MARGOT AT THE WEDDING
1 INT. TRAIN CAR - DAY 1
A cashier hands a boy, 13, his change across a counter. The
boy stuffs the coins in his pocket. He lifts the cardboard
tray with two hot dogs, a bag of chips, and two Cokes. This
We follow him: He carefully carries the meal down the aisle,
balances it in one hand as he opens the door.
The train noise blares as he traverses the area between cars.
He enters the new car repeating the balancing act. He waits
while a man shoves his back-pack onto the metal rack above
the seats. Claude hurries a bit more now, his concentration
alternating between the food and the path.
He sits next to a brunette woman. He hands her a hot dog.
He's met by a severe and pinched face. The eyes have black
circles -- there is a scar above her lip. Claude instantly
blushes and mumbles:
He gets up and hurries a few seats further. He slides next
to a pretty brunette woman, late 30's, with straight shoulder
length hair. Her name is Margot.
That was quick.
I sat next to the wrong person.
She stretches up and peers over the seats. He grabs her
Please don't look. She'll see you.
Careful with my blouse.
2 CUT TO: 2
Margot is sleeping, her head against the window. Claude
listens to his iPod. He takes out the earphones, gets up,
and walks to the front of the car. Opens the door and goes
The train roars and screeches. Claude screams. He stops,
looks around. He screams again.
3 CUT TO: 3
Claude and his mother gaze out the dirt streaked window at a
river. An old castle-like structure emerges from the water.
Houses are run-down. In the distance there's a power plant.
Electrical lines crisscross the sky. Claude puts his finger
against the glass and traces the wires.
Will the wedding be crowded?
I don't know. I think she doesn't
know anyone anymore.
How long has she known Malcolm?
Only a year.
Is that short?
Would you marry someone you'd only
known a year?
I'm not going to ever get married.
I can't say I have a lot of hope
for the whole thing.
Why are we going then?
We're supporting her.
I thought she wasn't speaking to
No...no...I wasn't speaking to her,
but I'm over it.
4 EXT. FERRY DOCK - DAY 4
A ferry is docked. Cars pull up onto the boat. Margot runs,
clutching a suitcase, holding down a floppy wine colored sun
hat. Claude hurries alongside her, a bag slung over his
5 EXT. FERRY - DAY 5
The rumbling and sputtering of the boat. People get out of
their cars and stretch their legs.
Claude leans against the rail and lets the spray hit his
face. Margot's cell vibrates. The caller ID: HOME. She
stuffs the phone in her pocket.
Why aren't you wearing your new
I don't think I need them right
You begged for those glasses.
I know, but...I will wear them, I
just feel like people might think
it's weird that a kid is wearing
Claude reluctantly takes out a pair of thin wrap-around punk
sunglasses and puts them on. He looks around self-
You look very cool.
He takes them off.
I don't need them right now.
6 CUT TO: 6
Margot and Claude wait. The ferry has emptied out.
Do they know we're here?
A maroon Volvo station wagon peels around a bend and stops
across the road. Two eyes peer out from just below the
backseat window. A man, 40, in dumpy cargo shorts rolls down
the window. He has a small moustache -- he's harried and
sweaty. This is Malcolm. He points at Margot and Claude.
7 INT. VOLVO - DAY 7
Malcolm drives. He smokes with the window open. Margot is
in the passenger seat. In the back, Claude and the girl,
Ingrid, sit shyly, their hair blows turbulently in the wind.
Ingrid, 11, wears shorts, sandals, and a batik shirt with a
panda on it.
Paul apologizes for not coming,
she's still getting the house
I'm sorry it was such short notice.
I don't care. Paul's frantic, but
I don't give a shit. Oh, and
Ingrid wants me to tell you that
she made us all bracelets.
No, I wanted...I wanted to wait...
Oh, I thought you asked me to tell
Malcolm holds up his wrist and shows a knit blue and orange
I got Knicks colors.
They're not Knicks colors!
It's beautiful, Ingrid.
I made this one for myself.
She shows him the purple and green one around her wrist.
Yours is yellow. Is that okay?
Where's your dad and Josh?
They might come later.
Josh's spring break is next week.
Jim teaches through Friday and then
they open the house in Vermont on
It means a lot to Pauline that
Margot nods awkwardly -- she blushes.
A car suddenly pulls out of a driveway, but nowhere near
their car. Malcolm swerves anyway.
Holy Jesus! Watch it, dicksack!
Ingrid giggles. Margot clutches the handle above the door.
If you're wondering about the
No, I wasn't.
I had a full beard for a while and
then when I shaved it I left this
part for last, you know to see how
it looked, and... It's meant to be
Margot nods politely. The sound of tires on gravel:
8 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 8
The trunk slams shut. The Volvo is parked in a driveway
alongside a grey Colonial house that sits above the water.
They lift bags. An old mutt ambles toward them.
Pauline emerges from the house. She's pretty like her
sister, late 30's. She walks briskly toward them. Margot
smiles and opens her arms, but Pauline passes her and dips
down to embrace Claude. She kisses him on the lips.
You're so handsome.
Now she hugs Margot. They both tear up. Claude beams.
I never thought I'd get you here.
A loud thud. They all turn toward the property fence. A
large pile of dead flowers and rotting plants has been dumped
into their yard. There's whispering and movement through
brush on the other side. Margot looks at Pauline with
You're arriving in the midst of a
drama. Ingrid, make sure Wizard is
Malcolm trudges over to the trash cans.
It's the Voglers.
The neighbors want us to cut down
She indicates a large oak that extends up and into the
No, that's our tree!
They think it's sick and rotting
We're having the ceremony under it.
You took the swing down.
Pauline thinks this is their way of
trying to be friends. I think they
resent us because we're...
He searches for the word, but can't come up with anything.
He says wearily:
I don't know what we are.
9 INT. CLAUDE'S GUEST ROOM/INGRID'S ROOM - DAY 9
Claude sits on the squeaky bed, a yellow bracelet on his
wrist. An old flip-clock hums on the night-table. A door
opens onto a bathroom which has another door open onto
Ingrid sits on her bed observing Claude. She holds a
realistic-looking stuffed rooster in an old-style tuxedo.
This is my room.
Do you like showers or baths?
Showers. What about you?
Ingrid shrugs. She says, already bored with the topic:
I don't care.
10 INT. STAIRWELL/MARGOT'S GUEST ROOM - DAY 10
Pauline and Margot carry bags up the stairs. Margot now
wears a knit red bracelet. They're tentative with one
Is Malcolm what you thought he'd
Well, I didn't know what to --
The moustache is temporary. He
left it for last when he was
shaving. It's meant to be funny.
He told me.
They enter the guest room. The windows are wide open, the
curtains blowing, but the room is very neatly made up.
I'm sorry -- with so little time to
prepare, we had to put you in
Malcolm's storage room --
This was Becky's room. Poor Becky.
Yeah, poor Becky. Now it's a
storage room. I've just started to
feel like it's our house not my
parents. You know?
Of course. It might still smell
like paint, but...
I thought he was a musician.
Pauline jimmies down the stiff windows. Margot begins to
unpack and hang up clothes in the closet.
Well, music's officially a hobby...
He's painting now. And writing
letters to newspapers and
magazines. He's very meticulous,
he'll spend up to a week writing a
response to a music review. He's
incredibly smart. Maybe too smart.
I don't know. We're doing very
Good. I mean, you must be.
I don't know where to begin. What
can I tell you? It seems I'm
pregnant, but it's really early
so... I haven't told anyone. I
mean, I haven't told Malcolm or
Yeah, if it sticks. We'll see. I
hope so. Things are good. We did
a couples seminar two months ago or
so in Maine. They give you
exercises and things to do. I know
you're not convinced, but...
We got engaged right afterwards.
The guy who runs it, Strickland,
wrote a really interesting book
about loving which I'll lend you if
But only if you'll read it.
Because I need it back. I made
notes in the margins.
I may not get to it for a while.
Well, I'm not going to lend it to
you if you're not going to read it.
They meet eyes. Pauline quickly turns away.
It's going to be very informal by
the way. Just Mom and Becky.
Malcolm's brother. Few friends.
And now you and Claude. Nothing
like the first one.
She isn't how you.../I'd really
I was going to say, "I'd really
like some white wine."
Oh. Yeah. We have a...
Well...I'm glad you changed your
mind and came. I never heard from
you after I sent the invite...I
even wondered if you got it.
Well, I'm so pleased we're here.
Did you get it?
Pauline waits for an explanation.
I'm sorry you were so angry...
I wasn't angry. I
Uh huh. But you see when you say,
"disappointed" it puts me in a
crummy situation. Like I let you
But you did in a way.
I don't see it like that.
Fine. I felt betrayed. Is that
Again, you're making me the
You were the aggressor.
Let's not... I've become a really
11 INT. LIVING ROOM - LATE DAY 11
Malcolm strums his guitar and smokes. Pauline sits at his
feet with Ingrid and Claude. The kids look at a record
sleeve. Margot is curled up on the sofa writing in a little
brown notebook. She wears oval tortoise-shell glasses.
I can't believe you've still got
all of our old records.
Ingrid pulls an album toward her. Her eyes widen at the
scary image on the cover. She quickly turns it over and
hands it to her mother.
Mom, can you hide this please.
Pauline puts the record sleeve on top of a shelf.
(for Margot's benefit)
Malcolm played with Ric Ocasek
In the late `80's. It was a solo
gig after he left the Cars.
So, you're kind of famous.
No. No. Believe me, I'm not. I
used to want to be, but, No. Do
you want to be famous?
Claude wants to be very famous.
Well, make sure you can handle
rejection. I can't. For me,
expectation just turns to
disappointment. So, ultimately I'd
rather not try. It'll all go black
for us soon enough anyway.
Claude, ignore him.
Pauline sneaks a look at Margot who is watching Malcolm with
an expression of either contempt or confusion. Pauline grows
uncomfortable. She says to Claude:
When your mother moved to New York
she used to send me books and
records. She sent me REM's
And the Pixies.
And X. She was very cool your
You only liked top forty.
Yeah, but I love REM now.
Margot takes off her reading glasses and rubs her eyes.
I don't really listen to music
I was dating that guy, Horace back
then. Remember him?
Was that the guy who liked to rough
No, that was our dad.
Pauline and Margot crack up laughing. Malcolm raises an
eyebrow at Claude.
Our father used to strip down to
his skivvies and beat us with a
That man had a sexual screw loose.
It's awful -- that stuff that
happens to kids. Malcolm was
fondled by a male baby-sitter.
Just use that information however
Sorry. We're with family. I
Claude looks at Malcolm. Malcolm doesn't meet his eyes.
I think Becky got it the worst.
Did she ever. Raped by the horse
Margot breaks into laughter. Pauline spits her seltzer back
into the glass. They both laugh hysterically. Tears stream
down Margot's face. Claude watches.
12 EXT. PATIO - NIGHT 12
Malcolm, Pauline, Margot, Claude and Ingrid sit with a
homosexual couple, Alan, 40's, and Toby, 30's, and their son,
Bruce, 8, at an old wooden table eating crab, salad and soup.
Part of Alan's face is paralyzed.
Alan rolled over in bed and looked
at me and he said I can't feel my
face. It took three doctors before
we knew it was Bells Palsy.
They say a brush of wind can do it.
Feeling is slowly coming back.
We're all getting older... Which
is terrible -- I don't care how
universal it is. I can't remember
I have that. I blank out on
certain words now too. Like the
other day, I couldn't remember the
I've forgotten it again. The stuff
in wine. Sediment! That was it.
I know that. I was talking more
about not remembering who was the
bassist for Motley Crüe.
Malcolm lights up a cigarette. He offers one to Claude who
shakes his head, No.
Ingrid, why don't you show Claude
and Bruce the game trunk.
Claude reluctantly follows Ingrid and Bruce. He looks back
longingly at the table of adults.
(relieved, to himself)
Toby, I think you need to have
Margot, I don't want to have this
conversation with you.
We follow the kids inside. We hear in the background:
It's vital. If you keep telling
him he's like everyone else he'll
wonder why he isn't. He's
He's tested very well. He does B's
Claude stops -- his mother and Toby are arguing out the
window. Her eyes meet his for a second -- they make no
connection -- she goes back to Toby.
But, that's how autism works. One
part of the brain can work fine
while the other is damaged.
We had him diagnosed, Margot.
Nothing was found wrong.
Did you really, though?
I'm...I'm not going to have this
conversation. I'm sorry.
I know it must be so difficult for
you, but I think you have to --
13 INT. KITCHEN - SAME 13
Pauline unloads the plates onto the kitchen counter. She
hesitates and exhales a deep, anxious breath.
14 EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT 14
Margot paces while talking on a cell phone in the herb
garden. She drinks a white wine with ice cubes and smokes a
joint. The bottle lies at her feet, three-quarters empty.
What are you doing?
I left you a note.
Come back. Or meet me in Vermont
No...no. The wedding is on
Saturday. I'm here for that. I
can't really pull out. How would
You haven't spoken to her in years -
Well, we're speaking now. She is
my closest friend despite it all...
You're the one who's been trying to
get me to call her.
Did you tell Claude what you're
Jim, this guy, Malcolm. He's
exactly what you'd imagine except I
think he's clinically depressed.
Not ugly, but completely
unattractive. And he has no job.
The best I can make out is that
he's a letter writer. I don't
know, the house looks weird to
me...she's trying too hard and it's
kind of a mess...they took down the
Silence on the other end.
You said you weren't a hundred
percent on this. You said that
like a week ago. Can I come up
No. I don't want to see you -- I
feel happier already having done
Really? You feel happier...
Please don't tell Claude anything
please, until we've talked more.
I need to tell him. And we need to
tell Josh. Did he do his homework?
This is happening and you have to
get your mind around that.
15 INT. CLAUDE'S GUEST ROOM - NIGHT 15
Claude sleeps in bed. Margot gently touches his face. She
Are you asleep?
Will you remember this?
I just talked to your dad...
Claude's eyes remained closed, but he smiles.
I'm only going to tell you if you
Margot hesitates. She changes her mind and says
Everyone finds you so funny and
charming. I always get compliments
Margot stands. She catches herself in a warped mirror and
smears some eye make-up off of her face.
Are you having fun? Is it nice to
(opens his eyes)
Yeah, I really like her.
Yeah. She is crazy though.
In what way?
She's really berserk. Maybe it's
hormones. You don't notice
anything different about Pauline?
She's pregnant -- she told me. But
she's keeping it a secret -- I mean
from Malcolm and even Ingrid.
Which I think is unforgiveable.
Now she'll have to marry him.
What's she planning -- to get
married and not drink champagne?
Then she'll just be lying. I guess
she's afraid she'll miscarry. She
probably will. I think on some
level she's ambivalent about the
marriage and that's why she's not
Are you stoned, Mom?
Maybe a little.
I don't like it.
16 INT. MALCOLM AND PAULINE'S ROOM - NIGHT 16
Water runs from the bathroom. Malcolm cradles a glass of
whiskey and stands nude in front of a full length mirror.
(shakes his head)
My scrotum is longer than my penis.
He turns around and looks at his ass. Pauline walks out of
the bathroom. She wears mens pajamas, the top open.
It's sweet how Claude looks up to
He waits for a reaction and gets none.
Margot doesn't seem as crazy as you
made her out to be.
What she did to Toby and Alan
tonight didn't seem crazy enough
I guess that seemed pretty crazy.
Well, she cares deeply.
Yeah, she's really worried about
This has nothing to do with Bruce.
She thinks everyone is autistic.
Malcolm is about to speak, but instead he halts, paralyzed.
Nothing, you keep changing your
position -- I'm just trying to
figure out if I should agree with
you or not?
Well, can't she be both, care
deeply and be crazy? Do people
have to be all one thing?
I guess not.
(back into it)
It is nice she came for the
wedding. She's so pretty, don't
A little thin maybe... But it is
nice she came.
17 INT. MARGOT'S GUEST ROOM - SAME 17
Margot lies on her front, her hand underneath her. She tries
to masturbate. The bed creaks. Finally, she flips over and
gives up. She wears a rubber night-guard in her mouth.
18 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 18
A croquet game in progress. Pauline and Malcolm play Margot
and Claude. Ingrid lies in the grass singing to herself.
The dog next to her. Malcolm concentrates -- he carefully
lines up his shot. Finally, he swings --
The ball misses the wicket. He shakes with frustration.
Claude looks through a slit in the wooden fence and into the
neighbor's yard: A naked man, 40's, crouches. Arms extend
from below and pull him downward. His ass pokes up over the
Honey, you're up.
Claude shakes out of his reverie. He walks briskly up to his
ball and smacks it. It bullets forward and lands just short
of Pauline's ball.
Claude, don't just whack it. Think
about it before you hit.
Pauline knocks her ball into Claude's. She holds her ball
down with her foot and prepares to swing.
Paul, what are you doing?
I'm sending Claude's ball into the
Take the extra hit.
I don't want to do that.
It's the smarter play.
She whacks -- Claude's ball travels about two feet.
Pauline! See, I knew you
couldn't... Your feet are too
Margot steps up to take her turn. She regards the house.
You took the awnings down.
Claude looks back into the adjacent yard: Flashes of skin. A
breast. Pubic hair. Claude crouches to see more clearly --
the bodies disappear from sight.
Malcolm draws a deep breath and takes a few practice strokes.
He swings -- his ball rockets past Margot's, rolls up over a
ridge and onto the cement drive. It quickly sails down into
the road and bounces into a ditch.
Malcolm shakes furiously. He lifts his mallet, turns toward
the house, rethinks momentarily, and hurls it up over the
incline and down to the water. Pauline puts her hands on her
Malcolm hesitates then tramps down the stairs to the beach.
Claude watches the pink of flesh moving up and down.
Honey, you're up.
He approaches his ball and smacks it toward the double
You're going the wrong way.
He blushes and laughs. Pauline laughs. Margot shakes her
Mom, I'm sorry. Jesus.
Margot places her mallet down and starts toward the house.
We're in the middle of it.
This is why I hate games. I hate
what it does to me.
Pauline cackles loudly. Margot turns around and stares at
her. Malcolm calls from the stairs:
Wait, we're not finished!
19 EXT. PATIO - DAY 19
The five eat a salad nicoise lunch.
Malcolm, do you notice how Pauline
sometimes can't make eye-contact.
How her gaze hovers just above your
Yeah, I kind of know what you mean.
I always think I have something in
my hair. It's not necessarily bad,
Paul. It's just something you do.
Pauline looks mildly horrified. She suddenly turns to
Claude have you ever seen your
mother climb a tree?
We don't have much opportunity in
As kids Margot climbed everything.
She could even climb that tree.
She points at the tall oak that stretches over the fence into
the neighbor's property.
Can you do it, mom?
Do it now, Margot!
Show him, Margot.
20 CUT TO: 20
Margot strides toward the tree. The group follows behind.
She grabs hold of a branch and lifts herself.
Claude grins, impressed.
With brisk dexterity, Margot scales the tree.
Claude, Pauline, Malcolm and Ingrid watch with glee from
I told you.
Margot reaches a perch near the top and looks down at the
gang. They wave. She waves back.
The sun is hot. She sweats, flushed. She takes a deep
breath and relaxes against the bark. Trees for miles. The
neighbors' house is faded and grey. In the far distance,
toxic white smoke comes out into the sky.
An earwig walks across her arm. She flicks it off, slips for
a moment and catches herself. Her breathing grows more
A bug buzzes around her head. She swats at it.
Her family has stopped watching. Claude and Malcolm throw a
baseball. Pauline's gone back inside. Ingrid clears the
(under her breath)
She wipes her face, her shirt is almost entirely soaked. The
Close on Margot's ear. A small black gnat lands on the lip
of the lobe. It hesitates and darts inside the hole.
Margot gasps. She jams her pinky in her ear.
Pauline comes back out with an ice tea.
What's she doing now?
21 CUT TO: 21
A young volunteer fireman climbs a long ladder up the side of
the tree and toward Margot. He reaches out his hand to her.
I got it.
She slowly lowers herself.
22 INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY 22
Pauline is laughing, recounting the story. Claude and Ingrid
laugh too. Margot shakes her head, embarrassed and furious.
You were great on the way up.
Don't patronize me, Claude.
Margot turns her head to the side and pats on the top of it.
We're all laughing, Margot.
You're laughing in a kind way.
Claude is taking too much pleasure
out of it.
I am not.
You are. You like to make fun of
me. To see me get embarrassed.
Silence. Margot puts her pinky back in her ear. She frowns.
What are you doing?
I've got a fucking bug in my ear,
23 EXT. FOREST - DAY 23
Pauline and Margot hike along a dirt trail. Claude and
Ingrid idle behind, carrying walking sticks.
I thought Claude could hand out
programs. Ingrid's going to sing.
Do you want to read a poem or
You know I can't speak in front of
people. I'm doing this
"conversation" at the bookstore in
town on Friday and I totally regret
having said I'd do it.
You're doing a "conversation?"
Yeah, talking about my work in
front of a crowd. I didn't invite
you because...I thought it'd be
What? Say it.
It's nothing. It's just...I would
come...I want to come. I get a
kick out of it. It's just weird,
you know... So, you're not here
(she stops herself)
Okay, I get it. When did they ask
A while ago. I'd said, No, but
then when I was coming here anyway
and...I guess it helps sales
We catch a quick glimpse of people walking ahead in the path.
Did I tell you, Becky got her tubes
Why? Is she seeing someone? She's
still obese, I assume.
I think it's symbolic.
I bet mom paid for it. We should
I considered it in my twenties.
You know, when I was fucking
everyone. You remember.
I did my share.
But not like me.
You want to count?
No, Margot, I don't want to count.
What was it about Dad that had us
fucking so many guys?
I think it was the only time we
could really feel unselfconscious
and get out of our heads.
I don't think that's it. I just
think it was something we were good
Behind, Ingrid smacks her walking stick into Claude's.
Your mom thinks Bruce is gay.
No, she said she had Aspergers.
I thought that's what that means.
No, it's like lesser retarded.
I have adult ADD.
You mean child ADD.
No, for some reason I have the
adult one. Maybe I'm retarded.
Up ahead -- in the path -- is a couple, 40's, with a six year
old girl. The back of the man's pants are smeared with dirt
and the woman is packed into acid washed jeans. The little
girl whines and lags behind.
Margot and Pauline slow down. Claude and Ingrid catch up.
I don't want to!
I don't want --
The woman grabs the girl harshly by the arm and pulls her.
The girl screams.
The man and woman turn around sharply.
Be careful the way you pull on that
child's arm. You'll take it out of
Don't tell us how to treat our
I don't care how you treat your
child as long as you don't hurt
(under her breath)
It's a girl.
She threw a rock at me.
She's a little girl!
She knew what she was doing.
She starts suddenly toward Margot.
There is no hitting in our family.
Do you understand?
Margot backs up quickly. The woman stops about ten feet
Stay out of it, bitch.
The woman turns back around. She lifts the girl into her
arms and they trudge over the incline and out of sight.
That was the Voglers.
Jesus, Margot, what are you doing.
They already hate us.
(wiping her eyes)
Don't tell me what I can and can't
do. That's child abuse.
Mom, she was psychotic.
Stop picking on me. Everyone.
24 CUT TO: 24
The four of them emerge into a clearing. Nobody speaks. A
child's pink sneaker lies in the path.
Pauline walks over to it. She crouches.
It could be anyone's.
Margot bursts into tears. Pauline hesitates then holds her.
What are they going to do to us?
They're not going to do anything,
25 EXT. FRONT PORCH - DAY 25
Malcolm looks at Pauline. He's in the midst of writing a
letter on a legal pad. Pauline is worked up.
We have to cut down that tree.
Where are we going to get married
I don't...we'll do it in the
fucking drive-way if we have to.
Claude and Ingrid listen from just inside the house. Ingrid
looks at Claude nervously.
Your mom started a war. We have to
make sure we wear shoes because
they might start throwing glass.
Has that happened before?
I can't remember. I think so. No,
it definitely has. Now I remember.
Behind them, Margot, made-up and wearing a dress, clomps down
the stairs, across the carpet and onto the porch.
Where are you going?
To town. I'll be back for dinner.
Come on, nobody blames you, Margot.
An old orange BMW idles at the end of the driveway. Pauline,
Malcolm, Claude and Ingrid watch Margot cross the drive-way.
A man, 50's, opens the passenger door. He smokes a brown
cigarette. Margot gets in. The man waves at the group on
the patio. Pauline, Malcolm and Ingrid and Claude wave back.
Is that Dick Koosman?
Yeah. He has a house up here.
What's he doing with mom?
26 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 26
Ingrid sits at the roots of the tree, squeezing honey out of
a honey bear onto her hand -- she watches the ants come.
Claude sits on a low branch and looks over the fence:
How much do your parents make in a
I think about a hundred. They bank
The front door of the Vogler's opens and a boy, 14, pees from
the entrance-way into the plants in the yard.
Are they rich?
No. They're middle class.
The boy finishes and violently hurls a toy car at the fence.
Just let me live!
The toy lands a few feet short. He goes inside and closes
Upper or lower?
I think just middle.
Claude watches: Malcolm scurries around the side of the
Vogler house holding a dead mole by its tail. He stumbles,
recovers and flings the animal at the front door. He races
back toward his property.
27 EXT. PORCH - EVENING 27
Margot and Malcolm have cocktails. Pauline drinks a bottled
water. Ingrid has cray pas, markers and paper and draws at a
table. She draws a mole.
Claude draws a boy with a big claw for a hand and CLAWED
under it. Wizard, the dog, lies at his feet.
Dick and his daughter asked us over
to swim tomorrow.
We didn't invite them to the
You're not really friends.
We're friends enough that's it's
awkward. Maisy baby-sits for us
all the time.
He's doing the interview with me in
town on Friday. Did I tell you, he
and I are collaborating on a
screenplay, an adaptation of one of
No, I didn't even know you knew he
was up here.
Malcolm takes one of Ingrid's markers and doodles.
Is he even a good writer? Why do
people care about him?
You're competitive with everyone.
It doesn't matter if they even do
the same thing as you.
He's competitive with Bono.
It's true. I don't subscribe to
the credo that there's enough room
for everyone to be successful. I
think there are only a few spots
available and people like Dick
Koosman and Bono are taking them
Pauline looks at Malcolm's drawing. It's a graphic image of
a man fucking a woman in the ass.
Malcolm, what would ever make you
think that's something to draw
Claude and Ingrid stare at it. Malcolm balls it up.
Sorry, I wasn't thinking about it.
28 INT. VOLVO - DAY 28
The car pulls into a driveway. A modern house. Dick and
Maisy come out to greet them.
You found it!
Margot, the kids and Pauline get out. We stay in the car
with Malcolm. Pauline comes to his window.
I don't want to do this...
Come on, don't be that way.
Maisy sits on the hood of the car and Ingrid introduces her
to Claude. Dick approaches Margot -- she turns back to
I'm not being that way -- I just
don't feel like it. I'm going to
go back and... I have work to do.
Dick doesn't care that you don't
make any money.
Is that why you think... That's
not why I'm...I just hate swimming.
I really hate it. It's disgusting
to me. My mistake was saying I'd
do it to begin with. You have fun.
Fine, we'll have fun.
Malcolm's gaze goes to Maisy's breasts. Margot watches him
People always pee in the pool.
I don't think Dick and Maisy pee in
I'll bet you 500 dollars there's
pee in that pool.
29 EXT. DICK'S POOL - DAY 29
Pauline and Margot float beneath Claude who stands above
To the end and back. Claude, you
Margot knocks on the side of her head with her hand.
Pauline flings herself in and is off. Margot hesitates then
follows. Maisy and Dick watch from the chairs. Ingrid
floats on a raft and cheers. Claude runs along the pool-
How's your dad?
He and I shared a thesis advisor at
Stanford. Did you know that?
Pauline hits the far wall with her palm and flips around.
Margot stops short and follows her sister. They're neck and
neck. Their arms cut in and out of the water.
I was dating your mom back then,
did you know that?
Pauline lands -- touches the wall first. Margot a close
Pauline beams. Margot immediately drifts to the ladder.
She's panting heavily.
Mom cheated. You didn't touch the
I did so. It doesn't matter. I
It was close.
Pauline floats on her back, exhausted.
Ingrid swims beneath Claude -- long strands of hair stream up
from beneath the surface.
Margot gets out of the water and Dick wraps her in a towel.
For a moment it's an embrace. Margot looks quickly over at
His foot slips.
He topples in.
Water roars around him.
He opens his mouth. Bubbles spurt out.
He drifts down.
Lying next to the drain is a field mouse. Its eyes are
Splash. Hands wrap around him.
He goes up.
The sounds of wind and blurry voices now clearer.
Pauline brings Claude to the surface and pushes him to the
ladder. She helps him climb out. Ingrid and Maisy are
grinning. Their expressions slowly shift as they see
Claude is sobbing.
Margot immediately wrenches Claude from Pauline's grasp. She
looks shocked and angry.
I got him.
She leads her son behind the bushes out of everyone's sight.
It's okay, my baby.
She gently lets him down. His sneakers squeak and slosh.
Claude, soaking wet and ashamed, looks at his mother. She
breaks into laughter. Claude wipes the water and tears from
I'm sorry I laughed about the tree.
Now we're even.
30 INT. PAULINE AND MALCOLM'S DEN - DAY 30
Margot, reclining on the couch, drinks a white wine with ice
cubes. Pauline passes the doorway and stops. She holds tear-
sheets of flowers and wedding decorations from various
Here you are.
You've got a problem.
What do you mean?
I don't like the girl and I don't
like the way Malcolm looks at her.
Oh, come on, it's sexy.
You didn't see it. I saw it.
You've got a problem.
I'm not worried.
We could teach Claude how to swim.
He won't want to do it. It's too
Pauline waits for more -- nothing comes. She takes a couple
steps into the room. She holds out her hand for the glass.
Margot passes it to her. Pauline sips.
Are you supposed to be doing that?
She hands it back.
I liked your last story in, was it
Harpers? The one about mom. I was
very...I liked it very much.
It wasn't really about mom.
I thought it was. Anyway. Why
don't you want Claude to know how
I didn't say I didn't want him to.
Why do you care? It's not in his
life -- we're New Yorkers. If he
wants to learn when he's older, he
can. I'm curious why you're so
interested in the whole thing.
I'm not. I'm just... As a safety
thing and...I'm... Forget it.
It's interesting -- this is the
first time Dick has invited us
But are you really friends?
Kind of. We're neighbors. We
employ Maisy. I mean I don't care,
I just think it's interesting.
Are you excited about the talk? I
thought I'd come if that's okay.
My friend, Agnes, asked me, "What's
it like to have a celebrity as a
sister?" I said, I've got no
problem with celebrity. Alice
Munro taught at Bennington and was
kind of a friend of mine.
I'm not a celebrity.
Well, you're well known.
To a very few people.
Just accept the compliment.
I guess I didn't realize it was a
31 EXT. FOREST - LATE DAY 31
Margot walks the path alone. She hugs herself as a light
breeze kicks up. Her footsteps echo in the trees.
The little pink sneaker still lies in the dirt.
She crouches down and takes it.
32 CUT TO: 32
CLOSE: A note is being written.
"...and if you are acting with any sort of abuse toward your
child I will call the police."
The word "any" is then underlined twice. The page is torn
from her little brown book.
33 EXT. VOGLER HOUSE - EVENING 33
Margot's fist is raised about to knock on the front door.
She stops herself. She puts the note on the Welcome mat and
holds it in place with the child's shoe. She wanders around
to the back of the house. She looks into a lighted window:
It's a white tiled bathroom.
A wet brown animal body covered in clear plastic is balanced
on the sink. Mr. Vogler tears into the plastic. The carcass
is butterflied open exposing the innards and ribs.
Mrs. Vogler runs the tub. She pours salt from a box in the
water. The man slides his hand in her waist-band. She rubs
Margot chews her cuticle.
The man saws the legs. His arm jerks back and forth,
straining to cut through the bone. Sweat pours down his
Margot raises her hand to her face and presses against the
window. She peers through her fingers. The blade pierces
the bone with a violent release and the hoof falls to the
Margot moves to another window. The pig's face now looks at
Blood drips and leaks into the crevices of the tile. The
woman brandishes a syringe filled with an orange liquid.
Suddenly a face appears in the glass. Margot leaps back.
It's a thin boy. He says something. The family turns to the
window. The father flicks off the bathroom light.
From inside Margot illuminates like an apparition.
Margot scampers into the trees. She pushes through branches,
her shirt tears. She runs.
34 INT. CLAUDE'S GUEST ROOM - EVENING 34
Claude sits on the bed. The record sleeve from Blondie's
"Parallel Lines" rests in his lap. He reads the lyrics to
the song, "Sunday Girl." He depresses the red record button
on an old portable tape recorder. He sings a cappella and
full voice, passionately, as sweetly as he can.
Maisy appears in the doorway and watches. Claude turns mid-
lyric. He jumps, startled.
Fumbling, Claude shuts off the tape recorder.
Hm? A bit.
She drifts into the room and hovers closely above Claude who
remains on the bed.
Margot passes by in the hallway, disheveled from her escape.
She watches: Maisy takes the lyric sleeve from Claude's
hands. Her T-shirt hangs above her waist showing her smooth
Can I make a suggestion?
You should get underarm deodorant.
You kind of smell.
Better I tell you than someone
35 INT. MARGOT'S BATHROOM - EVENING 35
Margot puts on mascara and watches Claude, who stands behind
her, in the mirror.
I think you smell nice. You smell
It causes cancer.
Yes. It's got chemicals and things
that are extremely harmful.
I'm not going to die from underarm
No, you'll get it somewhere else.
Like your stomach or your
Don't laugh, that's a serious
Who told you this, anyway? Maisy?
I hope you're not interested in
that girl. I find her
What does that mean?
It means I can't suffer her. She's
loud and stupid. She goes on about
things of which she knows nothing
She got into Harvard early.
Stupid people get into Harvard
early all the time.
Where did you go again?
I just don't think you should do
anything with her.
We're just friends.
If you do, use a condom.
Claude looks into the toilet. A square of toilet paper with
a red lip outline floats on top of the water.
Where are you going?
Out with Paul and Malcolm and Dick.
Are kids coming?
36 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 36
Claude's POV through the window: Dick and Margot in the back
seat of the Volvo. Malcolm and Pauline the front. The
Claude leaves the window. We hear the car rumble away.
Claude and Ingrid sit on the couch, hamburgers in front of
them. Maisy is cross-legged on Wizard's dog bed and chews a
stalk of celery.
Who do we know who's gay?
How do I know what gay people you
Alan and Toby.
And Bruce. He's gay and Aspergers.
I don't know if Bruce is gay.
He might be, it's very common.
Your mom is pregnant.
No she isn't.
Ingrid looks stricken.
How do you know that, Claude?
She told my mom. But you can tell -
- she's hormonally weird.
Holy shit, Ingrid you're going to
have a baby sister or brother.
My mom thinks your mom is
But he does. Claude bites into his burger. His eyes fix on
the crease between Maisy's breasts. Maisy says to Claude:
Do you think your mom is fuckable?
I don't know.
I think she's hot, your mother.
I'd do her if I was gay. I might
anyway. I mean if she came on to
I'm not going to do anyone.
There's a scraping sound on the window. The kids turn
What was that?
Is it scary?
37 EXT. FIELD - NIGHT 37
The three kids lie in the grass and watch through the slats
in the fence: The Vogler family eats at an outdoor table. A
pig turns on a spit over a smoky barbecue. Mrs. Vogler says
something and the kids and Mr. Vogler laugh.
Maisy climbs over Claude to see better. He feels her breasts
press against his back. Suddenly he swats crazily at his
ear. Ingrid is poking him with a blade of grass.
38 INT. VOLVO - NIGHT 38
Malcolm drives quickly with Pauline next to him. He's
smoking with the window open, Dick and Margot in the
Margot used to never speak. I
remember when we went on a double
date in high school, that kid Ron
asked you if English was your first
It's true. I used to think I might
have some kind of brain defect.
You thought you were aphasic.
I'm still not sure.
Oh, Jesus, Margot.
It's very possible, Paul.
I just...your diagnoses sometimes
irk the hell out of me.
Malcolm lights another cigarette -- the car jerks sideways.
Malcolm, can you slow down.
I can drive if you like.
No, you got dinner, the driving's
Well, I'll let you pay your half if
you'll slow down.
Well, neither Pauline or I ordered
Malcolm, let it go.
Margot would insist on driving if
she knew how.
My license elapsed. But I know
It's probably for the best. I have
this theory, I think, historically,
women have been held back in so
many ways that when they get power,
like they do behind the wheel, they
can't help but abuse it. It's akin
to Hannah Arendt's Eichmann theory
about prison guards and prisoners
That's a charming philosophy.
Yeah. Tell that one a lot.
This isn't a blanket thing. I
mean, women can be great drivers
He takes a long satisfied drag on his cigarette.
Said the man with the moustache
that he thinks he's wearing in
It's meant to be funny.
(to Pauline, re: Margot)
Are you doing this for her benefit
Malcolm pumps the brake.
What the fuck?
No, there they go. Okay. It's
fine. I thought I had no brakes
for a minute...
Malcolm pitches his cigarette out the window -- it flies
through Margot's window and lands on her lap.
Dick grabs the lit butt and chucks it in the road.
The car swerves again -- everyone jumps.
It's fine, Margot!
You're just so incompetent.
Why don't you fucking drive
Malcolm screeches the vehicle over to the shoulder. They
jolt to a stop.
Pauline opens the door and staggers toward the brush. She
leans against a tree and looks like she might vomit. Malcolm
watches in the rearview mirror.
You should go after her.
Malcolm sighs heavily and gets out of the car. Margot and
Dick watch out the back window. Pauline sees Malcolm coming
and bolts into the woods. Malcolm charges after her.
Come back with me tonight.
I've got Claude.
Come on, I've been trying to get
you up here all year.
Dick leans over to Margot's neck. He licks her.
39 INT. INGRID'S ROOM - NIGHT 39
Claude lies in bed with Ingrid. He chews off a piece of his
pinky fingernail. He hesitates and places it on an end-
Why are you putting that there?
I just want to keep it.
I left a piece of skin in a movie
theater once so it could watch
movies all its life.
I don't know if it's the same
Are you obsessed with Maisy?
You're always staring at her tits.
Ingrid traces Claude's upper lip with her finger.
You have a moustache.
My mom bleaches it.
I'm going to kiss your cheek and
then you kiss mine.
I don't want to do that.
Because it's pointless...
Claude hears footsteps creak downstairs. He goes to the door
and peers out: Pauline and Malcolm, a little disheveled and
dirty, climb the stairs. Neither speaks. Malcolm goes into
the hall bathroom. Pauline into their room. Running water
groans through the old pipes.
Where are you going? I thought we
were having a conversation.
You're starting to annoy me.
40 INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 40
Claude walks -- he passes an open door: Malcolm is shaving
his moustache -- the electric razor whirring.
41 INT. MARGOT'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS 41
Claude enters. It's empty. Her brown notebook rests on the
bedside table. He hesitates then opens it:
It's packed with writing -- a nearly indecipherable cursive
in black ink. The name Claude can be made out on the page.
Claude takes the book and climbs up into bed. He nestles
against the pillow and squints to read the writing.
What are you doing?
Claude startles. Margot stands in the doorway with a glass
I didn't think you came home.
Where would I be?
Can't Josh and Dad come to the
We've been through this. Go to
Claude slides down to the floor. He hesitates.
Can I sleep in here?
We can put a pillow between us.
Okay. Just for tonight.
Claude takes a long pillow and places it like a barrier in
the bed. We stay on him as he waits. Finally Margot climbs
into the covers in a nightgown.
When you were a baby I wouldn't let
anyone else hold you. I think that
may have been a mistake.
42 EXT. HOUSE - MORNING 42
Malcolm, his moustache gone, a cigarette dangling from his
mouth, hammers in a stake at the base of a collapsed, white
tent. A workman holds a pole steadily.
Pauline sets up chairs around a series of tables. Ingrid
idles a few feet away. They're in the midst of talking:
Why was it a secret?
Because I didn't want to get you
excited before it was real. It's
not really a baby yet. In two more
weeks we can celebrate together,
Why did you tell Margot?
Because she's my sister and I trust
her. How do you feel about it?
I don't want a sister.
Pauline touches Ingrid's hair gently.
I'm going to go get Wizard.
She runs toward the house. Pauline marches toward Malcolm.
Margot told Claude something I
expressly told her in confidence.
And he told Ingrid.
I'm stunned that she put me in this
position. It's so fucking
Well it's that thing where--
Don't say anything. You know
what...just be there for me.
Why do I have to be so careful
around her, but everyone is allowed
to make fun of me?
I don't know if --
Malcolm, what did I just say?
You know, I just want you to take
my side, I don't need you to make
Malcolm puts his hand awkwardly on her shoulder.
Ingrid's really upset about it.
Fuck. I can't believe she did this
I didn't tell you because... I
didn't want you to feel like you
had to marry me. I found out right
before our seminar... I'm
Well...does that sound good to you?
I'm still digesting Margot telling
Claude. What a fucking nut job.
Sorry. I think I'm really happy.
Ingrid is watching from across the field.
Come here, honey!
Ingrid hurries through the sparkly, dewy grass. Pauline hugs
her and they spin.
43 CUT TO: 43
Margot watches from the upstairs window. The mother and
daughter walk arm in arm down what will be the aisle.
Finally, Margot turns away -- she's in Pauline and Malcolm's
She opens drawers: Underwear, socks, bras. Topless photos
of Pauline posing in the bedroom. A photograph of Margot and
Pauline in their teens on Halloween dressed as Pat Benatar
and Patty Smyth respectively.
Another photo of Margot, Pauline and an obese woman -- Becky -
- in their 20's.
Margot's expression saddens. She opens another drawer.
Polaroids of Pauline and Malcolm in different sexual poses.
She flips through these and drops them on the bureau.
Amidst the underwear and socks she finds pill containers.
She squints to read the labels. She opens one and shakes out
a few blue pills into her palm. She swallows one and puts
the rest in her pocket.
More drawers open: Self-help books, incense, pamphlets on
Buddhism. A stack of pornographic DVD's.
Margot starts and shoves the drawer shut.
Hey. I'm just looking at Pauline's
incense and self-help books. I
don't understand it. This junk
makes her look stupid and she's
not. I don't like to think of her
She's such a hypocrite. Somehow
I'm a kook for going to therapy,
but she's got enough drugs here to
(settles on a word)
...an elephant. And she's always
with these losers.
Malcolm's not a loser.
Claude...think about it.
What makes you think he's cool?
I'm more talking about her
investment in things like the Forum
What's the Forum?
Like a cult.
She was in a cult?
Years ago. She and Lenny also
followed some guru who was a
follower of the Mukdananda who made
her drink his bath water. Who
knows what she's doing now.
44 EXT. FIELD - DAY 44
Claude hacks his way through the tall weeds.
We move past him, obscured by grass, Pauline and Ingrid yell:
Margot enters the frame. The kids walk ahead.
Wizard! Here, boy!
She stands a few feet away from Pauline. The kids can be
heard shouting in the distance.
How long has he been gone?
I don't know. Ingrid brought him
in last night, but we couldn't find
him this morning.
Did you tell Claude I'm pregnant?
I don't know.
I guess I said something.
You did. You don't have to tell
He wants to know. If I don't tell
him, he figures it out.
Where is Wizard?
Ingrid approaches with Claude.
I don't know, honey.
Ingrid sinks into her mother's body. Claude and Margot walk
You didn't let him go out into the
road or something where something
could've happened to him?
Why would you think I'd do
something like that? That's awful.
I just... I'm just making sure.
That's a terrible thing to say to
I didn't mean on purpose, I just
meant maybe in case...you knew
something. I'm sorry.
45 INT. KITCHEN - DAY 45
Margot enters and opens the refrigerator. She gets out a
white wine bottle. She turns around and jumps, startled.
Malcolm sits at the table, eating saltines out of the box, a
pad and paper in front of him.
Hey, sorry. I'm here.
No, I... I should've looked.
I'm just writing my vows. Trying
to do something appropriate but
also funny -- not jokey, more
character based humor.
Margot pours herself a glass of wine. She looks to Malcolm
to see if he wants some. He shakes his head. She takes a
long drink. Silence.
You having an okay time?
Oh, yeah. Besides Wizard getting --
Yeah, we'll...we'll find him...or
else, I don't know...
Right, or else he's dead or
It means a lot to Paul that you
Silence. Malcolm mumbles a tune.
Oh God, this is the same toaster we
had here as kids. Paul is so
I hear you've heard the news.
Pretty cool. Hard to fully take
in. It's a little abstract still.
I haven't had that thing yet where
you realize that you're not the
most important person in the world.
I'm anxious for that to happen. I
guess I have to thank you -- I
wouldn't know yet if you hadn't
Of course I can't help but worry
I'll pass some not so great genes
onto the kid. I mean, in my family
there's a lot of hand washing, you
know. I don't have it, but my
You working on anything now?
Besides the thing with Dick?
He nods. She nods. Silence.
How about you?
Oh, I'm working on some acrylic
Nobody fills the ice cube trays.
Malcolm stops, immediately embarrassed. Margot is looking in
the freezer. She takes out the trays and brings them to the
sink. She runs the water.
Sorry, what were you --
Nothing. It doesn't matter.
No, what were you saying?
It really... Nothing.
She treads back to the refrigerator, balancing the full
I was saying I'm doing these
abstractions in acrylic paint. But
it's not... I'm not getting paid
or anything. I don't know, I hate
that question, "What do you do?"
You asked me.
I know, but...
Malcolm exhales in frustration.
46 EXT. FIELD - DAY 46
Pauline and Malcolm open the gate to the Vogler's property.
I think we shouldn't mention the
tree, we should let them know that
there will be people and music on
Saturday and it will be louder than
And that they can come for a glass
of champagne. But you tell them.
I think they respond to you better.
They approach the Vogler's sun-worn and paint chipped house.
Well, I am ultimately one of them.
You shouldn't've made me shave the
Oh, hey, Ingrid is asking me if I
was ever gay. Do you know what
Mr. Vogler, wearing a fleece vest and carrying a hatchet over
his shoulders, tramples out of the brush.
Vogler stops. His face is jagged and worn.
Hi, I'm Pauline. This is Malcolm.
We've met before. We're your
The man watches them strangely with icy blue eyes.
You gonna cut that tree down?
Well, we grew up with that tree and
we're getting married under it
Saturday and --
She waits for Malcolm to jump in. He doesn't. Vogler says
softly, but sternly:
The roots are growing into our
property. It's rotting, it's
killing our plants.
We had a tree doctor out and he
said it was healthy.
Pauline smacks Malcolm's arm.
Would it hurt you to say anything?
What? What do you want from me?
You're making me do the whole
You brought up the tree.
He brought up --
She stops herself. She says to Vogler:
I'm sorry... This was better
thought-through back at the house.
Pauline's gaze goes above Vogler's head -- like Margot
described earlier. He runs his hand through his hair as if
something might be caught in there.
We were wondering if you and your
wife -- I'm sorry I forgot her name
-- would like to come over for...
You should ask her. She makes the
plans. I'm going to go in now.
He tramps inside. The screen door bangs.
I felt like you didn't give me a
chance to say what I wanted to say.
Pauline hits him in the chest and starts to walk away.
Malcolm comes after her, his rage growing.
I want to punch that guy in the
You've never hit anyone.
I have too!
Lots of -- You don't know them.
They're not around because I've
A smile breaks across Pauline's face. Malcolm seethes.
Don't laugh, Pauline. It's not
funny. I'll fucking punch your
Malcolm clenches his fists. He points at Vogler's place.
The threat is not out there. It's
in our house. It's sleeping in my
studio. I mean, I wouldn't
actually hit her, but I feel...I
feel like doing it. She's such a
She's not an idiot. You might not
like her --
She is. She is an idiot! You're
You're both fucking morons. I'm so
fucking... I'm trying so hard.
You don't give me any credit.
What is wrong?
I don't know, I have the emotional
version of whatever bad feng shui
would be. I don't know. You tell
me, you understand this shit.
Did you drink your teas?
Yeah, I drank my fucking teas!
Don't judge me now. Really, I
think when you look back at this
you're going to see I'm not acting
like a crazy person. That this is
the right reaction. In proportion
with what is going on. This is
Malcolm looks around furiously. The only thing available to
him is a leafy stalk. He pulls on it, but it won't uproot.
He tears the leaves off in a rage.
You have the most oddly self-
conscious form of rage I've ever --
I hate you.
Exhausted he approaches her. He says, still with anger:
Let's make love.
47 CUT TO: 47
Pauline walks back to the house, buttoning her dress. She
looks up suddenly and stops: A man watches her from the lawn.
He holds a bouquet of flowers. Pauline runs to him.
They embrace. Her hand cups the back of his neck.
Claude runs from the house.
48 EXT. PATIO - LATE DAY 48
Pauline, Malcolm, Margot, Jim, Claude and Ingrid eat fish
stew and peasant bread. Jim's flowers sit in a vase. He
wears a tan knit bracelet that Ingrid made.
It was a difficult decision because
Claude has so many friends at
school now, but it is expensive and
Bronx Science is a great public
I didn't get into Stuyvesant.
He's not a good test taker.
I went to Stuy.
I'd rather stay at Packer, but it's
Malcolm lifts up a bottle of Jameson from the floor near his
chair and pours himself another stiff drink.
Josh is a great test taker, but
Claude thinks more abstractly.
He's more creative. Right?
I guess so.
Jim smiles warmly at his son.
I saw the one armed man who really
has two arms at the bodega.
Did you give him confusing change?
I did. I tripped him up with some
nickels. And a Canadian quarter.
You know what I tried the other
day? Sitting down to pee. Have
you done this, Jim?
I did it as a lark. As a joke
really. I was going to call
Pauline in and say, guess what I'm
I'm sorry I didn't get to have that
I was thinking, you know, my dad
used to say, "Why stand when you
can sit." And this is a really
good example of that. I mean, it
took me so long to try because I
(to the sisters)
You guys do it all the time.
I never sit down in a public place.
I squat and hover.
Ingrid goes wide eyed for a moment.
Anyway, I recommend it. At least
to try it.
Jim, I'm sorry about the room.
It's usually Malcolm's storage room
so it's kind of make-shift right
Margot stares at Jim.
Margot, open your gift.
An unopened present in blue tissue paper sits beside Margot's
I get self-conscious opening
presents in front of people. This
weekend is about Pauline.
Oh...poo. Open it Margot.
Margot slowly unties the white ribbon and peels away the
tape. Pauline groans:
Come on, get to it.
Margot takes out a pair of furry slippers.
Those look warm.
I remember last year in Vermont you
said your feet were freezing.
Her eyes find Claude who watches his parents carefully. She
leans across the table to Jim and they kiss chastely and
briskly on the lips.
49 INT. JIM'S CAR - NIGHT 49
Jim drives with Margot in the passenger seat.
I already have slippers.
Well, that's okay. Two sets are
It makes me sad to get a present
that I already have.
It makes me feel like you don't
She jams her pinky into her ear trying to get at the bug.
What's wrong with your ear?
I asked you not to come. I was so
clear and you did it anyway so
We need time alone to sort this
out. You can't just run away --
Okay, so we're here. I'm giving
you this time.
(trying a joke)
Well, now you're putting too much
pressure on me.
Jim smiles crookedly at her. She half-smiles back. He takes
a moment, preparing to speak. Then:
What is that?
His headlights catch a woman cowering at the roadside. They
Jim slowly pulls over to the shoulder.
No...no...no. Jim, no.
Let me just...
Jim gets out of the car. A sobbing woman crouches, cradling
a bloody dog.
Please help me.
Jim comes toward her.
Please help me. He got hit by a
car. Please help me.
Margot opens her door and steps out.
Jim kneels down by the whining pit bull. The woman screams:
Careful, he might bite you!
Jim suddenly lifts up the twitching animal.
50 INT. RENTAL CAR - NIGHT 50
Jim drives, his front covered in blood. Margot is shot-gun.
The lady rides in back with the panting pit in her lap.
Hurry...he's dying. He's dying.
Margot puts her hands over her ears. Jim speeds up.
He didn't do anything. Roger is an
innocent. He's an innocent
I can't stand her.
51 EXT. VETERINARY HOSPITAL - NIGHT 51
Jim comes outside tucking his wallet in his back pocket.
Margot sits on the car hood smoking a joint.
You paid, didn't you?
She didn't have her purse with her.
It wasn't so expensive. Roger's
going to live.
I don't give a fuck about Roger.
And...that makes me feel like shit.
You make me feel like shit. I
wouldn't have stopped.
Of course you would've.
No, I wouldn't've. I would have
kept driving. I hate myself when
I'm with you.
Margot, I'm not... I can't talk to
you when you're this fucked up.
You're just like Claude in that
way...you make me feel guilty.
Sometimes I find you so despicable.
Margot stubs out the joint on the car roof. Jim suddenly
removes his sweater and puts it around her shoulders. He
fishes into his pants pocket for his keys. Tears start down
I don't know.
Before you gave me your sweater I
think I didn't realize I was cold.
Margot leans in to him, her forehead presses against his
cheek. After a moment, he puts his arms around her.
Take me home and go away.
52 INT./EXT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT 52
Margot smokes by the open door. She drinks a glass of white
wine. Pauline eats from a left-over Chinese container.
If it were someone else I'd
understand it, I'd feel sympathy
even. But since it's me, I just
feel bad. And horribly critical.
I haven't been able to tell Claude
what's happening. And I have to.
I'm going to.
How can I be all these people? How
can I be married to Jim. And fuck
Dick. And want them both and then
neither of them...
I know. We're at the age where
we're becoming invisible to men and
if a guy wants to fuck us, it's
What are you saying?
I'm saying, if you get your sense
of self from being fuckable and
that starts to wane -- it's very
hard. I almost had an affair too.
But you know, you don't have to do
it. You can, I don't know, get a
manicure or something.
Margot grows furious. She turns to hide her face.
You know I tell people you're my
closest friend. I really miss you.
But I can't help feeling that you
really came to my wedding because I
live a mile away from the guy
Come on, Pauline. You make it
sound like I'm using you.
There is a long silence between them. Finally, Pauline
indicates to Margot that she has something in her nostril.
You have a...
Margot clears her nose quickly with her finger.
Did I get it?
Yeah, I think so.
Paul, what are you doing getting
married to this guy? He's not good
enough for you. He's so coarse,
he's like guys we rejected when we
were sixteen. You know...don't
make a mistake like this.
I'm sorry, maybe I have no right to
say that, but you know I'm truthful
so... Would you rather I lie?
Who should I be with then?
A smashing sound. Margot steps outside: Two hooded figures
turn over a recycling can, glass smashes on the ground.
Garbage is strewn across the driveway.
Hey! Hey, you! You pick that up.
I will call the police. This is
our property. Pick that up.
Pauline remains seated at the table, stunned. Margot comes
53 EXT. DRIVEWAY - MORNING 53
Malcolm crams the trash back in the cans. He sees something
amidst the milk cartons and corn husks. He reaches down and
lifts up a severed pig's hoof.
54 EXT. FIELD - MORNING 54
Claude and Ingrid idle in the tall grass calling to Wizard.
Dogs usually come back, I think.
What happened to your dad?
He went to Vermont.
He didn't want to come to the
I don't think he could... I think
You want to see me dance?
Claude dances. The gangly weeds blow around him. There's a
rustling in the brush. A patch of fur catches Ingrid's eye.
(under her breath)
The animal is gone.
A figure appears in the distance behind Claude. The boy, the
Vogler's son, approaches shirtless in swimming trunks.
Ingrid's attention goes to him.
You're not watching.
The boy comes into focus. He holds a dead squirrel by its
tail. Ingrid backs up next to Claude. The boy stops a few
feet away and hurls the squirrel at them. The kids jump back
as it lands at their feet.
Where are you going?
We have to get home.
Is that your girlfriend?
No, she's my cousin.
You a fruity?
You a fruity?
We will hurt you.
Claude takes Ingrid's arm and they start to walk away.
He's a Vogler.
He's just a stupid boy.
Claude sneaks a look over his shoulder -- the boy follows.
Claude's gait quickens.
Hold it, I have a rock in my
Come on, Ingrid.
Ingrid slows, lifts her leg and removes a sandal. The boy is
behind them. Claude yanks Ingrid's arm and she topples over.
Claude leans down to help her. The boy leaps on Claude.
They both crash to the ground and roll through the grass.
Get him off me. Ingrid!
Ingrid hesitates then runs toward the house.
Claude wrestles with the boy. The boy growls. He grabs hold
of Claude's arms and sinks his teeth into Claude's shoulder.
Ayy! Help me!
Claude kicks and yanks himself free. He runs wildly.
Close on Claude. Tears stream down. He coughs and spits.
55 INT. HOUSE - SAME 55
Claude bursts through the front door. Ingrid sees Claude and
runs to the kitchen. Margot, in a suit, goes over notes.
Woa, don't run so fast.
There's a boy! He bit me!
Who bit you?
A boy. A Vogler! Where's Ingrid?
Let me see.
He tilts his head, she leans down and looks at his neck.
There are red and purple bite marks.
I'm calling the police.
Claude grabs her arm.
No, don't! It'll get worse. Why
did you say anything to them?
Claude, this isn't my fault.
That boy bit me because you
couldn't keep your fat mouth shut.
Claude, you're being a jerk.
You shit in your shoes and then you
Margot smacks Claude in the face. Ingrid stares wide eyed.
56 INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY 56
A placard reads: A Conversation with Margot Zeller and Dick
Koosman. People mull about with drinks. Pauline and Claude
admire the display of Margot's books.
You really want to know? I'll tell
you. She wrote a story about Lenny
(flips through pages)
Yeah, it's in here. I mean we were
talking almost every day at this
point and there was no warning.
Maybe a couple of remarks that
she'd used some things of ours...
Then The New Yorker comes -- we
have a subscription -- and there's
the story and... It's things we
said and did -- stuff I told her in
I think it helped end our marriage.
I read it and thought, "She hates
She doesn't hate you.
Pauline stares at a blown up author photo of her sister.
You think? Margot tried to murder
me when we were girls. She put me
on a baking sheet, sprinkled me
with paprika and put me in the
57 CUT TO: 57
The crowd files in. Margot and Dick stand in a corner.
Jim was here.
Dick flips through some notes.
Is Jim still writing?
I told him to go to Vermont without
I'd love to see him tell a linear
story for a change. Jim never
wanted to make it easy for the
reader, did he. The nicest man
I've ever met, but he can't play
I'm not joining him. I'm going to
stay here and then...we'll see.
I didn't ask you to do that.
The guy's pointing at us...
58 CUT TO: 58
Margot and Dick sit on stools holding microphones in front of
rows of fold-out chairs. Only a few empty seats remain.
Pauline and Claude sit in the back.
I'm very interested in your story
Some people applaud, but it trickles off before it gets
The father is a loathsome character
yet we also feel a strange sympathy
Yeah, well I was very interested in
exploring a father-daughter
relationship. While he clings
desperately to her, suffocates her
really, he also silently resents
the responsibility of parenthood.
There's this sexualized push-pull
with Daphne which I find --
He craves isolation really. I
always thought of him as someone
who so over identifies with
everyone around him that he begins
to lose all sense of himself.
You make his only recourse to
abandon his family, including his
Right, that's true. That's true.
I write historical fiction so I
don't have to answer to this, but I
wonder for someone who writes so
nakedly about family, how
autobiographical is this portrait?
Margot rests her lips on the tip of the microphone.
My father was a loving person. He
had his days, of course, but...he
was devoted to us as children. I
wouldn't have written this portrait
were it true.
Pauline nods slightly.
But I'm interested in how the
father could be in fact a portrait
Margot stares, dumbstruck.
Umm...I don't... Why do you assume
it's based on... We all take from
life. I had to have our
refrigerator repaired the other day
at our apartment in Manhattan. I
was alone with a guy, I think he
was Puerto Rican, sent over
by...Whirlpool, I think it is who
made our fridge. Although he said
he worked for an independent
organization who Whirlpool
subcontracts. I think he was
retarded. There was an anger in
him and suddenly I became afraid
for my life. I called Jim at NYU.
I asked him to come home.
Margot stops. Her face is awash in sweat.
Pauline takes Claude's hand and presses it to her chest. His
eyes widen, fixed on his mother.
It might be Frigidaire... I'm
sorry... I don't... I'm not sure
what I'm... I think I need to take
She stands and walks off the stage. She realizes she still
has the mike. She goes back and places it on her seat.
You're an asshole...
59 INT. BOOKSTORE BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER 59
Margot grabs a pill from her pocket, puts it on her tongue
and drinks from the faucet. There is a knocking. Margot
opens the door. Claude looks up at her. Pauline and Dick
wait in the background.
I need to be alone right now, okay?
I don't know. I'll tell you
sometime. Go on.
Are you sure?
Yes. Go with mom. I'll see you
You said, mom.
But you know what I mean. Go with
Pauline. Jesus, do I...do I need
to spell it out for you?
Go. With. Her.
60 INT. CHURCH - DAY 60
A simple, spare space, empty except for Pauline and Claude.
Are you okay?
You're your mom's favorite. Do you
I don't think she has a favorite.
She's always liked you best. More
than Jim even.
But they're married. It's
But she still loves you best. It's
hard, I think, to find people in
the world you love more than your
I like Malcolm.
Yeah? Good. I don't know. I do
I can teach you to swim if you
Claude looks at the floor. His sneaker rests next to her
open toed sandals. She taps his foot with hers.
Has your mother talked to you yet?
I don't think so. About what?
Are you okay? It's hard to see
your mom like that -- get attacked
like that. Right? It was mean
what he did. I think it was really
You know, I think your mom's going
through a rough time right now
and...whatever she tells you...like
if she says she's leaving your
father...remember that she often
changes her mind and...
I don't want you to worry about
anything right now.
Claude says nothing.
61 EXT. HOUSE - LATE DAY 61
Pauline's Volvo rolls into the drive. She and Claude get out
of the front seats. Margot climbs out of the back holding a
big cake box. No one speaks.
Malcolm, in a fleece vest and safety goggles, drags a
chainsaw toward the oak tree. Ingrid runs to her mom.
He's cutting it down.
Pauline passes Maisy reading on the patio.
My dad's late to pick me up. I
hope I'm not a pain.
You're not a pain.
Margot sits on the back stairs drinking a glass of wine with
ice. The tent is up. The tables and chairs are placed
around the lawn. She watches Malcolm prepare to take the
tree down. She puts her pinky in her ear and twists. Claude
I told Paul I didn't want you guys
I thought it was interesting.
What did Paul say?
I think she liked it.
Yeah, right. Did you talk about me
I can tell you're lying.
We didn't, mom.
I don't trust her.
She really loves you. She does.
Margot tosses the remainder of her drink into the weeds.
Pauline told me she's very
disappointed in you.
She thinks you laze about the
house. Ingrid is always offering
to help clean or cook. She made
bracelets for all the guests. Even
Malcolm puts up the tent. You just
wait until everyone else does it
That's not true.
It is true. You're never helpful.
I wish I had taught you better
I can try to make popovers. If I
can remember how.
She looks at him with grave disappointment.
Why are you looking at me like
I just see how much you've changed.
Your body language. You used to be
rounder and more graceful. You're
so stiff now. So blase.
What do you mean?
I can't explain it.
Margot shakes her head. She's suddenly distraught.
It's okay though.
Claude looks devastated. He starts toward the beach.
Margot's eyes well up -- she says, trying to make things
You're still handsome.
62 EXT. HOUSE - SAME 62
Pauline marches toward Malcolm. Malcolm wears the safety
goggles and revs the chainsaw.
Are you able to do this yourself?
Pauline, do you want me to cut it
down or not?
Watch the tent.
The jagged blades pierce the trunk. Pauline crunches her
face. Malcolm stops suddenly.
He walks around the tree and inspects the bark.
(indicating his fleece)
I liked how it looked on Vogler.
Pauline starts to say something -- stops. Then:
I think it's over between Dick and
Margot. He was so cruel to her
today. And poor Claude had to
watch it all. She should just get
out of the marriage and then she
can fuck whoever she wants, you
know. It's cowardly. And Dick
Koosman. What a choice. I
I agree. I hate the idea of Dick
What does that mean? You want to
Pauline, that's not what I said.
I know you have a crush on her, you
already told me that.
Malcolm reddens and starts the chainsaw again. They yell
over the noise:
I didn't say that. I said I
thought she was attractive after
you grilled me. She has no
interest in me anyway. Not that it
would matter if she did.
Have you ever done anything like
What do you mean?
Have you ever cheated on me?
Malcolm shuts the motor.
Can I do this?
Those emails you had with that
student of mine.
Did that...I know you said it was
I just... Can you say it again?
I just did. Now, can I cut down
You never did anything with her?
No. She emailed me after we met at
that reading at the college and...
You know we were friends.
Right, just a regular friendship
between you and a twenty year old
Pauline, how many times do I have
to say it.
But...why don't I believe it?
Because Margot can't understand why
you're with me and now when she's
around you look for things.
Pauline looks at him long and hard. Malcolm takes off his
Okay. I'm sorry.
Malcolm and Pauline continue to stare at one another. He
guns the chainsaw. Tears spill suddenly from his eyes.
Pauline startles. He flicks the switch off.
I'm going to tell you something.
I don't want to lose you, though.
Pauline's face goes pale.
I'm going to tell you... Just let
I don't want to know.
...we didn't really do anything.
We were goofing around, I was
making fun of her cause she dates a
I don't want to know.
I shouldn't've put myself in that
position, I know that. We brushed
lips really. It was barely a kiss.
And then we stopped. That was it.
His nose runs. He wipes it messily with his arm.
Our tongues touched. I don't want
to under-sell it either. I mean...
We made out. I made out with her.
I don't know why. I don't even
like her. It's been a heady time.
(Pauline says nothing)
What are you thinking? Please,
tell me what you're thinking.
Pauline rushes at the tree -- she smacks her hands on the
trunk and throws all her weight behind one great shove. It
doesn't budge. In frustration and rage, she runs.
63 CUT TO: 63
Ingrid is the only one on the patio as Pauline approaches.
Has anyone seen Wizard?
No. Where's Maisy?
Upstairs, I think with Claude.
64 INT. PAULINE'S BEDROOM/HALLWAY - DAY 64
Pauline enters in a daze. A toilet flushes. Maisy comes out
of Pauline's bathroom.
Oh, hi. Sorry, I had to go. I
hope that's okay I used yours.
Pauline nods strangely. She goes to the window. Her dove
grey wedding dress hangs on the back of the door.
I love your wedding dress. It's so
unconventional and great.
Pauline nods. Her eye catches the Polaroids of her and
Malcolm nude which lie on top of the bureau. Maisy looks at
the pictures too.
Maisy shifts uneasily and leaves the room. Pauline follows.
Maisy walks down the hallway, aware that Pauline is right
Is everything okay?
Maisy stops at the landing. Claude sits at the bottom of the
staircase playing with a string.
Claude, do you want to play
Pauline raises her leg -- her foot hovers at Maisy's lower
back. She hesitates. Claude reacts with horror. Maisy
turns around to see Pauline with her foot in the air like
she's doing karate. Pauline's eyes dart around aimlessly.
Maisy stares, confused. Pauline slowly lowers her leg.
Something dawns on Maisy. She races down the stairs.
65 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 65
The deafening shriek of the blade as it cuts into the tree.
Malcolm is soaked in sweat. Ingrid watches from a few feet
In the distance -- Dick's orange BMW grinds into the
driveway. Maisy hurries toward him.
Ingrid says, buried in the noise:
Malcolm sees Dick. He pushes the blade harder into the wood.
Is it almost ready?
Maisy is talking to her father. Dick spots Malcolm. He
immediately starts toward him. Malcolm hesitates. Cold fear
creeps up his neck.
Dick speeds up.
Malcolm backs up slowly -- drops the chainsaw -- and bolts
toward the water. Ingrid watches, confused.
Dick takes off after him. Malcolm stumbles down the long
wooden stairs to the beach.
Malcolm runs wobbily -- he pants, already out of breath.
Sweat pours down his face and body.
Dick's gait is swift -- his arms stiff, bent at the elbow.
His jeans make a swish swish. He takes the stairs two at a
Malcolm grasps the railing, moving as fast as he can
sideways, trying not to fall. He reaches the beach, his feet
sinking in the sand. He trips and topples forward.
He looks up -- Dick lunges.
Dick pounds Malcolm's head and face. Malcolm throws his arms
up and tries to block the punches.
I didn't do anything! I didn't do
Dick gets up. He kicks Malcolm hard.
I don't ever want to see you again.
Malcolm balls himself up against a rock. He cries:
Fuck off, dickhead.
Dick marches forward and kicks Malcolm again hard.
Dick lights a brown cigarette and walks away. Malcolm
Fucking dickbag! She's lying!
He touches his face and sees the blood on his fingers.
(choking on tears)
There's a rustling noise in the wind. Malcolm looks -- a mud-
and sea-coated Wizard watches him with a panting smile.
66 CUT TO: 66
Wheels sputter in the gravel. Dick's car peels out with
Maisy in the passenger seat. Claude and Margot watch from
67 INT. LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM - SAME 67
Pauline is seated at the table with place cards, flowers,
silverware, napkins, dishes. Margot enters. Claude follows.
Come with me to New York.
I can't talk about it --
Okay, but you can't marry him. You
have to go now. We can think about
what to do with the baby --
Margot, I can't --
Don't turn vague, listen to me --
I want you to pack all your things
and get out of here. You can take
our car and leave it at the ferry.
I'll help out more. I can make
Pauline looks at Claude strangely. She leans down and kisses
him on the lips.
Do you love me?
Don't take this out on me? I'm on
No, you're not. You're not.
I've kept my mouth shut because --
No, you haven't kept your mouth
shut! No you haven't...kept your
Okay, I told you and I was right.
He's done an insane thing. You
don't know this man. What he did
Margot, I can't...
Pauline shoves a stack of plates and silverware off of the
table. The plates shatter. Silence save for their
Becky and I talk about you -- about
what a monster you are. Is it
cause Mom gave me the house? Can't
I have anything? What was I
thinking? I let you in. Get!
What? What are you saying? I
don't recognize you -- it's like
you're channelling someone.
68 EXT. FIELD - CONTINUOUS 68
The purple of Ingrid's batik shirt shines in the grass
beneath the tree.
The trunk -- a gash at its base -- teeters.
Pauline takes off into the field.
Ingrid sings to herself and traces the branches in the air
with her finger.
Pauline sprints --
Ingrid says to no one in particular:
Pauline's breaths are rapid, jagged.
A wind whips up. The tree sways.
Pauline thrusts her arms out, seizes Ingrid and hurls herself
away from the tree.
Ingrid sobs as they run. Pauline looks back. The tree is
still standing. They embrace a few feet out of its range.
It wasn't going to fall!
Malcolm trudges up the stairs. He's bloody and tattered.
Wizard trots behind him.
She hugs the dog and holds him by the collar. The three of
them stand a few feet apart.
There's a horrible creak -- and suddenly --
-- crack --
Malcolm pulls both girls toward him --
The tree topples -- the thick trunk rips through the wedding
tent and crashes through tables and chairs and the fence --
-- onto the Vogler's property.
69 INT. VOLVO - DAY 69
The speedometer needle wavers around 30. Margot clutches the
steering wheel. Claude looks morose. Pauline and Ingrid sit
stonily in the back seat. The Volvo jerks into the oncoming
lane and back. Margot draws a deep breath.
I thought you couldn't drive.
I can drive. Why does everyone say
that? I used to drive.
They inch up a small hill. A car cascades down past them.
The Volvo shakes. Pauline suddenly snaps out of her daze:
We have to call people and cancel.
What happened? Can I still sing?
Margot rolls down the window.
You do smell.
Well, I'm not wearing any
They reach the top of the hill, over the crest, and descend.
The vehicle picks up speed. Margot presses down on the
I don't think...
(she pumps again)
No... We don't have brakes.
The brakes are bad, that's right.
What does that mean?
What do you think it means?
I mean, what can we do?
The car coasts faster down the hill.
Margot places her arm stiffly across Claude's front.
Pauline wraps her body around her daughter.
Margot swerves into the shoulder -- she makes a sharp turn
into the forest and crashes through the bramble and muck.
The car slows until it comes to a sudden stop at the base of
70 CUT TO: 70
Margot and Claude, Pauline and Ingrid trudge through the bony
white trees of the forest -- their bags weigh them down.
They're all covered in sweat and there's dirt caked on their
feet and ankles.
I ruined these shoes.
Pauline's face screws up. She's suddenly in pain. She races
behind a tree. Margot follows.
Mom, are you okay?
Mom, what happened?
Margot steps to see around the trunk. The kids follow
behind. Pauline removes her panties from under her skirt.
She tosses them in the brush.
Margot turns to the kids. Ingrid hides a smile.
Did she poop in her pants?
It happens to everyone. Not just
babies. It'll happen to you too
71 EXT. FERRY - DAY 71
Margot and Claude sit, streaked with mud and perspiration.
Margot drinks a beer, Claude a Coke. Margot pops a blue pill
in her mouth and swallows. Ingrid swings on the rail.
Pauline hangs up a cell phone and hands it back to her
sister. She takes the beer and swigs.
I left mom and Becky a message.
I don't think mom knows how to work
Margot puts her pinky in her ear.
I can hear it flapping.
You should take care of that. It
can hatch eggs.
Claude turns his head. In the Chevy next to them sits Mrs.
Vogler and the Vogler boy. She sings along to the radio.
She runs her hand through her son's hair gently. He nestles
into her shoulder.
72 EXT. SEASIDE TOWN STREET - EVENING 72
The four of them get out of a taxi. A small, peeling hotel.
73 INT. HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS 73
A dark tight space with a faded and dirty green wall-to-wall
carpet. Pauline combs Ingrid's hair on one of the two double
beds. Ingrid practices her wedding song. Claude sits on the
other bed and looks into the open bathroom door: Margot
stands with her back to him. She talks on her cell phone in
a whisper. She hangs up. Claude walks inside. The sink
Sweety, there's a bus that leaves
to Vermont from town tomorrow
morning. I just talked to your dad
and he's going to pick you up.
Aren't you coming?
I have to help out Paul and Ingrid.
Claude tugs gently on his yellow bracelet.
I don't want to go tomorrow.
The distant bong of a low drum and beneath that -- chanting.
Claude follows Margot to the window. Ingrid and Pauline are
already looking out.
Clumps of demonstrators march in the street. Some people
hold up signs with slogans -- NO MORE -- BRING BACK -- the
rest is obscured from the window. Some marchers are dressed
in black hoods with white face paint and carry cardboard
Pauline points to a guy in a vest. As he turns around we see
it isn't him. Pauline withdraws, suddenly on the verge of
I can't live in that house alone.
You're going to be fine.
Maybe...maybe I could get a place
in Brooklyn -- Williamsburg or
something. People are living there
You don't want to live there. It's
all young people.
But what do you think of that idea?
Maybe. Let's see. You know if you
don't want to come with me, I'm
sure mom will let you stay with her
You're already trying to pass me
off on mom...
Don't say that. Come on, you'll
come home with us.
You don't even know where you're
going to live. You might have to
move in with mom too.
(mouthing a whisper)
Didn't you tell him?
Margot looks at her son who continues to watch out the
74 CUT TO: 74
Pauline emerges from behind the armoire doors wearing a long
nightshirt that reads: I Spent The Night With Arsenio Hall.
She enters the bathroom. She mutters to herself.
What have I done? What have I
Margot jimmies up the stiff window to let in some air. A few
stragglers still march in the street. Trash and pieces of
signage line the gutter. Margot turns into the room. She
puts her hand to her cheek and strokes her smooth skin. She
watches her son who removes his jeans for bed.
Nothing. Just then I felt so much
love for you.
75 CUT TO: 75
Pauline tucks in Ingrid who lies next to Claude. Margot sits
on the other bed scribbling in her brown notebook. Pauline
marches around and across to the other side of the room. She
snatches the book out of Margot's hands.
You cannot write about this. You
can't have it.
I wasn't writing about you.
You already took a part of my life,
you can't have any more. And that
goes for Ingrid and Malcolm and
Wizard. We all own our own rights.
They're not for sale.
Give it back.
Pauline glances at the book.
If I could read your handwriting
I'm sure I'd be furious. But if I
ever see a story that involves a
hotel room or any of this shit, I
will fucking take your bowels out.
Pauline thrusts the book back at Margot --
The kids sleep in one bed. Margot and Pauline lie awake in
You've now successfully ruined two
of my marriages.
You're not wearing any underwear.
It's hot, I'm pregnant. Move over.
You're not hot, your feet are cold.
Stop touching me. I am so hot.
Feel my head.
Margot puts her lips to Pauline's forehead.
You have a fever.
I don't have a fever... I'm
pregnant...are you always like
Get used to it... Mom and Becky
share a bed -- you and I will
probably get the other.
You should just go to Vermont.
I was thinking -- you know if you
want -- you and Ingrid could go to
Vermont. Keep Claude company and
Jim adores you.
You don't like Malcolm because
you're not attracted to him.
Will you do it?
No. I won't do that for you.
Did you two talk about me in town?
What did you say?
I told him you often change your
76 INT. BAR/RESTAURANT - MORNING 76
Cheap plastic tables. A small karaoke stage in front.
Margot, Claude, Pauline and Ingrid sit at the bar. Margot
drinks her wine with ice. She wears Jim's sweater. The kids
have Cokes. The remains of ketchup-soaked french fries in a
plastic red basket lie between them.
A man with a mullet climbs up on the karaoke stage. The
music begins. The man sways and sings "On and On" by Stephen
Bishop. He croons sweetly and beautifully. Claude's eyes
moisten. Margot swallows a blue pill and chases it with the
wine. She takes her son's hand and whispers:
I'm sorry, sweety. There's
something wrong with me.
I'm going to call him.
Margot quickly turns to her sister.
No. Don't. I'm telling you.
I...I need some clothes and things.
He should get the hell out of our
Okay. I'll tell him to get the
hell out of our house.
Pauline walks over to a pay phone.
77 CUT TO: 77
Pauline holds the receiver to her ear. She stares at a
drawing of a monster fucking a woman on the wall above the
pay phone. Malcolm is crying.
The tent looks so lonely.
It has no one to get married in it.
78 EXT. HOUSE - INTERCUT 78
Malcolm sits in the grass, the tree and wreckage behind him.
I know. And it's smashed. I'm
such a fucking idiot. Please don't
take me seriously. I mean take me
seriously, but not the fucked up
parts, you know. I love you so
much. Please marry me.
You can't do what you did again.
Do you understand?
No matter how tempting.
At the bar: Margot watches her sister carefully. She absent-
mindedly picks through her red knit bracelet and drops it
onto the floor.
Ingrid slides something small and grey across the bar to
You left it in my room.
It's a piece of fingernail. He hesitates then puts it in his
At the phone: Pauline rests her head against the wall.
Malcolm is bawling on the other end.
I don't know. I don't know.
Malcolm clutches Wizard and sputters:
I ate some of the cake. I don't
know why, but I did it.
What was... How was it?
It's not too sweet? They sometimes
make their stuff too sweet.
Maybe. Maybe it was. I didn't
even notice... They fucked up the
cake. How sad. I love our little
baby. I miss you.
I miss you too. Maybe we should do
Malcolm says something incomprehensible.
I can't understand you, honey.
Margot finishes her glass of wine, her eyes still on her
There's gramma and Aunt Becky!
Margot startles and looks out the window. Across the street
is an older woman, 70's, and a large woman, mid 30's, eating
ice cream cones and looking in a boarded-up shop window.
They didn't get my message.
Pauline now stands above them.
I told you she can't work the
Ingrid's chair scrapes as she stands. She takes her mother's
hand. Margot remains seated.
What? You're not coming?
I'm coming, I'm coming. What did
Pauline and Ingrid head for the door. Claude waits for
What did he say?
She grabs her bags and drops some bills on the table.
Don't worry, I got it.
79 EXT. STREET - MORNING 79
The sisters and children come outside. The mother and Becky
now idle further down the street.
Margot takes Claude's arm and walks quickly in the opposite
direction. Claude, confused, glances over his shoulder.
Don't look. Keep walking.
Why are we --
We have to get you to your bus.
80 CUT TO: 80
A huge parking lot. A bus in the distance. Claude tries to
keep pace with his mother.
Did you do something?
What do you mean, do something?
I mean, why is the wedding not
happening? Is there something that
Pauline has transferred all her
stuff onto me. I don't understand
her anymore. Why'd she pick this
man? It is really berserk. And
you know, she referred to me as her
closest friend. We never see one
An unfamiliar sound comes out of Margot. The sadness is
unexpected -- she sobs uncontrollably. She tries to speak:
I mean we're not close. Even if we
want to be. You know?
But was there anything real?
No! How many times do I have to
say it? Jesus. You think so
little of me.
(through her sobs)
It's good you're going. You
shouldn't be around me either. I'd
go if I were you...
Will you find Pauline and Nana
after I leave?
I don't know. Maybe I'll go to
Margot is sweating. She wipes her brow with her sleeve. She
periodically looks behind her. Nobody seems to be following.
Are you angry at me?
No, honey. I'm not mad at you.
I don't want to go with you mad at
Everything's fine. I'm not mad at
Up ahead is a tiny depot. People climb onto a white bus.
Can you come with me?
No, you know that.
We should talk about the next few
months a little bit and what's
going to happen --
I don't like Vermont.
Your dad will be very happy to see
you. And I'm sure Josh is dying to
Please come, mom.
Claude, stop it. Okay?
She watches a man sustain a long embrace with another man.
Margot closes her eyes. She breathes deeply.
You used to need me to watch you
when you played.
What do you mean?
When you first started to play with
friends, you wouldn't do it unless
I watched you. You were afraid I
would go out the back door. I
don't know where I would go. Our
yard didn't lead anywhere anyway.
She takes off her sweater and reveals an old faded yellow T-
shirt. She isn't wearing a bra. Claude says suddenly:
I masturbated last night. While
everyone was asleep I went into the
bathroom and did it.
You don't have to tell me, sweety.
The bus driver slams the luggage compartment closed.
You've got to go.
Margot ties her sweater around her waist and takes Claude's
hand. They approach the bus. Claude's body tenses.
How will you get home?
I don't know. I'll see. Maybe
Dick can drive me to the...
Jesus, I lost the word for a
second. The train.
He looks at her longingly.
Come on. You always don't want to
leave me and you always have a good
time once you do.
I think you like getting away from
I do not. I like hanging out with
She hugs him. He clutches her.
The world feels strange to me right
Margot nods sympathetically. She kisses his lips and
releases him. He reaches into his bag and shyly puts on his
wrap-around punk sunglasses. Margot makes a face.
They make your face look too wide.
Claude removes them and puts them back in the bag.
See you soon.
Say, you'll see me "soon."
You're acting like a baby.
She backs away --
Don't see Dick.
Don't worry. I don't think he
wants to see me anyway.
Please, Margot. Promise me.
Don't call me that.
Claude doesn't move. Margot points at the bus and mouths
"Go". She turns in the other direction. Claude, frustrated
and anxious approaches the vehicle.
81 INT. BUS - CONTINUOUS 81
Claude hurries toward the back and finds a window seat. He
puts his bag next to him and looks out the dirty glass.
Claude's POV: Margot, her back to him, puts her finger in her
ear and shakes her head.
The sweater around her waist loosens and drifts to the
pavement. She starts walking.
The bus hisses and lurches forward. Claude strains to see:
Margot looks back.
The bus groans as it picks up speed. Margot sprints.
She's runs full speed, waving her arms wildly.
She pants, breathless.
The bus brakes.
She passes Claude's window. We stay on Claude. He waits.
Finally, she appears next to him, covered in sweat, and
panting. She kisses him on the head. The bus starts moving.
Did you see me running out there?
Margot cranes her neck to see outside.
Good. That was a lot of running.
I'm out of breath.
Claude turns away from his mother and looks out the window.
CUT TO BLACK.