to get a second
Now you two had better stop, OK?
Another doctor did come. He said
Bertier was right. From Monday, a
nurse will come three times a week.
Now can we talk about something
SCENE 38 - INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Georges washes the tea cups that he used for Eva and Geoff.
On the radio, the EVENING NEWS.
SCENE 39 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
With expert gestures, a nurse shows Georges how to lie Anne
down and put an incontinence pad on her. She's now almost
incapable of moving, and has to be turned over like an
object, as tears flow silently down her face.
SCENE 40 - INT. LIVING ROOM -DAY
Anne is at the piano and plays the piece from the Scene 3. We
watch her and listen to her for a while.
Georges is seated in his armchair and looks at the piano.
Finally he leans over toward the CD player and stops it. The
MUSIC suddenly stops. Georges remains silently seated.
SCENE 41 - INT. KITCHEN - HALLWAY - BEDROOM - DAY
He prepares a bowl of muesli, fills a sipping cup with water
and brings both into the bedroom. Sits down on the bed close
to Anne to feed her her food.
There, my love, I hope you like it.
He begins to feed her.
I added a little orange juice. I
find it tastes quite good.
She can only swallow slowly, and so something keeps running
back out of her mouth. He wipes it with a tea towel,
continues to feed her. Finally, after a few mouthfuls, she
keeps her mouth shut.
Come on, Anne, you have to eat some
more. You've only swallowed three
Anne continues to keep her lips sealed.
Please, darling. A bit more.
Anne doesn't move. He puts the muesli on the night stand and
holds the sipping cup to her lips. She drinks slowly, one sip
after the other. He pulls the cup back between each sip, to
give her more time. Suddenly she says:
...Mom to the concert...
...Mom to the concert... no
Mom has no dress for the concert?
...Mom to concert... no ... uuu...
Long PAUSE. Georges waits.
SCENE 42 - INT. BATHROOM - DAY
Georges and the nurse install Anne on a metal armchair in the
As she does so, the nurse keeps talking reassuringly to Anne.
Finally, she turns on the tap.
(in a monotone)
Help! Help! Help! Help! Help!
Without being phased, the nurse continues to speak
reassuringly. Georges remains standing there, helpless.
SCENE 43 - INT. KITCHEN - HALLWAY - BEDROOM - DAY
Georges and the nurse are seated at the table with a cup of
coffee. In front of the nurse, on the table, is a sum of
money. As they speak, we hear, coming from the room, Anne's
CALLS FOR HELP.
... we could take turns. She'd come
from 8 till 12 and I'd do 2 until
6, or 3 to 7. That would certainly
relieve the pressure on you.
I'll think about it.
She just has to know in time so she
can arrange it in her schedule.
Yes, of course, I'll let you know
in the next few days.
Very well. I have to go now...
She takes the money on the table, pockets it and gets up.
Thanks for the coffee.
My pleasure. I'll see you out.
They both leave the kitchen. As the nurse, in the hallway,
takes her jacket off the hook in the closet and puts it on,
she comments on Anne's continuing CALLS FOR HELP.
You mustn't take it too seriously.
Usually they always say something.
She might just as well say "Mom,
Mom, Mom". It's just mechanical.
They've reached the door.
He closes the door behind her. Remains motionless a moment,
then goes into the bedroom, where Anne's CALLS FOR HELP,
Georges sits down beside Anne on the bed, takes her hand,
holds her. After a while, Anne calms down, her CALLS FOR HELP
become quieter and finally stop altogether.
After a long PAUSE:
I'd like to hire a second nurse.
The two could take turns. That
would make everything a bit
simpler. What do you think?
Long PAUSE. Then:
SCENE 44 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
They are both lying in bed. Georges SNORES noisily. Anne's
eyes are open.
SCENE 45 - INT. HALLWAY - KITCHEN - DAY
The front door. We hear the key in the lock. Georges enters
with a shopping bag, and behind him is the superintendent. He
carries bigger and heavier bags. Georges holds the door open
Would you mind putting them in the
The superintendent precedes him into the kitchen with the
bags. Georges calls toward the bedroom:
He then follows the superintendent into the kitchen.
The superintendent has put the bags on the work surface.
Thanks very much.
Can I do anything else for you,
No, thanks, Mr. Méry. You've been a
Oh, it's nothing, sir.
Georges has already taken out his wallet and gives some money
to the superintendent.
Thanks a lot, sir.
I'll let you know if I need you
With pleasure, sir.
He gets ready to leave. He stops again in the doorway and
May I say something, sir?
What is it?
My wife and I, we're very impressed
by the way you're managing
everything. I take my hat off to
As he speaks, Georges' mobile phone has started to ring.
(taking the mobile phone from the
pocket of his jacket)
That's very kind of you. Thanks.
See you soon.
Give my regards to your wife.
I certainly will. Thanks.
As the superintendent leaves the apartment, Georges looks at
the display on his mobile phone and makes a call.
Hello Eva, how are you?... Things
SCENE 46 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Georges, standing at the foot of the bed, faces Anne and
(insistently)...Sur le pont ...
...Sur le pont...
po ... pont ... sss
...Sur le pont ... Sur le pont ...
... Ssssur le pont ...
(smiling to encourage her): ... Sur
le pont d'Avignon...
... ssur... le ..
... pont... Sur le pont
d'Avignon... (he begins to sing):
Sur le pont d'Avignon on y danse,
on y danse, sur le pont d'Avignon
tout le monde y danse en rond...
He encourages her to sing with him. Starts singing again:
Sur le pont d' Avignon, on y danse,
on y danse ...
Anne tries to sing too, she has a hint of a smile on her
face, but she produces only isolated SOUNDS.
(singing to encourage Anne,
accompanied by the sounds that she
produces): Sur le pont d'Avignon on
y danse, on y danse ... Sur le pont
d'Avignon tout le monde y danse en
SCENE 47 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
A second nurse is doing Anne's hair roughly. The brush sticks
in her tangled hair.
... there we are...now we're all
beautiful again...so everybody will
admire us...there...you see...
She takes a mirror that she has placed within reach. Holds it
in front of Anne's face.
SECOND NURSE (CONT'D)
Well?... What do we say to that?
Aren't we a pretty sight?
Anne, sickened, averts her eyes. Emits a muffled SOUND. The
nurse ignores it.
SECOND NURSE (CONT'D)
You'll see, Monsieur will be
dazzled by you...
Furious SOUND from Anne.
SCENE 48 - INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
The window opening onto the light well is open. A pigeon has
landed on the window ledge.
It walks to and fro, then finally dares to jump down inside,
onto the floor. It starts to explore the surroundings.
We hear the TOILET FLUSH. Georges comes out of the toilet.
The door opening frightens the pigeon. Alarmed, flapping its
wings, it flutters about the room.
After a moment of surprise, Georges tries to shoo it back
toward the window. But the bird escapes in the opposite
direction. George follows it.
He closes the doors of the other rooms. Coming from the
bedroom, we faintly hear ANNE'S VOICE.
Georges fetches a towel from the bathroom. He chases the
bird. He hits out at the bird for so long that it escapes
back out through the window. Georges, visibly exhausted, has
to sit down on the chest in the hallway.
SCENE 49 - INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Georges and the second nurse.
... as you wish, sir. I don't know
what you were expecting. I gave up
another job to come and work here.
You should have thought it over
before deciding whether you wanted
a second nurse or not.
But I've only just found out how
incompetent you are.
What's that supposed to mean?
I don't want to discuss it with
you. Anyway, you wouldn't
No one has ever complained.
Good for you. (To get rid of her)
How much do I owe you?
(after a brief calculation)
Seven hundred and eighty euros.
Georges takes his wallet from his jacket hanging on the
armchair and takes out eight one-hundred euro bills. The
nurse is hopping mad.
I've never had anything like this
happen to me before. Who do you
think you are?! I've been doing
this job for ten years. I don't
need you to teach me how to do it.
Do you have twenty euros?
The nurse takes out her purse angrily, looks inside.
Then take the eight hundred euros.
You can go now.
The nurse pockets the money.
You're a nasty old man. I feel
sorry for you.
Georges has put back his wallet, turns to her again and looks
I hope from the bottom of my heart
that one day someone treats you the
way you treat your patients, and
that you too will have no way of
defending yourself. Now get out.
She looks at him, at first doesn't know what to answer, then:
Go fuck yourself, you old fart!
She leaves, slamming the door behind her. A few seconds
later, we hear the front door of the apartment fall shut.
Georges sits down in his armchair, looks straight ahead. Then
he lights a cigarette, his hands shake, he smokes.
SCENE 50 - INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
He tries to pour some tea into her mouth with the sipping
cup. She won't loosen her lips.
... Please, open your mouth... go
on... open it... Anne! Please!...
come on... stop that!...
He sits upright.
If you don't drink, you'll die.
Indecipherable SOUND from ANNE.
Is that what you want?
PAUSE. She looks at him. He bends over her again, presents
the cup in front of her sealed lips.
Come on, Anne, please.
She doesn't react. He opens her lips with his fingers and
tries carefully, but using some force, to separate her teeth.
Pours a little tea in. The liquid runs out of her mouth.
He puts down the cup, takes a towel and wipes the liquid,
some of which has run down onto the pillow. He tries to mop
it up. She watches him the whole time. Finally he puts the
towel down beside the cup and looks at her. Tries not to show
his helplessness and his anger.
Anne! ... You can't force me to let
you die of thirst. If you persist,
I'll call Bertier and he'll put you
in hospital. They can force-feed
you there. Is that what you want?
I promised to spare you that. But
you must help me. I'm out of my
He takes the cup again and puts it against her lips.
Her lips remain sealed. He presses the cup hard against them.
Drink that, now!
It hurts her, so she opens her mouth and lets in a little
She closes her mouth again and he puts down the cup.
Then she spits it all out like a fountain. After a moment of
bewilderment, he slaps her.
SILENCE. He's frightened by his own gesture. Then he puts
down the cup and sits on the chair beside the bed. They don't
look at each other.
Please, forgive me.
(softly) Help... Help... Help...
SCENE 51 - INT. APARTMENT - DAY
The various paintings hanging in the apartment. Without their
frames. Like views on various realities.
SILENCE. Sometimes, the REMOTE sound of TRAFFIC in the
SCENE 52 - INT. HALLWAY - LIVING ROOM - DINING ROOM - DAY
Georges is drinking tea and reading the newspaper. SILENCE.
Suddenly, the DOORBELL RINGS.
Georges, annoyed, puts down his newspaper, gets up, goes into
the hallway and goes to the front door.
(a bit irritated) Yes.
Georges, panicked, thinks for a few seconds.
Just a minute.
He goes toward the bedroom door, locks it and puts the key in
his pocket. He goes into the dining room, also closes the
door leading to the bedroom. He comes back. He is about to go
toward the front door, but remains motionless an instant,
opens the door of the toilet that is located just nearby,
flushes the toilet, closes the toilet door again and opens
the front door.
A brief kiss hello.
Hello. What was going on?
I was in the toilet. Sorry.
He closes the front door behind Eva, indicates the direction
of the living room.
Eva points to the bedroom with a questioning look. He shakes
his head as if to play down the question, and indicates back
in the direction of the living room, as if to say: "You
understand, huh?". Eva is slightly irritated, but follows him
into the living room.
He closes the door.
Why this unannounced visit? Where
have you come from?
What's going on with Mom?
Nothing. What should be going on?
Well... (gesture toward the
Don't you want to sit down first?
Eva wants to answer, but finally gives in and sits down.
Georges does the same.
So why are you in Paris?
What's going on with Mom? Why don't
you answer the phone? After our
last conversation, I left four
messages on your answering machine.
Why don't you call back?
Sorry. I didn't listen to it.
Don't you realize we're worried?
Your worries are no use to me.
Eva glares at him.
No, don't get me wrong. I'm not
criticizing you. I just don't have
the time to deal with your worries,
No. Let's stop this conversation
right there. I'm taking care of
your mother. It's a full-time job.
And I'm not saying that to
complain, just to explain why I
didn't answer your phone calls and
why I don't want to have any
pointless discussions on the
subject. Your mother is just as
could have been expected: bad the
She is turning more and more into a
helpless child, and it's sad and
humiliating, for her and for me.
And she doesn't want to be seen in
that state either. Even the last
time you visited, she didn't want
you to come. You two have your own
life. Nothing wrong with that. But
let us have our life too. Even
though it's a lousy one. OK?
Dad, what's the matter?
Nothing's the matter; your visit
caught me by surprise. And I'm
annoyed that you show up here to
check that everything's OK. Who do
you think you are?
PAUSE. Eva is speechless.
Then she gets up and makes to go to the door.
Stay here, will you!
She stops short, looks at him.
(softly, but insistently)
She hesitates a moment, but winds up leaving the living room.
WE HEAR HER PASS IN THE HALLWAY TO GO INTO THE BEDROOM AND
HER VAIN ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE DOOR.
Mom? ... Mom??
Georges remains seated, motionless, until she comes back. She
seems upset by the situation, as one would expect.
Tell me, what's going on? Have you
Please, sit down.
I don't want to sit down. What's
going on here?
Nothing's going on. I want to spare
us all a pointless drama. I presume
your mother is asleep. She mostly
sleeps the whole day. And then she
wakes up at night. If you really
want to, we'll go and see her in a
little while. Now, sit down. OK?
They look at each other.
Reluctantly, Eva heads toward her armchair and sits down.
PAUSE. Then Georges goes on in a quiet voice:
We do our speech exercises every
day, or we sing together. Most of
the time, I wake up around 5. At
that time, she's still awake. Then
we change her incontinence pad. I
rub cream on her to avoid sores.
Then, around 7, I try to persuade
her to eat and drink. Sometimes it
works, sometimes not. Sometimes she
tells me things from her childhood,
then for hours she calls for help,
and then an instant later she's
giggling away to herself, or
crying. Nothing of any of that is
worth showing to anyone.
SILENCE. Eva looks down. Finally, she says:
You can't stop me from seeing her.
They remain seated for a moment, finally Eva gets up. Georges
follows her into the hallway.
He unlocks the door and they enter the bedroom.
The bright light from outside filters through the blinds.
Eva goes over to the bed, looks at Anne. Finally, she
caresses her face, shyly and clumsily. Anne opens her eyes.
Looks at her. No movement.
It's me, Mom.
Anne emits a FURIOUS SOUND.
Can I do something for you? Mom...
Mom... Mom... Mom... Mom... Mom...
Georges has remained by the door. After a while, they both
leave the bedroom, cross the hallway to come back in the
Georges closes the door. For an instant he puts a consoling
hand on Eva's shoulder. Then he sits down.
Eva, trying to compose herself, goes toward the window and
looks outside. Suddenly she starts sobbing.
After a while, Georges gets up and goes out of the room. Eva,
vexed, blows her nose.
Shortly after, Georges comes back. He has another teacup in
his hand, puts it down beside his on the table and sits down.
The tea isn't very hot any more.
Eva turns toward him.
But it does make you feel better.
After a short PAUSE, Eva comes toward the table. Sits down.
He fills her cup.
She takes the cup, drinks. Replaces it. Still can't bring
herself to look at him.
It was silly of me to lock the
door. I'm sorry. You took me by
surprise, that's all. I'm sorry.
She nods her head, indicating she understands. Finally she
looks at him:
What's going to happen now?
(with a little ironic laugh)
What's going to happen now? The
nurse comes twice a week, and every
two weeks Dr. Bertier and the
hairdresser come. That's what you
want to know, right?
Things will go on as they have done
up until now. They'll go from bad
to worse. Things will go on, and
then one day it will all be over.
You can't go on like this, Dad.
Can't I? What do you suggest?
Can't we have a serious talk, you
What do you call "a serious talk"?
What do you want to suggest? Do you
want to have Mom live with you? Do
you want to pack her off to a care
home? Do you? What do you want? Go
on, talk to me "seriously"!
Eva looks at him.
SCENE 53 - INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Georges is seated on the bed beside Anne, who is still
(in a rush)... short... short
dress... only I... only I... all
long... it was... (with a small
gesture to imitate a bell): ding...
Yes, it swung to and fro.
(still rushed) ... yes... to ...
fro ... you... very serious... like
that... (she imitates a serious
countenance, continues in a low
voice): like that... serious...
(unable to keep from laughing a
little) Yes. I think I was pretty
(smiling) yes... up... tight...
PAUSE. Anne puts her hand on Georges'.
... it was n...nice...
SCENE 54 - INT. BATHROOM - HALLWAY - BEDROOM - DAY
Georges is shaving. Suddenly we hear, coming from the
(loud) Help... Help... Help...
Georges wipes his face and, to the sound of Anne's cries,
crosses the hallway and enters the bedroom.
Anne continues to cry out in a monotone to herself.
Georges goes over to her bed.
(trying to calm her like a sick
child) What is it?..
Are you in pain?... What's the
matter?... Is your pad full?
He raises her blanket for an instant and sniffs, then
No... So what's hurting you?
He sits down beside her on the bed. Takes her hand.
It's all right... it's all right ...
I'm here... everything's fine...
we'll... Hold on, I'll tell you a
story... but you must be quiet, I
can't talk too loud, it wears me
out... Here we go: when I was
little... well, I wasn't as little
as all that... it was toward the
end of primary school, so I was
about ten, Dad and Mom sent me to a
holiday camp. They thought it would
do me good to spend the summer with
kids my own age... We were lodged
in an old castle in the midst of a
magnificent wooded landscape... I
think it was in the Auvergne... I
don't know... in any case it was
the opposite of what I'd
expected... We had to get up at 6
and go for a morning swim. Not far
from the castle, there was a pond
fed by an icy mountain stream. We
entered it running, in a double
file. You know, I was never very
sporty. They had a program to keep
us on the go all day, probably to
nip any potential pubescent
impulses in the bud ... But the
worst thing was the food. The third
day after our arrival, there was
rice pudding for lunch. I hate rice
pudding. We sat at long tables in a
huge hall. I didn't want to eat the
stuff and the housemaster said to
me: You won't get up until you've
cleared your plate. So after the
meal everybody left the room, and I
remained seated, in tears. I had
made a secret pact with Mom. I was
to send her a postcard every week.
If I was pleased with the place I
was to draw some flowers on it, or
if not, some stars. She kept the
card; it was covered all over in
stars. After three hours, I was
allowed to leave the table. I went
up to my room, got into bed and had
a fever of 42 degrees. It was
diphtheria. They took me to the
nearest hospital where I was put in
an isolation ward, which meant that
Mom, when she came to visit me,
could only wave at me through a
window. At some point I lost that
postcard. It's a pity.
Anne has become ever calmer during Georges' story. He still
holds her hand.
Then Georges reaches across Anne's body to get hold of his
pillow and presses it over her face. STIFLED SOUNDS from
Anne. Everything that can still move in her body starts to
move. Georges presses down heavily on the pillow, lies on it
with his whole weight, for a long time, until all Anne's
movements stop. Then he sits up, exhausted, and without
removing the pillow from her face, remains seated beside her.
SCENE 55 - INT. HALLWAY - KITCHEN - DAY
The front door of the apartment is unlocked. Georges, in city
clothes, enters with two big shopping bags full of cut
flowers. He puts down the bags, takes off his coat, hangs it
in the closet.
The TELEPHONE RINGS. Georges takes the bags and carries them
in the kitchen, puts them in the sink, fills it with water.
He starts to cut the stems and put the flowers in the water.
We watch him doing so for a while. Meanwhile, the TELEPHONE
HAS STOPPED RINGING.
SCENE 56 - INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Georges has opened one of the sections of the large wall
closet. He is looking for a specific dress. He takes some
out, puts them back inside. One of the dresses slips off its
hanger and falls to the floor. He picks it up, hangs it up
again. He ends up finding the one he was looking for. He
takes it out on its hanger. Closes the closet again.
Looks at the dress. Then he lowers his arm a little and is
about to leave the bedroom. He catches his feet in the dress.
He just saves himself from tripping up by grabbing on to the
wheelchair that is parked there. Exhausted, he flops down
SCENE 57 - INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
With wide adhesive tape, Georges seals up the door frame of
SCENE 58 - INT. KITCHEN - ADJOINING BEDROOM - HALLWAY - DAY
Georges is seated at the kitchen table where he had breakfast
with Anne in Scene 8, and writes a letter. PAUSES for
reflection. GENTLE COOING OF PIGEONS, scarcely audible.
Suddenly, Georges starts.
At the far end of the long kitchen, beside the door between
the kitchen units, a pigeon is walking. Georges stares at it.
For a long time.
Then he gets up slowly and, via the door located beside the
kitchen table, he goes into the adjoining room.
On the sofa there, he has set up his new bed. He takes the
wool blanket from the bed and comes back into the kitchen,
carefully approaches the pigeon that then runs off in alarm.
Georges carefully opens up the blanket and finally throws it
over the pigeon. But it manages to escape into the hallway.
Georges follows it. This action is repeated several times.
The pigeon is more and more panicky, starts to fly up,
flutters about in all directions. Georges closes the light-
well window to cut off its escape route. This lasts an
exhausting amount of time, but he ends up capturing it. He
cuddles it against him, rolled up in the blanket, leans
against a wall, then holds it as if it were a baby.
SCENE 59 - INT. ADJOINING ROOM - KITCHEN - NIGHT
From the adjoining room, we see Georges seated at the kitchen
table, writing. Finally we see what he is writing:
... you won't believe it. A pigeon came in, for the second
time already, through the light well. This time I caught it.
In fact it wasn't difficult at all. But I set it free again.
I'm going to ...
SCENE 60 - INT. ADJOINING ROOM - KITCHEN - HALLWAY - DAY
Georges is lying on his bed in the adjoining room, staring at
the ceiling. O.S., we faintly hear the SOUND of running
water, and from time to time the CLATTERING OF DISHES.
After a while, Georges gets up and goes into the kitchen.
He remains in the doorway and watches Anne who, doing the
dishes, at first doesn't pay attention to him, then notices
his presence and shoots him a quick glance, saying casually:
I'm almost done.
Georges continues to look at her unwaveringly.
You can put your shoes on if you
Georges looks at her an instant longer, passes beside her,
goes into the hallway, sits down on a stool beside the closet
and puts on his shoes. O.S. we hear Anne finishing her work.
She comes out, hangs up her apron in the closet, disappears
for a few moments into the bathroom. Meanwhile, Georges has
got up, and looks in the bathroom where, clearly, Anne is
tidying her hair and sprucing herself up. When she comes out
again, he takes her coat from the closet and helps her put it
They head for the front door.
Aren't you taking a coat?
Georges thinks a few seconds, then takes his trench-coat from
the hook and they leave the apartment.
SCENE 61 - INT. HALLWAY - BEDROOM - DINING ROOM - LIVING ROOM
Four long shots: all the windows are open. The sun is
shining. It is fairly bright.
SILENCE. Then the SOUND OF A LOCK BEING OPENED. Eva comes
into the apartment. Remains a long time beside the door.
Looks around her, ill at ease. Finally she hesitantly goes
into the bedroom.
Anne's twin bed isn't there any more. On Georges' bed lies
only the bare mattress. Eva remains there a moment, then goes
through the partition door into the dining room.
There, everything is as usual. Eva continues into the living
There too, everything is as usual. Eva stops by the piano
stool. Looks out of the window, feeling at a loss. Then she
heads toward the sofa and armchairs in the corner. On the
table lie the remains of a snack. Eva looks at the table,
turns again toward the open windows, through which we hear
STREET NOISE. Then she sits down, exhausted, in one of the
armchairs. Her diminutive frame seems lost in the big room.
END CREDITS (white on a black background)