Based on the novel by
1 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 1
Darkness. The faint background hum of a refrigerator. A light
clicks on, briefly, then snaps off again.
Then on again, for a little longer.
We wake groggily with JACK (five), blinking up at MA (26).
She's standing in a worn t-shirt and underwear beside a lamp,
switching it on and off at apparently random intervals. She
cranes up at the recessed skylight, Room's only window.
The irregular flashes of lamp-light reveal glimpses of this
little world lined with cork: ten foot a side, seven foot
high, gabled ceiling rising to ten foot.
Clusters of Jack's and Ma's vivid drawings are pinned all
over the walls, quivering in the draft from the vents. Done
with five crayons (red, yellow, blue, orange, green) and
pencil on toilet tissue, lined pages or cardboard, they show
dogs, trees, aliens, rocket ships, figures labelled 'Jack' or
'Ma'. Delicate mobiles (uncooked spaghetti, threads,
plastics, foil, down from pillows, cloth scraps) dangle.
A wardrobe with slatted louver doors. On top, toys crafted
from garbage, a Labyrinth from toilet-roll insides.
A dresser with a TV. A homemade pack of cards, papier mâché
checkers and chess. A Fort constructed from vitamin and other
bottles and cans. A single meagre African violet in a pot on
A round dining table, two fold-up chairs side by side.
A bath with a single small towel over the side.
A toilet, with a flotilla of homemade toy boats floating in
the tank which is oddly missing a lid.
A sink, with a single worn toothbrush, toothpaste, dish soap,
a broken comb, folded rags for washcloths. A small square of
mirror tile hung up over it.
A small kitchen cabinet. A dish rack: two each of big and
small white plates, bowls, tumblers, knives, forks, spoons
(one with a melted handle), a scissors, can opener, serrated
knife, wooden spoon, spatula.
A basic stove (with more folded rags on its handle, for pot
holders), one frying pan and one saucepan.
A small refrigerator (more toys on top), a tiny trash.
1 CONTINUED: 1
A rocker. Above, a shelf. Ten books stacked. Homemade toys.
A reddish Persian-style rug on the floor.
A grey steel door, no handle. On the wall, a ten-digit
keypad with a red light like a watching eye.
Ma looks over at Jack and sees that he's awake. She mouths
'Sh' at him, soothing him back to sleep. Keeps signalling.
Darkness again, as Jack's eyelids fall.
2 INT. ROOM - DAY 2
Faint light. Jack and Ma sleep face to face in a double bed
under a thin quilt. Pale skin, long hair, wearing t-shirts.
You cried all day and left TV on
till you were a zombie. But then I
zoomed down from heaven through
Skylight into Room -
(makes noise of descent,
then crash landing)
and I was kicking you from the
inside, boom boom, and then I shot
out onto Rug with my eyes wide
open, and you cutted the cord and
said "Hello Jack."
Ma. I'm five!
CHAPTER TITLE: PRESENTS
3 INT. ROOM - DAY 3
A little later, Ma, at the kitchen counter, measures out two
small bowls of cereal.
Jack moves round Room touching things: Rug's rusty bloodstain
from his birth; the scarred Table; chairs; faucets, etc.
Morning lamp, Morning rug, Morning
(he looks under the bed)
3 CONTINUED: 3
Morning Eggsnake. It's my birthday.
3 CONTINUED: (2) 3
Ma puts breakfast on the table. Sits.
Jack sits, too. Ma gives him a half vitamin pill from an
almost empty tub. She takes a contraceptive pill from a
generic pack. They start to eat. Ma winces.
Is Bad Tooth hurting?
(taps her head)
Mind over matter.
He taps his head too as he chants the slogan.
If we don't mind, it doesn't
Guess what we're going to make
A birthday cake, like in TV?
But for real.
4 INT. ROOM - DAY 4
A little later, Ma is brushing Jack's teeth (with their
single, frayed brush) zealously. He spits with vigor.
A little later, Ma and Jack are looking a two small piles of
Come on slow poke.
You, pink soft, pink swirls.
You always pick that. But I guess
it's your birthday.
4 CONTINUED: 4
She reaches for her clothes.
Me, bear and jeans.
A little later. Ma scrubs the floor with an old cloth diaper
while Jack watches TV. Both in t-shirt and jeans (Jack's with
worn-out knees), but shoeless.
DORA THE EXPLORER
We couldn't have done it without
you. Thanks for helping. Gracias.
The salsa theme tune starts.
Just one more planet.
Ma stands up, doing a zombie impression.
Too much TV will turn us into
zombies ... Anyway, it's time to
mark how tall you are.
This makes him switch the TV off fast and run to the door.
Ma marks his height with a tiny 5 in black pen on the cork.
Jack ducks and uses his fingers to measure the gap. Frowns.
I'm not very taller after four.
Oh, that's pretty normal.
He touches the space between 3 (in red) and 4 (in black).
4 CONTINUED: (2) 4
That's where Red Pen died and we
got Black Pen for Sunday Treat.
Hey, what about cookies?
Sorry, I already asked for jeans
for you for Sunday Treat.
He swallows his disappointment.
I'm going to grow and grow till I'm
a giant. Look, Ma. Look how big my
superpowers are already.
He makes a tiny bicep. Ma musters enthusiasm at the prospect
of him growing up.
You'll be as strong as Samson soon.
(holding up his long hair)
Huger every day.
Good word sandwich.
He starts leaping around the room, moving gracefully between
all the familiar obstacles.
I'm going to be Jack the Giant
Giant-Killer and burst out of
Skylight into Space with my dog
Lucky and boing boing boing between
all the planets...
5 INT. ROOM - DAY 5
A little later, playing 'Track'. The rug is draped over the
table on the bed. They run back and forward on a worn C, both
of them training hard, like athletes.
6 INT. ROOM - DAY 6
Later, the furniture is back in place. Jack picks Dylan the
Digger from his stack, which includes Pop-Up Airport, My Big
Book of Nursery Rhymes, The Runaway Bunny, Alice in
Wonderland. (He ignores the adult books - The Da Vinci Code,
Twilight, The Guardian, Bittersweet Love, The Shack.)
Ma can't hide her revulsion at Dylan the Digger again.
Come on, you can read Dylan
I can read them all but I like when
Ma recites animatedly. Jack turns the board pages, not
noticing that Ma's eyes are shut as she reads from memory.
Heeeeeeeere's Dylan, the sturdy
digger! / The loads he shovels get
bigger and bigger. / Watch his long
arm delve into the earth, / No
excavator so loves to munch dirt.
7 INT. ROOM - DAY 7
Later, Jack blows the second of two small eggs, keeping the
shell intact. Beating butter and sugar, Ma keeps up their
Our friend Table... just isn't
Jack pours the eggs into her bowl of butter and sugar.
Our friend Spoon, sings to the
Ma beats the eggs in.
Our friend Knife runs for his life.
She winces in pain, and shakes out her right wrist. Jack
notices and takes over, beating the batter for her.
7 CONTINUED: 7
Later: Ma strings the shells onto the needle tongue of their
Eggsnake, made of eggshells crayoned, given paper clothes,
foil crowns, colored wool for hair... Eggsnake is hundreds
of eggs long.
8 INT. ROOM - DUSK 8
A little later. The birthday cake is small, brown, plain.
Ma makes a 5 with thin white icing.
Now the candles.
Reading her face, his crumples.
You said a birthday cake for real.
That means candles on fire.
You should ask for candles for
Sunday Treat, not dumb jeans.
Sorry. I have to ask for stuff we
really need that he can get easily.
But Old Nick gets anything, by
Try your cake, I bet it's
But Jack is sulking. She hugs him, quietly soothing him.
Next week when I'm six you better
ask for real candles.
Next year, you mean.
Later: Half the cake is eaten.
8 CONTINUED: 8
Jack is kneeling at the bath. There's a bucket with dishes in
front of him. He's washing up as expertly as an adult.
9 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 9
Later. Steam makes Room mysterious. Jack lies on Ma in the
bath, both with bubble moustaches. End of the Selkie story:
But one day the mermaid finds where
the fisherman hid her comb.
So she runs home to the sea.
She lets her head and face sink under the water.
Jack sits up on her, upset.
Ma emerges and opens her eyes. Realizes what's wrong.
Of course she takes her Baby Jack
Does he drown?
No, he's half-merman. He can
breathe air or water, whichever.
Satisfied, Jack leans over to scoop up the pile of clothes.
With relish, he plunges them under the water.
10 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 10
Laundry is hung up to dry everywhere. Ma and Jack are in
their sleep t-shirts and underwear. She sits breastfeeding
him and telling him a story.
10 CONTINUED: 10
... and Edmond swims and swims to
the island of Monte Cristo and digs
up all the treasure, and ...
11 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 11
A little later Jack watches as Ma places blankets and a
pillow on the floor of the wardrobe.
Can we have more birthday cake?
Just a bite.
We've brushed our teeth already.
One more story?
She checks her watch nervously: getting close to nine.
Jack, it's late. Come on.
Jack jumps in and snuggles down. Pictures of Dora and her
monkey Boots are glued on the back wall; this is a tiny room
within Room. Ma covers him up for the night.
She begins to sing `The Big Rock Candy Mountain'.
12 INT. ROOM - WARDROBE - NIGHT 12
A little later. Dim light comes through the slats. Jack lies
stroking the dangling clothes, the pictures glued to the
wardrobe. He freezes at the sound of the beeps that mean the
outside door is about to open.
He lies absolutely still, listening for Old Nick's entrance.
He savors the scent of fresh air, but shivers: winter.
Boom: now the door's shut again.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
12 CONTINUED: 12
Jack goes up on his elbow to squint through the slats but
only sees a bit of the man's down jacket as he takes it off.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Here's the jeans.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
The grapes were way too much, so I
got canned pears.
Jack can see Ma as she puts groceries away.
Now OLD NICK moves into view too. Forties, solidly built,
blue-collar: a ordinary monster.
What's that? A birthday cake?
He cuts himself a piece and eats it in a few bites.
Ma starts getting undressed.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
Shoulda told me, I'd have brought
him a present.
Jack twitches at this thrilling possibility.
Old Nick starts undressing too: like some dull marriage.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
What's he now, four?
Jack, in the wardrobe, is all agog for Ma to correct him.
(too low to be heard)
Sounds of the adults getting into bed. The lamp clicking off.
Then the familiar creaks of the bed. Jack doesn't know what
they mean but is troubled. He counts them under his breath.
12 CONTINUED: (2) 12
One, two, three, four...
There's Room, then Outer Space,
then Heaven. Plant is real but not
trees. Spiders are real and one
time the mosquito that was sucking
my blood. But squirrels and dogs
are just TV, except Lucky my dog
that might be some day. Mountains
are too big to be real and the sea.
In the dark of the wardrobe, Jack is still counting.
One twenty-eight, one twenty-
TV persons are flat and made of
colors with red mouths and clothes
instead of skin but me and you are
real. Old Nick I don't know if
he's real, maybe half? Green beans
are real and chocolate but not ice
The bedsprings are speeding up.
Three hundred six, seven, eight -
A primal grunt from Old Nick. The creaking is done. Jack is
asleep at the bottom of the wardrobe.
Old Nick goes over to the TV and switches on sports.
He turns down the volume. The sound of the sports broadcast
overlaps with the thud of the door closing. The wardrobe door
opens admitting the faint light of the L.E.D on the keypad.
We cut to a shot of Ma putting a sleeping Jack into the bed.
As she starts to climb in beside we pull back and crane up.
13 INT. ROOM - DAY 13
Next morning. Jack watches a nature programme on TV: time-
lapse photography of one glorious tree.
13 CONTINUED: 13
Ma is using a needle and thread to take in Jack's new, much-
too-big jeans. Jack finds a trodden cigarette butt under the
corner of the rug. Old Nick must have brought it in on his
shoe. Jack studies it.
TV NARRATOR (V.O.)
Fallen leaves decompose and return
nutrients to the soil.
(to herself, referring to
Cheap piece of ...
Jack looks at the sad African violet on the bedside table.
Why Plant doesn't make flowers
Maybe she's tired.
14 INT. ROOM - DAY 14
Jack, on the bed: he squirms, twists, bounces with intense
Beside the bed now, he runs on the spot at maximum speed. In
the background we see Ma cooking.
14 CONTINUED: 14
15 OMITTED 15
16 INT. ROOM - DAY 16
Later the same day. Ma is napping. Jack is playing on the
floor. Counting things. Tracing the patterns of rug with his
What was that? He stares at the floor by the stove; glimpses
Jack tiptoes over, but the moving thing is gone. He looks
furtively at Ma then takes out the cake. He crumbles some and
sets the plate on the floor. He squats and waits.
A mouse puts its nose out, sniffs and takes a crumb.
Something smashes into the stove: one of Ma's heavy books.
Jack cries out in shock and distress.
You made him gone!
Ma starts to sweep up the crumbs.
He was an alive thing, he was real!
They'd steal our food.
She crawls under the counter, finds the hole. Tears aluminum
foil from the roll. Scrunches it.
Mouse can have my food, I'm not
They'd bring in germs, bite us in
16 CONTINUED: 16
Mouse is my friend and you splatted
No I didn't, he's hunky-dory.
She stops blocking up the hole to hug Jack.
Are you just tricking me?
I swear, he's safe at home with his
Ma in the backyard.
Ma, realizing her slip, tidies up instead of answering.
Mouse lives in a yard in TV?
Ma holds up the aluminum foil to distract him.
Hey, let's make a UFO with this.
Jack brings out the other grudge he's been nursing.
Why you didn't tell Old Nick it was
Because he's not our friend.
He said he'd brung me a present.
You shouldn't hear what he - You're
meant to be asleep.
I never had a present.
He didn't mean it.
It might be Lucky my dog.
16 CONTINUED: (2) 16
Jack. We can't have a dog. We
don't have room -
(sees him misunderstand)
- space, enough space - cooped up
in here with the barking, the
Lucky won't scratch, he promises.
There is no Lucky!
Yeah there is.
He's just made-up, in your head,
he's not real.
Devastated, Jack bursts into tears.
Ma sits down beside him and strokes him.
17 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 17
That evening. Jack sits in Ma's lap, watching a TALK-SHOW
hostess interview a one-armed war veteran. Ma is threading
eggshells onto a string, hundreds of shells long. Jack gently
supports the unraveled part.
Ma lets out a big yawn and discreetly rubs her aching jaw.
...most poignant aspect, I can
speak for all our viewers, so, so
deeply moved by what you endured.
Ma. Where are we when we're asleep?
Right here in Room.
But dreams. Do we go into TV for
We're never anywhere but here.
17 CONTINUED: 17
I want some.
They put down Eggsnake and Ma turns to him so he can
17A INT. ROOM - NIGHT 17A
Ma lies on the bed. Jack is nowhere to be seen. Eventually
his voice comes from the wardrobe.
Ma! I think Old Nick lives in TV,
like Mouse. That's where he goes
when he's not here in Room.
Jack. Go to sleep.
18 INT. ROOM - DAY 18
The third morning. Jack wakes up in the bed, where Ma always
carries him once Old Nick has gone.
Ma is up already, sitting at the table, staring at a shiny
red truck and remote in a hard pack. The snake is in Eden.
Jack can hardly believe what's in front of him. He looks at
it for a while.
You can open it.
We watch as Jack opens the box. Ma tries to help him when he
finds the packaging difficult.
(pulling it away from her)
I can do it.
Later, Jack is playing with his new toy. Ma watches him
uneasily. We hear a faint echo of screaming ...
CHAPTER TITLE: UNLYING The screaming get's louder.
Later, Ma is standing on a chair screaming and howling at the
Skylight. Jack stands in the bath screaming into the small
air vent above the shelf. He holds his truck up to the vent
so it can join in.
Then they hush and listen.
Why the aliens never scream back?
I guess they still can't hear us.
Tomorrow we'll do even louderer.
Later, Ma, preoccupied, trims mold off cheese she slices very
thin and lays on brown bread. Puts it in the toaster oven.
Jack zigzags his truck around chair and table legs. Ma checks
to see if the frozen peas are boiling yet. Jack drives the
truck at the door: clang.
18 CONTINUED: 18
What smells bad?
Ma belatedly realizes the grilled cheese is smoking.
She burns her hand slightly on the oven, wrenching it open.
19 INT. ROOM - WARDROBE - NIGHT 19
That evening. Jack, in the wardrobe, is meant to be asleep
but he's still playing with his truck.
The door beeps; he kneels up for a glimpse as it booms shut.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Hey. What's the smell?
He puts down groceries, unzips his jacket.
Sorry, I burned some cheese.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
You need to take more care.
I will. I wasn't thinking.
Yeah, well, thinking's not your
I know. I'm really sorry.
Ma is unpacking the groceries.
So did he like his truck?
He laughs at her speechless discomfort.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
I know boys, I was one once.
Ma looks at the empty bag.
Waste of money.
If we had a better diet, maybe...
19 CONTINUED: 19
OLD NICK (OVERLAPPING)
Here we go again. You know instead
of complaining maybe you should
thank your lucky stars you've got a
place like this. Cosy, safe,
specially with the kid - no drunk
drivers, drug-pushers, perverts...
Like pulling teeth sometimes.
Ma waits for him to calm down.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
Your problem is you have no idea
about the world of today.
Who pays the power bills? Who pays
She gives the required answer.
And where do you think the money's
going to keep coming from?
What do you mean?
No, but -
OLD NICK (OVERLAPPING)
Six months I've been laid off, have
you had to worry your little head?
Pause as Ma takes in the implications of this. She proceeds
19 CONTINUED: (2) 19
What are you going to do?
He doesn't answer.
Are you... looking for another job?
OLD NICK (OVERLAPPING)
What job? There are no damn jobs,
Jack, frightened, shrinks back in the wardrobe knocking into
the back panel. Old Nick turns his attention to the wardrobe.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
Hey in there.
Don't think so. You keep him in the
closet all day as well as all
night? Poor little freak has two
heads or something?
He roots in his jacket pockets and produces an already opened
tube of hard candy.
OLD NICK (CONT'D)
Hey Jack. You like candy? Wanna
come out and have some candy?
Jack, tempted, reaches for the door...
Desperate to distract Old Nick, Ma touches his arm.
Let's go to bed.
Old Nick chuckles at this unaccustomed seductiveness.
Didn't your Momma ever teach you
19 CONTINUED: (3) 19
Pocketing the candy, he wraps himself round her.
They edge backwards out of view.
The lamp snaps off.
20 INT. ROOM - WARDROBE - NIGHT 20
A little later, everything is quiet. Moonlight.
Jack, asleep in a crooked position, wakes with a jump. He
sits up and rubs his neck. Finds his truck. He opens the door
and peeks out. Where's the candy?
21 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 21
Stepping out, holding his truck for moral support, Jack
stumbles into something and gasps. He picks it up: a thick
leather belt, like a cobra.
21 CONTINUED: 21
He takes another few steps and stubs his toe on a huge boot.
Jack stares at Old Nick, asleep in the middle of the bed.
Ma is sleeping too, clinging to the far side.
Now he's come this far, Jack forgets the candy, fascinated by
Old Nick, whom he's seeing up close for the first time.
Jack puts his finger out, almost touching Old Nick's face.
Old Nick's eyes open, startled. Then he grins.
Ma leaps up screaming and flailing at Old Nick.
Get away from him! Get away!
Jack drops his truck and races to the wardrobe.
He jumps in and pulls the door, banging his head.
22 INT. ROOM - WARDROBE - NIGHT 22
Jack clutches his head, curled up in the corner of the
wardrobe, because it hurts, and to shut out Ma's screeching.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Stop that noise.
Ma is suddenly muted. The thump of Old Nick throwing her down
on the bed. The lamp snaps on. Jack flinches and turns his
face away from the light.
OLD NICK (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Of all the crazy...
Sound of him pulling his clothes on, kicking the truck away.
Just leave him alone.
The door makes the three beeps.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Just don't forget where you got
22 CONTINUED: 22
Sound of the door opening, then shutting with a boom. Jack
waits to hear what Ma will do or say to him.
The lamp clicks off again: darkness. Jack dives out of the
23 INT. ROOM - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS 23
Sorry I - sorry - sorry -
He sobs and hyperventilates by the side of the bed.
Sorry I came out of Wardrobe.
Ma takes him into bed with her.
She soothes him.
24 INT. ROOM - DAY 24
Shot of ice-crystals on the skylight. Silence: no
Jack wakes first, shivering, though he doesn't know why. He
is astonished by purple bruises around Ma's throat. As if she
feels his gaze, Ma wakes and musters a smile. Jack notices
the white clouds of their breath in the air.
Ma, we're dragons.
Ma sits up. Registers the chill. Getting out of bed, she
turns on the lamp: no light. Jack is crushed to finds his
Jeep, one wheel snapped off.
Ma opens the refrigerator: dark inside. She's appalled.
He's cut the power.
She glances at the keypad: its little red light is out.
With a wild, illogical hope, she hurls herself at the door
and claws at its edges - but it's still locked. Jack watches,
bewildered: he's never seen her try to open it.
25 INT. ROOM - DAY 25
Jack is at the table reading to his injured truck from ALICE.
Both are dressed in all their clothes in an effort to keep
For, you see, so many out-of-the-
way things had happened lat-ely -
- lately, that Alice had begun to
think that very few things indeed
were really impossible.
Ma comes to the table and doles out half-thawed green beans.
We have to use them up before they
rot. Once we eat we'll feel warmer.
Jack makes himself chew a limp bean. Ma nibbles a few, with a
show of enthusiasm. Jack looks at his three-wheeled truck.
When's Old Nick going to put the
25 CONTINUED: 25
Once he's not mad with me anymore.
Jack watches the bruises on her throat move.
I hope he never comes back not
Jack. Think about it.
He does, with difficulty.
No Sunday Treat?
Jack tries the bean again - then spits it out quietly. Ma
watches him, kisses him, forces herself to begin telling him
Hey Jack. Remember the mouse?
My friend Mouse?
You know where he is right now?
Jack looks all around Room.
On the other side of this wall.
Jack stares hard at the wall.
What other side?
Oh Jack, everything has two sides.
Not an octagon.
No, that's -
25 CONTINUED: (2) 25
An octagon has eight.
Ma holds up her hand flat.
But a wall's like this. And we're
on the inside, in Room, and Mouse
is on the outside, see?
In Outer Space?
No, in the world. It's much closer
than Outer Space.
She shows him the distance with her hands.
I don't see any outside side.
But if we were outside in the
world, we would, we'd be looking at
the other side of this wall, and
Mouse lying in the grass with his
Ma. We'd see trees and cars and -
Grass is just TV.
Is it, though? You know when Door
opens and the air comes in, the air
that smells fresher - that's grass.
Jack tries to laugh.
You can't smell TV.
But it's not TV. It's the real
world we smell. You're so smart, I
know you've started wondering.
25 CONTINUED: (3) 25
Jack shakes his head.
Where do you think Old Nick gets
From TV by magic.
There's no magic! Everything we see
on TV - it's pictures of real stuff
and real people in the world.
Dora's real for real?
No, sorry, not Dora, she's just a
picture, but the other ones, with
faces like ours - and there's real
streets and oceans, dogs, cats -
No way. Where would they all fit?
Just out there, in the world.
Jack, tired of this, changes the subject.
Can I have a sandwich?
Controlling her exasperation, Ma gets out a half slice of
bread and adds a rationed scraping of peanut butter. She sets
down his food and he comes to the table to eat it.
25 CONTINUED: (4) 25
Ma stands with her hands in her armpits to warm them. She
stares around as if for proof. Cranes up at the skylight.
Look! A leaf!
She climbs up on a chair and lifts Jack onto her shoulders so
he can see. His head is close to the recessed skylight. He
looks at a brown, sodden half-rotted leaf.
Dumbo Ma. That's not a leaf. Leaves
On the trees they are but when they
fall they rot, like salad, in the
fridge, they -.
Where's all the stuff you said?
Trees and dogs and -
Well, we can't see them from here
because the skylight looks upwards
instead of sideways.
Jack suddenly struggles to get down, nearly toppling them.
You're just tricking me.
No I'm not.
Liar liar pants on fire!
Jack. I couldn't explain before,
you were too small to understand,
so.. I had to make up a story.
25 CONTINUED: (5) 25
But now - it's the opposite of
lying, I'm unlying, because now
you're five I think you can
understand about the world, you
have to understand.
Jack shakes his head, not in bewilderment but in resistance.
I want to be four again.
They face each other, standing with the table between them.
Ma musters the energy to try again, telling him her own story
this time. She picks up Jack's copy of ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
You know how Alice wasn't always in
She fell down down down the hole.
Well, I'm like Alice. I wasn't
always in Room.
A heavy silence, as Jack absorbs this.
I used to be a little girl called
Joy. I lived-
I lived in a house out in the world
(taps on the wall)
- with my mom and dad. You'd call
them Grandma and Grandpa.
The house where we lived, with a
hammock in the back yard. We used
to swing in the hammock and eat ice
25 CONTINUED: (6) 25
A TV house?
It's not TV, Jack. Are you
No answer from him.
And then I was nearly grown up, I
was seventeen, I was walking to
school and -
Where was I?
Still up in heaven. So this guy ran
up to me, saying his -
We call him Old Nick, but I don't
know his real name. He pretended
his dog was sick, he seemed really -
What's the dog's name?
There was no dog. It was just a
trick to get me into his truck. Old
Nick stole me.
I want a different story.
You need to hear this one. He put
me in his garden shed.
Here. Room's the shed. He's the
only one with the code - secret
numbers to open the door. I've been
locked in here for seven years. Do
25 CONTINUED: (7) 25
Jack's had enough.
This story's boring.
Jack, the world. You wouldn't
believe how big it is. Room's only
a tiny stinky piece of it.
Room's not stinky. Only when you
do a fart.
Ma sit's down. She doesn't look at Jack.
I don't believe in your stinky
(bitter, still not looking
Fine. That's fine Jack.
Another long miserable pause. Jack, angry and upset, watches
her for a while then sits down on the floor and takes out his
toys from under the TV. He plays quietly.
Ma looks up at the skylight. As she watches a gust of wind
blow the leaf away.
LATER - dusk
Ma and Jack are in bed, under the duvet in their clothes,
shuddering with cold. Jack tries the lamp. Nothing. He fixes
the dents in the shade then lies back down. A terrible
flatness in the air. Ma is turned away from Jack. She has
26 OMITTED 26
26 CONTINUED: 26
27 INT. ROOM - DAY 27
Next morning, a sunny day. Jack wakes up beside Ma.
It's warm again.
But she pulls the pillow over her head.
He knows it's one of her rare catatonic Gone days.
27 CONTINUED: 27
Later. Jack eats cereal and watches DORA (sound on very low).
DORA AND BOOTS
Where do we go next? River, Bridge,
Highest Hill. Will you check my
backpack for something to help us?
Later. TV off. Jack creeps up to Ma and studies what he can
see of her bruises, which are more purple-black today.
He tries to read Ma's watch but the angle makes it hard.
He plays at switching Ma on with the remote.
Later. Jack plays chess (with their homemade papier mâché
set) against his truck.
Later. Kicks a shrivelled red balloon to keep it in the air.
Later. It's turned cloudy. Jack nibbles a bagel at the table.
Later. He makes a tour of his domain, his friends.
Eggsnake's our longest friend and
fanciest. Meltedy Spoon's the best
to eat with because he's more
blobbier. Labyrinth is the
twistiest and she hides things so I
don't know where. Toilet's the best
at disappearing poo. Lamp's the
brightest except when the powercut.
(glances at Ma)
You're the best at reading and
songs and lots except if you're
having a Gone Day. I'm the best at
drawing and jumping and growing and
He examines the truck's broken axle. Yanks on another wheel
until it snaps off. Then the last two. He twists the doors
off. Stuffs the truck, its parts and remote in the trash.
Later, light fading. Jack lies beside Ma, longing to
breastfeed. Lifts the edge of her t-shirt, but doesn't dare.
He sits up, rests his hand on the bump of Ma's foot.
28 INT. ROOM - DAY 28
Next day. Ma (apparently normal again) and Jack finish their
28 CONTINUED: 28
He takes a big bite and hands it back to her.
Ma bites in, winces. She reaches into her mouth and pulls out
Bad Tooth? Can I have it?
Sure, if you want it.
29 INT. ROOM - DAY 29
A little later. Jack is watching wildlife while Ma cleans up
from breakfast: baby turtles emerging from shells and heading
down the beach.
Tying up the trash bag, she finds the truck, and realizes
that Jack has destroyed it because it came from Old Nick.
Are turtles real?
Ma's head shoots up: this is the first sign that he's
starting to believe her about the world.
Totally real. I had a pet turtle.
Crocodiles, sharks, and hungry fish
are all waiting in the shallows.
Crocodiles and sharks -
They're all real.
29 CONTINUED: 29
Curious, Jack switches channels: a 1970 BBC mini-series, THE
SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII.
Oh, my lord...
(eyeing the child)
Not while he plays here...
I'll send him away -
Ah, they're real people playing
dress-up, pretending to be people
from hundreds of years ago.
Jack is puzzled by that.
He switches channels: TOM AND JERRY.
You're getting it!
He watches the slapstick violence with relish.
When Old Nick comes back, I'm going
to kick him in the butt.
This suddenly punctures her mood.
Ma marches over and turns off the TV, startling him.
One night I stood behind the door
with the lid of the toilet tank -
Jack looks towards it, confused: what lid?
29 CONTINUED: (2) 29
- it used to have a lid, it was the
heaviest thing in Room. When he
came in I tried to smash it down on
his head. But I messed up, Jack.
He shoved the door shut and grabbed
me by the wrist - that's why it's
We could wait till he's asleep and
kill him dead.
Yes we could, but then we'd have no
more food - and we wouldn't know
the code, on the door, to get out.
The Grandma and the Grandpa could
They don't know where we are, Jack.
Room's not on any map.
His eyes slide to the blank screen.
29 CONTINUED: (3) 29
Can I have more TV?
Jack, I want you to listen to me.
He looks at her.
You're old enough now and we can't
wait any longer ... Jack you are
going to help me trick Old Nick
like Jack in the stories is always
tricking the giant.
30 INT. ROOM - DAY 30
A little later, Water boils in a pot on the stove. Jack lies
on the bed.
I'm going to make your face so
scorching hot that Old Nick will
take you to the hospital in his
truck, and the minute you get there
you'll tell the doctors, 'Help!
You can tell it.
30 CONTINUED: 30
I'll write you a note to give them.
You can give them.
I won't be in the hospital, I'll be
Jack jumps up, rigid with panic.
It'll be OK.
He won't take us both. You'll go
first, just to the hospital so you
can tell the police, and then...
Her conviction falters at this point, but she fakes it.
Then you'll come rescue me.
He shakes his head.
30 CONTINUED: (2) 30
We'll be free. Go on hikes, see
birds. Ride in cars and trains and
planes. I'll teach you to swim.
We'll have friends. And a dog -
we'll call him Lucky. A party with
a cake with candles, our friends
Maybe next year when I'm six.
Ma's face falls. Then hardens.
Jack starts shaking his head frantically.
It has to be tonight.
Jack flees to the wardrobe, to shut himself in.
Listen to me.
30 CONTINUED: (3) 30
She stops him before he can slam the louver doors.
I'm going to tell him the powercut
made you so cold, you got a fever.
We might not get another chance.
It's a miracle he didn't come last
I'm your Ma. Sometimes I have to
pick for both of us.
Slowly, she pulls, till his small hands release the doors.
31 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 31
Later. Jack is back on the bed, his face red. Ma holds a
cloth wrung out with hot water over his forehead.
You need to feel hot when he
Jack starts crying at the prospect. Ma strokes him as she
presses the bag to his forehead.
Crying's good, it makes you look
Then she moves the bag to each cheek in turn.
And stay floppy, remember? You're
too weak to move or say a word.
31 CONTINUED: 31
She shoves her fingers down her throat to make her retch.
What are you doing?
Ma manges to vomit a little.
She rubs it on the pillow beside Jack, which horrifies him.
Makes you smell sick.
Ma checks her watch, and presses the cloth to his face.
Remember when you get to the
hospital you give them the note.
Show me how you hold it out.
Jack fumbles in his pocket for the edge of the note.
Something falls out with it.
She picks it up. Her bad tooth. She gives it back to him.
See, that's a bit of me you have
with you all the time.
Ma strokes his face.
31 CONTINUED: (2) 31
The door beeps, startling them both.
Ma shoves the wet rag and the pot of hot water under the bed.
Jack hides his red face in the pillow, goes limp.
The door opens and Old Nick steps in with a grocery bag.
There you are!
He scowls at her, and shoulders the door shut.
You know the drill: not a peep out
of you till the door's shut.
Sorry, just - Jack's really bad.
Old Nick puts the groceries down, grimacing at the smell.
It was so cold.
You brought that on yourself.
I couldn't keep him warm, and now
Give him one of those painkillers.
I've tried, he pukes them back up.
Old Nick comes up close to Jack.
He elbows her out of the way lays his hand across Jack's
Jack lets out a whimper of fear that passes for pain.
I'll get him something stronger.
31 CONTINUED: (3) 31
He's only five! Dehydrated,
temperature this high, he could go
into convulsions any minute.
OLD NICK (OVERLAPPING)
Shut up and let me think.
He needs antibiotics.
I'll bring something tomorrow
Tomorrow night? You have to take
him to the ER right now.
Enough with the hysterics.
I'm begging you. Please!
Old Nick taps the code into the keypad, hiding his hand. Ma
clings to him.
If you're even halfway human -
As the door opens he thrusts her away and she stumbles.
When the door booms shut, Jack lifts his head. Their trick
didn't work... and he's relieved. Ma is crumpled against the
wall where she fell.
32 INT. ROOM - NIGHT 32
Jack sleeps sweetly and peacefully in Ma's arms in bed.
She stares into the dark.
33 INT. ROOM - DAY 33
Next morning, Jack is eating his cereal cheerfully. Ma,
hollow-eyed, hasn't touched hers.
33 CONTINUED: 33
So Edmond pulls his friend's body
out of the bag and hides it, and he
climbs into the bag, and lies super
still until the guards come.
Jack nods, enjoying the familiar story.
And that's what you're going to do.
He stops eating.
See? It's even tricksier than
pretending to be sick: this time
you're going to be dead.
Jack looks over at the folded paper grocery bags.
Our bags are too small for being
Ma shoves the table and chairs away to one side.
Is it time for Track?
Ma starts hauling up the rug, testing how it bends.
Rug's going to be the bag, see?
I don't want to be dead.
Pretending to be dead, that's all.
Wrapped up so Old Nick can't see
that you're alive. But not floppy
this time. All stiff like a robot.
And not a sound. And I'll be in
your head, talking to you all the
(she taps Jack's head)
33 CONTINUED: (2) 33
He's going to carry you outside,
all rolled up in Rug, and he'll put
you in the back of his pick-up and
drive somewhere to bury you -
It's OK. You'll wriggle free and
jump out of the truck. You'll -
I don't like this trick.
Come on, Jack, let's try rolling
Please Jack, try just for a minute.
Half a minute.
33 CONTINUED: (3) 33
A little later: He's lying down on the rug.
She rolls him up. We're with Jack inside the rug.
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Can you hear me? Can you breathe?
Excellent! He'll pick you up - stay
stiff as you can.
Jack holds himself rigid as Ma lifts him up.
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Then he'll put you in his truck.
Set down awkwardly, Jack bites his lip, but stays quiet.
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
The second you hear the engine -
She makes engine noises and shakes him.
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
- that means Old Nick's busy
driving, so that's your chance to
start wriggling out. Now, Jack.
I can't. I'm stuck.
He bursts into loud tears.
Remember your superpowers.
Jack cries harder. Ma unrolls him fast and hugs him. Then
takes a long breath.
Ok, it's too many turns. Up, up.
I'll fold the end over like this.
(She folds the end of the
rug to make it narrower)
Now lie down and fold your arms
33 CONTINUED: (4) 33
She folds them across Jack's chest, elbows sticking out.
33 CONTINUED: (5) 33
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
There, Now push up your arms.
His elbows scrape through and his fingers clasp hers.
Jack makes a feeble try, barely moves. Pants, sobs.
OK. Take a breath.
Get me out.
You're getting yourself out.
If you panic, Old Nick will hear
that you're alive, and he'll be
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
I know you, Jack. I know you can do
Jack clenches his teeth and starts to writhe and roll side to
He rolls over face down, and gets his butt slightly in the
air, bending the cylinder of the rug.
He rolls the other way, sits up: the rug opens. He claws his
way out, his face red and smeared. Ma is looking almost as
distraught as him, but she grins.
You did it! You're the banana!
33 CONTINUED: (6) 33
I hate you.
The first time he's ever said it: they're both shocked.
That's OK. I brought you here to
Room. I didn't mean to but I did,
and I've always been so glad. And
now it's my job to get you out.
34 INT. ROOM - DUSK 34
Later. Jack's lying half rolled in the rug. He's been waiting
for hours. Ma crouches beside him drilling him in the plan.
Truck, wriggle out, Jump, Run -
Wait till the truck slows down at
the first stop sign - if you jump
when it's going fast you might -
She stops talking so as not to cry. Checks her watch. Stares
at the door as if she can will it to open.
So Truck, Wriggle Out, Jump when it
Jack struggles to remember the list.
Somebody, Run -
Jump, Run, then shout to Somebody
and show them the Note.
Jack checks the for note in his pocket.
Tell them your Ma is Joy Newsome
34 CONTINUED: 34
Who is Somebody?
Anybody - the first person you see.
An actual real person.
Ma nods, worried by his lingering confusion.
What if Old Nick unwraps me?
He's not going to -
Ma falters, puts her head in her hands. She collects herself.
You got Bad Tooth in your pocket?
Jack points to his cheek.
It's in here so I don't lose it.
You're going to love it.
34 CONTINUED: (2) 34
The world. Living in the hammock
house with your Grandma and
We see that Ma doesn't believe she'll get out, but she nods.
Bends over and hides her face by putting it against his.
Ma kneels back up into position.
One evening as the sun went down
and the jungle fire was burning,
down the track came a hobo hikin',
and he said "Boys, I'm not turning.
I'm headed for a land that's far
away, beside the crystal fountains.
So, come with me, we'll go and see
the Big -
The door beeps, and Ma rolls Jack up, very fast. We're in the
dark with him, the rug pressing close.
Sound of Old Nick stepping in. Proud of himself.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
The door shuts with a boom.
OLD NICK (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Are you nuts, wrapping a sick kid
up in that?
Ma's voice is very close because she's bent over the rug.
He got worse in the night.
She waits, giving Old Nick time to figure it out.
In the rug, Jack lies frozen except for his flickering eyes.
MA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
He wouldn't wake up.
34 CONTINUED: (3) 34
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Are you sure?
She lets seven years of rage pour out.
Am I sure?
In the rug, Jack blinks in fright.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Ah gee. That's - Poor girl.
His self-justification kicks in right away.
OLD NICK (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Guess it must have been serious,
pills wouldn't have worked anyway.
You killed my baby.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Take it easy. Let me -
Jack's eyes squeeze tightly shut: total darkness.
Keep your hands off him!
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Jack opens his eyes again, inside the rug.
OLD NICK (O.S.)(CONT'D)
He can't stay here, you know.
Where will you take him?
OLD NICK (O.S.)
I don't know. I'm thinking.
Not here. I'd feel him. I'd know.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Drive him somewhere nice, somewhere
with lots of trees.
34 CONTINUED: (4) 34
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Keep him wrapped up. Swear you
won't even look at him with your
OLD NICK (O.S.)
It'll be dark in an hour.
(screams at him)
Now. I can't bear it.
Jack feels himself being scooped up by Old Nick.
OLD NICK (O.S.)
Get back and turn around.
Jack is tilted head down as Old Nick taps the code. Ma starts
to moan quietly. A swaying motion as he carries Jack outside.
Ma's voice is cut off by the boom of the door.
35 EXT. OLD NICK'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - DUSK 35
We're with Jack; glimpses of twilight sky, shrubs, hedge
through the end of the carpet.
A terrible pause as Old Nick contemplates the back yard. Then
walks on. Jack is heaved face-down into the flatbed of an old
A pause - Jack senses a light going on nearby. Then the clang
of a shovel being dropped onto the bed of truck beside the
Old Nick's footsteps, heading for the driver's seat. Sound of
the truck rumbling to life.
36 EXT. STREET NEAR OLD NICK'S - DUSK 36
Sound and shaking: the truck roars along too fast.
We're with Jack, stunned, face-down in the darkness.
36 CONTINUED: 36
At last he remembers that he's meant to be wriggling out.
He writhes, but the rug has tightened in transit.
With an effort, Jack manages to roll over. No better.
The engine quietens as the truck slows. Jack is not sure if
that's his signal and anyway he's still trapped in the rug.
The truck doesn't stop at the stop sign, only slows.
Jack remembers his arm. He forces it above his head, wincing
as the rug scrapes the skin off his elbow. Jack puts all his
misery into movement, thrashing about, kicking, jack-knifing
like a dying fish.
The truck's engine lulls as it makes a rolling stop.
Jack feels the rug slide a little across the flatbed, which
gives him just enough momentum that he bends, with a deep
grunt, and the rug starts to roll open.
He bursts out, on hands and knees: like a birth. Elbow and
lip bloody, face covered in hair, snot and tears.
The world hits Jack: street lamps, wind in his face, shocking
colors of the sunset. Trees and houses looming and then
receding, like a rollercoaster.
His glance falls on the shovel meant for his grave.
Jack's eyes focus on the cab of the truck and what he
realizes must be the back of Old Nick's head, driving.
Old Nick slows at the third stop, and swings right. Jack is
flung headlong, banging his leg on the left of the flatbed.
The truck screeches to a stop, because Old Nick heard the
noise and glimpsed Jack in his rearview mirror.
He flings the driver's door open.
Jack scrabbles over to the opposite side.
Old Nick jumps down and strides around the truck.
Jack leaps down to the tarmac, bloodying his left knee. His
jaw smashes into his right knee. He picks a direction at
random and tears away from the truck, stumbles, keeps going.
A large dog on a long leash, emerges from a yard.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
DOUG(a big man in his forties) and his 2-year-old daughter
CARRIE, both in winter outdoor clothes, follow.
Jack runs into the man, finds himself on the ground with the
dog snarling at him.
He pulls the dog away by the collar.
Old Nick catches up, and scoops Jack up with one arm.
Pinned in the air, Jack lashes out in soundless terror. Old
Nick strides back towards the truck with him.
Excuse me? Hey.
Old Nick puts Jack down but holds his shoulders.
Jack cringes, eyes on the ground.
I'm so sorry. Is your little girl
It's under control.
Doug stares at Jack's bloody knee, elbow, lip.
She been in some kind of accident?
You want me to call someone?
I'll take care of it.
Jack can't speak, but pulls out the note. Old Nick snatches
it out of his hand, scrunching it.
What's that you got there, honey?
OLD NICK (OVERLAPPING)
Why don't you mind your own
business and I'll mind mine?
OK, I don't like this.
36 CONTINUED: (3) 36
36 CONTINUED: (4) 36
He pulls out his cellphone and dials. Old Nick picks up Jack
again and hurries to his truck.
Doug waits impatiently for the emergency operator.
(shouts after Old Nick)
I've got your plates, mister! K93 -
Old Nick drops Jack in the street and breaks into a run.
Jack, lying in a heap, hears the driver's door slam.
Then the engine starts. Jack looks around: the truck is
barrelling towards him. Confused and dizzy, he crawls towards
the sidewalk. The truck roars past: a getaway, not attempted
Jack watches the truck zoom through the next stop.
He collapses and blinks up at the vast evening sky. After a
beat, Doug, leaning in, interrupts the view. The dog is
It's OK, Honey.
Jack curls himself up in a ball.
37 INT. STREET NEAR OLD NICK'S - DUSK 37
A patrol car pulls up at the scene. Doug leaves the still
curled up Jack and hurries to the car to talk to the emerging
Jack, shuddering with cold notices Carrie staring at him.
He feels his lip, touches the blood, looks at it, tastes.
Then sees an oval on the ground. He picks it up: a leaf.
OFFICER PARKER, a female officer, hunkers down beside him.
Hey there, I'm Officer Parker.
What's your name?
There's something reassuring about her and Jack forces
himself to talk to one of these alien beings - but barely
whispering, and he can't look her in the eye.
37 CONTINUED: 37
She leans in to hear him better. Jack flinches away.
Officer Grabowski comes closer now, on his walkie-talkie.
We have a disturbed female
juvenile, possible domestic -
OFFICER PARKER (OVERLAPPING)
He does a double-take.
Correction, male juvenile.
You must be freezing, Jack.
With a jerk of the head, she sends Grabowski to the car.
(on the walkie-talkie)
That's negative. White male, six
feet, forties, fifties, beard, red
pick-up, Ford, nineties F150,
maybe, no state partial plate K93.
Do you have another name? Jack?
He jumps, not realizing she was talking to him again.
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
Do you know how old you are?
Jack nods. Peeks at her buckle, badge, gun, not face.
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
How many fingers?
37 CONTINUED: (2) 37
You're ten years old?
He spreads his two hands. He still can't meet her eye but
he's desperately trying to communicate.
No, I meant show me with your
fingers how old you are.
He spreads one hand, in case she doesn't get it.
Five, great. And your address?
Jack doesn't know what this means, so ignores it. Back with a
blanket, Officer Grabowski addresses Parker.
Guess we should get onto Child
She makes a 'wait' gesture and wraps the blanket around Jack,
Where do you sleep at night, Jack?
Where do you go to bed?
In a wardrobe?
You have a Mom, Jack?
Is that her real name, Jack?
She used to be Joy.
37 CONTINUED: (3) 37
Is there another name, after Joy.
Jack struggles but can't remember `Newsome'.
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
Where's your Mom right now?
Jack suddenly realizes that Old Nick - furious because Jack's
alive and has escaped - might be heading back to hurt her.
What room? Where's the room?
Not on any map.
Officer Parker's questions come faster as her concern grows.
The man with the truck, that your
dad? Ma's boyfriend? You know him?
Officer Parker glares at him: he's not helping.
Old Nick. But that's not his name.
Did this Nick guy hurt you?
She goes to touch his lip, but he flinches away.
I bit me by accident. And the, the,
He pats the ground to remember the word.
The hard of the street. I jumped
and smasheded my knee.
37 CONTINUED: (4) 37
He remembers Bad Tooth and takes it out of his mouth.
What's that, Jack?
A bit of Ma.
Both officers peer at Bad Tooth, and exchange a dark look.
38 INT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT 38
Inside the moving police car. Jack's head jerks as he tries
to make sense of the passing images. He flinches as a car
passes in the other direction. Bewildering signs: YIELD,
So, Jack? You see anything?
38 CONTINUED: 38
No, but anything you recognise?
Your room, Jack, is it in a
bungalow - all one level? Or
stairs? What's outside the room?
He plucks at the seat belt, which is too high for him and
pressing uncomfortably on his neck.
You reckon the kid's on something?
Jack, when you step out the door -
Jack shakes his head anxiously.
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
You don't like to go outside?
We don't know to open the door.
My money's on some kind of cult.
The tooth, the long hair...
Is there daylight in your room?
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
How many windows?
He makes a circle with his finger so she'll understand.
38 CONTINUED: (2) 38
Then how does the sun come in?
(on her walkie-talkie)
Check the satellite. Sounds like
his mother's being held in a house
with a skylight.
Needle in a haystack...
Room's not a house.
Might get more out of him when he's
had some sleep.
Tom, give me a break.
Room's a... a shed.
A shed! You're doing great, Jack.
Now, after you got in the truck -
Jack shakes his head.
He putted me - I wasn't meant to be
38 CONTINUED: (3) 38
What made you jump out of the
Ma said in my head.
He taps it.
What did she say, exactly?
Jump when it Slows Down. But I
couldn't, I was all...
He's remembering being trapped in the rug.
So what did you do?
The third time, I got banged.
The third time of what?
The third slow, everything went
(mimes being flung across
- and then it stopped and I jumped
OFFICER PARKER (OVERLAPPING)
She closes her eyes and fixes the geometry of Jack's journey
in her mind.
OFFICER PARKER (CONT'D)
(on her walkie-talkie)
Control. Listen carefully. South on
Maple, three stop signs from the
junction with Beach, look for a
garden shed with a skylight.
Officer Grabowski, impressed, swings the car around.
39 INT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT 39
Minutes later. Outside an unlit house, with a Police van and
a back-up, unmarked car parked facing the other way. A plain
clothes OFFICER is knocking on the front door of the house.
Jack watches through the car window as Officer Parker
consults with an OLDER WHITE MALE OFFICER, also plain
clothes. Parker and the older officer start to poke around
the side of the house, disappearing for a moment before
running back. Officer Parker takes what looks like a crowbar
from the trunk of the car. She draws her weapon. Grabowski
moves to leave the car.
Stay with the boy.
She disappears around the back of the house. Jack
hyperventilates, thinking about Old Nick and Ma.
(eyes Jack in mirror)
You OK, kid?
We hear shouting, a crack of splitting wood. Jack starts
clawing at the car door, can't find the handle.
OFFICER GRABOWSKI (CONT'D)
Hey, hey, take it easy.
A figure hurtles towards the car: Ma. She can't get the door
open either because of the lock.
Faces pressed to the glass, she and Jack almost touch. Then,
at last the door is open and Jack is in her arms.
40 INT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT 40
A little later. Jack and Ma, in blankets, hold each other as
the police cruiser moves through the night.
Jack does a huge yawn, utterly exhausted now the adrenalin is
Can we go to Bed now?
We can do anything. They'll find us
somewhere to sleep soon.
No, but Bed. In Room.
40 CONTINUED: 40
Ma realizes he thought their escape would be temporary. She
hugs him as he drifts off to sleep.
40A INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM - NIGHT 40A
Still in Ma's arms, Jack half wakes to find himself carried
through a hospital emergency room. They are being bustled
along by Officers Parker and Grabowski, A FEMALE PLAIN
CLOTHES DETECTIVE, a DOCTOR, a NURSE and a HOSPITAL SECURITY
GUARD. A woman in her 50s, is beside them, her arm around MA.
This is NANCY, Ma's mother. It's like a strange dream to
Jack. Through the group around him he can make out other
figures waiting in chairs. He can hear a drunk shouting,
Ma shushes him, stroking his hair. He drifts back to sleep.
41 OMITTED 41
42 OMITTED 42
43 OMITTED 43
44 OMITTED 44
45 INT. HOSPITAL - MA AND JACK'S SUITE - DAY 45
Next morning. A bright hospital room. Jack and Ma share the
fancy hospital bed. A cot bed, unused, has been set up to one
side. Jack is awake but content to lie close to Ma for a
while - studying the dials and switches on the wall above his
head. He looks at Ma, asleep, bruises fading to yellow-green.
He sits up and pulls back the sheet. He's wearing only a pair
of underpants from Room which look particularly wretched in
this new antiseptic environment. He touches the part of the
mattress he's being lying on. It's damp. He examines a
bandage on his knee. He gets up. On a side table, he sees a
plate with the remains of some toast on it and a half drunk
cup of tea. He sniffs at the food. There are two surgical
masks there, also. He walks slowly to the opposite wall, his
little figure silhouetted against the translucent blinds. He
stops in front of the one window which has its blind drawn.
The hospital suite is high up and the view is spectacular.
45 CONTINUED: 45
From the back we study Jack's small figure and beyond it the
vast world below.
45 CONTINUED: (2) 45
Coming around on Jack's face we see that he is trying to make
sense of what he's seeing. It takes him a moment to realize
what he's looking at and how high above ground he is. His
breathing quickens and he turns and scurries back to bed.
He shakes his mom.
She begins to wake.
Good morning sleepy head. I was
waiting so long for you to wake I
fell back asleep.
Is this another planet?
Same one, just a different bit.
It's a room -
(hears the word)
A bedroom in a hospital.
Jack thinks about this.
Are we sick for real or pretend?
We're not sick. We're the opposite
How long are we staying?
Not long. Grandma saw us last night
and she'll take us when they say
He was away at work but he's
getting on a plane to come home.
45 CONTINUED: (3) 45
I wetted the bed ... before. I'm
45 CONTINUED: (4) 45
The bedside phone bursts to life, frightening Jack. Ma picks
MA (CONT'D (CONT'D)
Yes, just now. OK ... if that's OK,
Ma hangs up as Jack starts tugging the sheets off the bed.
She stops him.
Don't worry about that. Someone
will wash it. Come on, we have to
Ma steps out of bed. She's wearing a robe. It says `Tyler
Do you like it? There's one for
She picks up a robe from beside the bed, puts him in it -
it's way too big, then she begins to take off his damp
45A INT. HOSPITAL - BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS 45A
Ma and Jack come into the bathroom. Ma throws Jack's
underpants in the trash.
We'll get new ones.
For Sunday Treat?
There are going to be so many
treats, not just on Sundays.
Jack looks around.
45A CONTINUED: 45A
Where's the bath.
It's a shower instead. Splashier.
Ma notices a large mirror. This is the first time she's seen
herself properly in 7 years. She studies herself - bares her
teeth. She points out their reflections to Jack.
45A CONTINUED: (2) 45A
Jack, look. It's us.
This is the first time Jack has ever properly seen himself.
Ma, will he find us.
No, he will never, ever come again.
46 INT. HOSPITAL - MA AND JACK'S SUITE - BATHROOM - DAY 46
Ma and Jack are in the shower. Jack is pressed to the door,
as far away as possible from the powerful jet of water.
Bath before Bed.
She can't hear him over the noise of the water.
Bath before Bed, that's the rule.
There aren't any rules now, Jack.
We can do what we like!
Jack is unnerved by all this.
Ma groans with pleasure as she lets the water hit the back of
Are you hurting?
Ma laughs. Jack edges into the water and she washes him with
a hand towel.
47 INT. HOSPITAL - MA AND JACK'S SUITE - MORNING 47
Both in robes with wet hair. While Ma looks out the window
Jack noses around the room taking in the strange experience
of an unknown space. He opens a drawer, then another. Empty.
A very light tap at the door which only Jack hears.
47 CONTINUED: 47
The door's ticking.
The door opens a little. Ma jumps. Jack hides behind his
mother as a man's head - wearing a surgical mask - appears
around the door.
Hello there, I hear we're all woken
Jack's buries his head in.
It's OK, Jack.
DR. MITTAL (thirties/forties) come further into the room. A
nurse pushes in a breakfast trolly then leaves.
Hi there, Jack. I'm Dr. Mittal. You
were asleep when I cam in this
Jack won't make eye contact.
DR. MITTAL (CONT'D)
You must be hungry?
No answer. Dr. Mittal moves the breakfast trolley in front of
Ma and Jack. Ma removes the plastic domed lids and foil. Jack
stares at the strange food. He runs his finger around the
BLUE RIM OF HIS PLATE and looks at it to see if the color has
come off. Ma eats.
DR. MITTAL (CONT'D)
So, I have some things for you
He hands 2 pairs of sunglasses to Ma.
DR. MITTAL (CONT'D)
You may find it more comfortable to
wear these if you go outside. Some
Holding up a surgical mask.
DR. MITTAL (CONT'D)
47 CONTINUED: (2) 47
Is that really necessary?
Lots of germs in the air to get
(taking out some pills)
My colleague has prescribed these
for the pain in your wrist until we
can schedule a surgery.
(handing over a last
And something to help you sleep.
47 CONTINUED: (3) 47
(to Jack who is still
playing with his food)
Try it, it's delicioso.
Jack's not convinced.
Have you thought any more about
what we discussed this morning?
Thanks for the offer but we're
going to go home.
You know my view. After what you've
experienced, and to assess Jack
properly. And just to soften the
Nothing happened to Jack.
I understand, but even at a
cognitive-sensory level - depth
perception, auditory processing ...
But he's OK, right?
The most important thing you did
was to get him out while he's still
47 CONTINUED: (4) 47
(whispers to Ma)
I'm not plastic.
What's that, Jack.
He says he's real, not plastic.
I can't argue with that, Jack. Real
and very brave.
47 CONTINUED: (5) 47
We hear voices arguing outside the door. One voice cuts
Oh for God's sake ...
We can talk about this again later.
It sounds like you have more
important things to do right now.
The door opens and Nancy enters (we met her briefly in the
emergency room) carrying an overnight bag. She is followed by
a man in his sixties, rumpled from travel. This is ROBERT,
They hug, the masks are quickly discarded. Dr. Mittal watches
from the back of the room.
We couldn't wait any longer.
47 CONTINUED: (6) 47
Jack, forgotten, is frightened by what he sees. He curls up.
Eventually, Ma notices him.
Jack, Jack it's OK. This is your
Grandma and Grandpa.
Jack hides his face.
That's OK. Thanks for saving my
little girl, Jack.
Robert tries to smile but he is very uneasy around Jack.
Nancy lifts the small bag she brought.
I hope I didn't forget anything.
I'm sure I did.
48 EXT. HOSPITAL - UPPER STOREY TERRACE - DAY 48
Hospital roof garden. Jack sticks close to Ma. She is dressed
in track-suit bottoms and her old warm winter coat. Jack has
pajamas under his robe and a warm coat which doesn't quite
fit. Ma has a pair of her old boots on, Jack has trainers.
They wear tinted glasses against the brightness of the day.
Jack is a strange sight, the part of his face not covered by
his mask (the others are unmasked) or woollen hat is smeared
in heavy sun screen. They sit with Robert and Nancy. Nancy
smokes a slim cigarette. Jack watches her cigarette for a
while, then his attention is snagged by a nurse pushing an
old woman in a wheelchair. He is also fascinated by the sky
reflected in the mirrored glass of the building.
Ma runs her hand along her coat.
(off Ma's clothes)
I kept everything.
Jack is finding his shoes - the first he's ever worn -
irritating. He starts to take them off.
48 CONTINUED: 48
Leave them, Jack, you'll get used
48 CONTINUED: (2) 48
They hug again. Letting go at last they smile at each other
for a long moment. We feel a history of great closeness
between them. Ma wipes away her tears.
So, what's in Michigan?
Robert and Nancy exchange glances.
I'm working out of the Grand Rapids
I live there now.
Oh, Sweetie... There have been a
lot of changes in our lives since
you've been gone. Your dad and I...
losing you, was very hard on us.
And he and I...
We had to go our different ways. It
was what we had to do.
Jack doesn't understand any of this but hates the tension.
Whoa. This is not what I thought
Your father felt we had to accept
that you were...
She stops herself. Robert suppresses his anger.
People deal with things in their
48 CONTINUED: (3) 48
I knew you'd come home one day.
48 CONTINUED: (4) 48
I'm so sorry, I didn't know how to
tell you. They said we should talk
to you together.
Nancy is upset.
The Doctor mentioned this other
place where they could help you,
because it's hard, you know, to
He has no idea what we've been
through. Nothing could compare to
Robert and Nancy sit with this.
I told him we're going home.
Unless, you'd prefer us ...
Of course not.
48 CONTINUED: (5) 48
Again a look passes between Robert and Nancy.
Honey, there's something else I
have to tell you. After your father
and I separated I got close to
someone else. Actually someone you
OK, this is a lot of stuff.
Yes it is.
Nancy is upset.
Leo's a good guy. Your mother is
much happier. It's a good thing.
Jack tugs at Ma.
48 CONTINUED: (6) 48
(a hint of irritation)
But he won't say it loud and she has to lean down to him.
It's too big here.
I want some.
He starts to burrow under her coat. Robert is horrified.
What .. what's he doing?
Ma is surprised by her father's reaction. She barks at Jack.
Just wait a moment. We'll go inside
in a moment.
Nancy tries to calm her.
I need to go back now, anyway.
There are things we need to do
Ma pulls Jack to his feet. Jack risks a look at his
grandparents. Robert looks down, can't look Jack in the eye.
Ma notices Jack has taken his shoes off. She starts to fuss
with them, then gives up and lifts Jack into her arms to
bring him inside.
49 INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDORS/NURSES STATION - DAY 49
Ma and Jack, still masked, walk through the hospital corridor
accompanied by A NURSE and a POLICE GUARD. Jack is fascinated
as they pass a nurses station, a man rolling a drip on a
stand, the door to a day room where several patients sit
playing cards, reading.
49A INT. HOSPITAL - MA AND JACK'S ROOM - DAY 49A
Jack lies on the bed listening to music on headphones. In the
background Ma talks to two DETECTIVES. They show her images
on a laptop which is turned away from Jack.
50 INT. HOSPITAL EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY 50
Jack being weighed and measured.
50 CONTINUED: 50
Jack getting his shots.
Blood being taken. Jack is left with a little cotton swab
fixed to this inner elbow with a thin band-aid.
51 INT. HOSPITAL - MA AND JACK'S SUITE - NIGHT 51
Later. Quiet at last. Ma and Jack alone, shoes and masks off.
Out of the big window as the last of the sun fades.
Ma picks at something plain from their dinner tray, while
Jack breastfeeds. In the background the TV news.
NEWS ANCHOR (V.O.)
Which the major utility companies
say they will not cover. Tenants'
organizations have said they will
fight this decision, if necessary
at the federal level.
And now to developments in the case
of the young woman, believed to be
(a picture of a smiling Ma
as a teenager comes on
who was rescued last night, along
with her child, from a garden shed
having allegedly been held captive
there for over seven years.
We are getting unconfirmed reports
that an individual has just been
arrested, after what one witness
has called a 'short stand-off' at a
house on the east side.
Footage of Old Nick's house.
The room phone starts to ring. Ma picks up.
I know, I'm watching it right now.
I can't believe it. I just want to
be home now.
NEWS ANCHOR (V.O.)
Both victims are understood to be
receiving medical attention at an
51 CONTINUED: 51
NEWS ANCHOR (V.O.) (CONT'D)
The child, of unknown gender, was
described by one eyewitness as
unable to walk ..
Wait, wait a second.
She switches off the set.
52 OMITTED 52
53 INT. CLINIC - FOYER - DAY 53
Ma, Jack (masked, with sunglasses on), Nancy and Robert move
towards the doors of the hospital where the Resident FBI
agent waits for them. Robert is carrying the small bag that
contains all of Ma and Jack's possessions.
Ma puts her sunglasses on as they go through the doors.
You have your schedule of
appointments, and your medications.
Please completely finish the course
You have my number.
If you need anything, if you just
want to talk, you use it, alright?
They pause at the doors until they're beckoned by FBI agents.
53 CONTINUED: 53
Ma accompanies Jack through the door.
54 EXT. CLINIC - DRIVEWAY - DAY 54
POLICE and HOSPITAL SECURITY are outside along with FBI
agents, a VICTIM LIASON person and Ma's LAWYER.
As Jack again takes in the scale of the outside world the
adults get caught in the logistics of who goes in which car,
who will take Ma's bag, what will happen at the other end of
the journey. Jack observes the little clusters of people with
their overlapping voices raised in clarification,
Ma and Jack are led to one of the waiting cars. Jack bumps
his head getting in.
We watch the convoy pulling away from the hospital and out
into the world.
55 INT. FBI CAR - DAY 55
A little later. Driving through a better, neater
neighborhood than Old Nick's.
Jack grips Ma's hand, watches the world pass.
I've been in the world nineteen
hours. I've seen pancakes and
stairs and a cat and windows and
hundreds of cars and birds and
police and doctors and Grandma and
Grandpa, and persons with different
faces and bigness and smells
talking all at the same time. The
world's like all TV planets on at
the same time so I don't know which
what to look and listen. Doors and
doors and behind all the door
there's another inside and another
outside and things happen-happen-
happening, it never stops.
Plus the world's always changing
brightness and hotness and there's
invisible germs floating
everywhere. When I was small I only
knew small things but now I'm five
I know everything.
55 CONTINUED: 55
She takes his mask off over his head.
56 INT. FBI CAR - LATER 56
They turn onto a residential street of low houses and well-
It's all familiar to Ma yet utterly strange: a crowd of media
(national and international) is set up across the road from
her house behind temporary barricades. There are neighbors
and well-wishers carrying helium balloons, flowers, toys, and
signs. POLICE keep order.
(under her breath)
Ma tidies her hair.
Nancy, Robert and a LAWYER emerge from the first car. Nancy
manages an apologetic smile and half-wave to the neighbors
who are watching from their own yards.
RESIDENT AGENT leans in the driver's window to address Ma.
Ready for this?
Ma adjusts her shades and undoes her belt and Jack's.
Steady - go.
They climb out, heads down, shielded by FBI agents. Jack
stumbles, almost falls. Now they're outside they can hear a
news helicopter overhead: it sounds like a war zone. Nancy
joins them, taking Jack's hand, and they rush for the front
Joy! Joy! Any message for your well-
wishers? What's it like to be home?
56 CONTINUED: 56
Jack! Jack! Look this way.
Jack! How do you like the world so
You're doing great.
Joy! What do you say to your
Robert and the Lawyer approach the cluster of reporters being
held back by the Police.
At this time ... excuse me, please
... at this time I will read a
brief statement from the family
after which I would ask you to
respect their privacy. I'm sure you
can understand this is a very -
Nancy, Ma and Jack step into ...
57 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - HALL - DAY 57
The hallway of Nancy and Leo's house. The Resident Agent is
The back of the property is well
screened, and we've added to that
where necessary, so if you keep
these drapes closed you'll have
complete privacy. We'll be right
outside if there's anything at all
Thank you. Thank you so much.
The Resident Agent leaves. Nancy, Ma and Jack stand in the
stillness. Curtains drawn, lights on.
Are you OK?
57 CONTINUED: 57
Ma nods. From out of the kitchen comes an man in his late
50s. This is LEO, Nancy's partner.
57 CONTINUED: (2) 57
Welcome home, honey. I'm very very
happy to see you.
He has tears in his eyes but he gives Ma her space, doesn't
move to embrace her.
Jack, this is Leo.
Hey there, sport.
Jack takes in this new person. Nancy leads them through to
the main room where the curtains to the back yard are open.
What can I get you? Anyone hungry?
We have everything.
People have been so kind. We won't
use it all. Jack, would you like a
Jack sticks close to Ma.
Jack, Grandma's asking if you'd
like something to drink.
Jack pulls her down to whisper in her ear.
Just some juice. I'm fine.
Coming right up.
Nancy disappears into the kitchen with Leo. Ma and Jack sit
on the sofa. Jack looks at cards and flowers arranged on a
What are they for?
57 CONTINUED: (3) 57
They're from people saying they're
happy that we're safe and back
Ma, like Jack, speaks quietly. It's as if they were in a
doctor's waiting room or a stranger's house trying to make a
good impression. All so unreal.
Ma gets up and looks out the window into the back yard. Jack
Where's ice cream in the hammock?
Mom, what have you done with the
(from the kitchen)
I guess it must be in the basement.
Jack looking at his feet, sees a small dog toy on the floor.
He presses it with his foot. It squeaks, giving him a fright.
Nancy and Leo come in with loaded trays - juice, water
Just in case.
Oh. It's Leo's dog, Seamus.
You don't like dogs.
Oh no. I've come to love Seamus.
He's won me over.
57 CONTINUED: (4) 57
He's on furlough at the moment,
with a pal of mine out of town.
Living the country life.
The hospital said to avoid pets,
until your immunity is back up ...
and there's so much to take in.
I told him he was a health hazard.
Gotta sling your hook, buddy. He
didn't take it too well.
Silence. No one has any idea what to do next. We hear the
front door open and close. Robert appears, he looks shaken
having taken questions from reporters. He looks for a seat,
chooses one far from Jack.
He rubs his face, nods.
Lawyer says they are expecting a
plea but can't rule out a trial. He
wants to get into everything, I
said it could wait.
He thinks most of the press will
move on in a couple days. I made it
clear there'd be no more contact,
statements. To respect the family.
Robert has to hide his face.
Jack watches, as Robert collects himself.
Can I get you a drink, Bob?
Thank you, yes. I'd like that very
much. Scotch... whatever you have.
57 CONTINUED: (5) 57
Is there anything you'd like, or
like to do?
57 CONTINUED: (6) 57
Ma and Jack move towards the stairs. Ma carries a small bag
with their belongings. Nancy follows. At the foot of the
stairs Jack stops. He's never had to climb stairs before. Ma
shows him how to grip the rail and he starts up.
58 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER
Reaching the top of the stairs, they walk the quiet, carpeted
hallway. Jack takes it all in.
59 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - MA'S OLD ROOM - DAY 59
Ma and Jack enter Ma's room. They absorb the decor of Ma's
adolescence - preserved by her mother.
This is your Mom's room, Jack.
Jack looks around. He pulls a strand of his long hair out of
Hey, maybe tomorrow we can cut that
hair. What do you say, Jack?
Jack shakes his head. Whispers to Ma.
Jack says that's where his `strong'
59 CONTINUED: 59
Jack walks over to the bed and sits down. We are with him as
he takes in the band posters, track trophies, pictures -
including pictures of his Mom as a young, happy girl. In the
background Nancy and Ma watch him.
I'll let you rest. We'll be
Before she leaves, Nancy talks quietly, insistently to Ma, we
only catch fragments of what she's saying.
59 CONTINUED: (2) 59
Conventional things, promising she is there, that there's
nothing Ma can't say to her, how much she loves her. Ma is
quiet, a little shell-shocked. Nancy leaves.
Struck by the sight of her music keyboard, Ma tries it: dead.
She kneels down, finds the plug and puts it in the outlet.
You didn't know I could play piano.
Guess this tune...
But after a few notes of 'Home on the Range'/'Big Rock Candy
Mountain' she stumbles. Tries again, and messes it up.
Stretches her stiff hand. Then she sits on the bed, suddenly
limp. Checks her watch. It's gone; an old habit. Both Ma and
Jack are subdued.
How long do we have to stay here?
She takes out her bag of meds.
(getting the tablets she
We live here now.
She swallows her antibiotics and painkillers without water.
She lies down. We stay on Jack's face as he continues to take
in his surroundings and digest what Ma has said. After a
little while he lies beside her and lifts her shirt so he can
snuggle up and breastfeed.
We repeat a sequence of shots from life before their escape
ending in a mother & child portrait. In the little bedroom,
they could be in Room.
60 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - KITCHEN / DINING ROOM - NIGHT 60
Ma, with Jack pressed close to her, sits at the dining table
with Nancy, Robert and Leo. Desert. Jack is eating his first
bowl of ice-cream. He takes a big mouthful and holds his hand
to his head. He tugs at Ma and she leans down so he can
whisper to her.
(whispering to Ma)
Ice cream hurts.
You got a brain freeze there, Jack?
60 CONTINUED: 60
Eat it slower.
Small talk as food is passed around. Ma puts her fork down,
she is beginning to get upset. Nancy watches her, puts a hand
on hers. After a little while Ma calms.
They eat quietly, the adults aware of the complexity and
strangeness of the situation. Jack, oblivious, chomps away at
his ice-cream. Robert watches him.
I'm going to turn in.
Is there something wrong?
Why are you in such a hurry?
60 CONTINUED: (2) 60
It's been a long day.
You haven't said one word to Jack.
Unlike Ma, Nancy hasn't put two and two together about
Robert's awkward bearing around Jack.
Robert looks haunted, torn.
We don't have to talk about this
From the carefulness and awkwardness of Robert's reply Nancy
begins to understand.
Yes we do. Look at him.
Robert can't. Ma's anger deserts her.
Jack is bewildered by this low-key catastrophe.
I can't, I can't... I'm sorry.
He's my baby.
60 CONTINUED: (3) 60
What that bastard did to you.
Come on, Bob. Let's all just give
this a little time.
Ma stands up.
Come on, Jack. Time for bed.
As Ma pulls Jack out of the room.
I'm so sorry. I shouldn't be here.
61 INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - LATE AT NIGHT 61
Jack lies awake beside his sleeping mom.
He hears footsteps. The door cracks open and a convoluted
shadow appears, rimmed in light. The door opens wider and the
shadow resolves into Robert, watching his daughter and
grandson sleep. Jack burrows into his pillow pretending to
sleep. The door closes and soon he sleeps.
62 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - MORNING 62
Ma and Nancy sit with coffees. Jack has some cereal. The
house is very quiet. No one talks for a while. Eventually ...
(quietly to Ma)
He had to go home for a while.
(holding Jack's face
Hey Jack, you want play with your
Jack shakes his head.
A few minutes later: Nancy is cleaning up in the kitchen as
Ma breastfeeds Jack. She looks out on the bare winter back
62A INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LOUNGE AND FRONT HALL - AFTERNOON 62A
Through a chink in net curtains of a car pulling up outside
Nancy and Leo's house. The Lawyer gets out. We see that the
press has thinned out substantially. There are a few curious
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC with nothing better to do, a UNIFORMED
POLICE OFFICER and a POLICE CAR.
Jack! Come away from there.
We are in the lounge. Jack turns away from the window as
Nancy goes to greet the Lawyer, keeping herself hidden as she
opens the door.
Thank you. Automatic door.
Let me take my shoes off here.
62A CONTINUED: 62A
63 INT. DINING ROOM - LATER 63
The LAWYER and Nancy watch Ma filling out some forms. She is
subdued. Jack has some blank paper in front of him. He is
staring at a large open box of Crayola pencils; every shade
of every color. He carefully selects 5 pencils - the 5 colors
he's used to from Room - and begins to draw.
Jack occasionally glances at Leo, drawn by his natural
The other thing we need to talk
about is coming up with some kind
of media strategy. I know you're
not thinking about that right now.
But there's a lot to decide about
in that category.
I don't think we're ready for
talking yet. Not like that.
63 CONTINUED: 63
There are certain to be expenses
going forward and a prime time
interview, one prime time
interview, means a lot of money.
Donations are coming - and I'll
need some account details, better
in yours than mine, right? - but it
wouldn't amount to enough for, you
know, open ended support.
There's huge interest.
Ma notices that Jack is using only the same small set of
colors for his drawing that he had in Room.
Jack, you have all those colors.
Why don't you use them. You could
draw a picture of Jack the giant
slayer, with every color.
Jack keeps drawing.
63A INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 63A
Ma, Jack, Nancy and Leo eat supper, watching TV. Jack is
drawn to look at Leo who does the old thumb trick for him.
64 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - MA'S BEDROOM - MORNING 64
Ma is still asleep. Jack sits on the bed beside her, bored.
He looks towards the half-open door to the landing.
65 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - LANDING - DAY 65
Jack sits on the landing with a favorite toy from the pile in
the sitting room. From where he sits he can see the open door
to his and Ma's bedroom. It's dark inside. Eventually, Leo
walks into view with a male DETECTIVE and a female VICTIM
LIASON OFFICER. He shows them to the door.
Thank you again.
65 CONTINUED: 65
He lets them out, closes the door behind them, then peeps
through the closed curtains. As he turns away, he spots Jack,
gives him a salute and then busies himself in ways calculated
to raise the interest of a 5-year-old. Tidying up, he picks
up a ball from the floor, spins it on his finger, bounces it.
Wanders off out of view, whistling, muttering about how
particularly bouncy this ball is, etc.
Jack starts down the stairs. He goes down on his backside not
yet confident enough to do it standing.
66 INT. LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - MORNING 66
Jack wanders cautiously into the brightness of the living
room, finding Leo who smiles at him, then gets back to
whatever he's pretending to be doing.
Jack is silent.
Gee, am I hungry.
He pads into the kitchen.
Let's see what we have here.
Jack follows him in. Leo takes some cereal out of a well
stocked cupboard, he opens the fridge for milk. Jack takes in
all the produce it contains.
67 INT. KITCHEN - A MINUTE LATER 67
Jack and Leo, at opposite ends of the counter, eat cereal.
Pretty good, right?
I like this kind, too. Kind of
sweet, but pretty good.
Jack looks at Leo, not answering, but not bolting. He keeps
eating. After a moment.
You have a dog?
67 CONTINUED: 67
This is the first time Jack has initiated any conversation
with an adult other than Ma.
67 CONTINUED: (2) 67
I do. Named Seamus. He's very
small. Not very smart. You'll have
to meet him sometime. He'll shake
I had a dog called Lucky. But he's
Leo takes this in.
You ever play catch, Jack?
68 EXT. BACK YARD - LATER 68
Jack and Leo walk out into the garden. Jack is wearing his
hat and glasses but no sun-cream.
The back yard is a simple rectangle of grass bounded by
barkdust and shrubbery with a few small trees. But to Jack it
is a new cosmos. He wanders tentatively into the open space.
Jack kneels to investigate the dirt and grass. He smells
A little later, Leo and Jack throw the ball between them.
Jack's shoes are irritating him.
I hate shoes.
I hear what you're saying, but ...
Leo drops the ball and kicks it to Jack who manages to kick
They've got their uses. Am I right?
Jack nods. They play awhile, getting farther apart.
68 CONTINUED: 68
Jack and Leo look over. The NEIGHBOR BOY is standing at the
NEIGHBOR BOY (CONT'D)
I have a ball like that.
(wary, but open)
No kidding. It's a nice ball, isn't
I got mine for my birthday.
Fantastic. You hear that, Jack? He
got this same ball for his
Why's he wearing those glasses.
He's got sore eyes.
The boy thinks about this. Decides it's an acceptable answer.
Did you get that ball for your
Jack shakes his head
NEIGHBOR BOY (CONT'D)
What did you get for your birthday?
I got a truck but it broke and Ma
got me a cake.
A cake's not a present.
Yes it is.
68 CONTINUED: (2) 68
That's weird. A cake's just
something to eat. No way is it a
Jack looks at Leo and bursts into tears. He flees. Leo and
the neighbor kid watch him go.
69 INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY - MOMENTS LATER 69
Jack runs through the house...
70 INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER 70
... and slips into the bedroom where Ma is pacing around on
the house phone. She has a smart-phone in her hand which she
is trying to set up.
(waving Jack off)
I already gave all this information
to the last person.
(covering the mouthpiece)
Is a cake a present?
She turns away, deep in her own frustration.
Hold on ... I don't understand the
words you are using, so why do you
keep repeating them?
I have done that three times
Jack sits quietly on the bed. Ma looks at him again, notices
that his face is a little red. She covers the phone.
Have you been outside?
71 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - LEO'S DEN 71
Ma opens the door of Leo's den. Jack is beside her, his face
smeared with camomile lotion.
Leo, please don't ever take Jack
outside again unless you know what
you're doing. He can be seriously
hurt by the sun.
I'm so sorry. It was overcast.
He has never had any UV. This is
serious stuff, OK?
72 INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER 72
Jack gazes out the window, not wanting to go outside anymore.
In the background, we can hear Ma noisily preparing something
in the kitchen.
73 INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - LATER 73
Ma has boxes spread out all over the room. She is morbidly
engrossed in some old papers and memorabilia.
Jack sits down. She keeps reading, looking.
Look at this.
She shows him an old photo. Four girls in track uniforms.
You know who that is?
Me and Stacy Benton and Heather
Noel and Laura Sullivan. That's how
people did their hair. We were the
relay team. I was the anchor. I was
fast. We did track together.
73 CONTINUED: 73
Real track. On a field. We were
fast. Best in the district. You
know what happened to them?
Exactly. Nothing. They just lived
and nothing happened. Look ...
She picks up her old laptop from the floor by the bed. She
has been looking through her friends pages on Facebook. She
clicks on a couple of pages showing the same girls as they
are now, then loses interest, closes the laptop.
Show me more when you were young.
No. I don't want to see any more. I
don't want you to look at any more
right now. Let's just be quiet for
while. Okey dokey?
They sit. She stands and paces the room, gnawing her lips,
wincing, trying and failing to keep her despair out of view.
74 INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - NIGHT 74
Jack wakes from a nightmare with a start. No Ma beside him.
He gets out of bed. The only light is coming from the hallway
through a crack in the door.
He leaves the bedroom, stands blinking on the bright landing.
He hears noises from downstairs, raised voices, a high
He goes downstairs. We follow him into the living room.
75 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - LATER 75
We enter with Jack to find Nancy, Leo and Ma. Ma and Nancy
are hugging. The lawyer is on speaker phone.
75 CONTINUED: 75
Not at all, we'll all sleep better.
I thought you'd want to know.
It's a good day.
You were gone!
Ma turns. She's been crying but she comes over to Jack
smiling broadly. She kneels so her face is level with his.
Do you want to hear something
In the background Leo ends the call.
You were gone.
Hey listen. Old Nick is going to
jail for a really long time.
I know Old Nick is in jail.
But now he'll be there for ever and
ever. And I don't have to see him
ever again or talk to the judge or
any of those scary things. Isn't
Jack nods, not really understanding.
We can stop worrying now and start
to do all the things we want.
She picks him up and hugs him.
76 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S KITCHEN - DAY 76
Ma is on her phone, furiously texting. Jack watches. He's
bored. Just the sound of tapping thumbs.
What are you doing?
I'm talking to people.
She keeps texting, not explaining further.
77 INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY 77
Jack sits on the bed, watching Ma at her dressing table. She
is smartly dressed, her hair is fixed nicely.
Why do you look like that?
I'm dressed to go out, that's all.
He watches MA force earrings through the healed piercings in
her ears. It looks painful.
I don't like it.
It's just some clothes and makeup.
77A INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - STAIRS - MOMENTS LATER 77A
Jack follows Ma downstairs.
Come on, we need to get you ready.
We follow them into ...
77B INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN 77B
Nancy cleans up in the kitchen. Ma and Jack come in. Ma finds
the sunscreen and starts to apply it.
77B CONTINUED: 77B
Maybe it's too much for him right
It's not too much for me. I need to
go out, get some air.
Ma starts to apply sunscreen to Jack.
You could have a better attitude,
With some effort, Nancy holds her tongue.
You could support me in this.
That's all I'm asking. I'm trying
to take a step.
You don't have to do it so soon.
You could wait and we could go
Ma wipes her hands, dials a number on her phone.
77B CONTINUED: (2) 77B
78 OMITTED 78
79 EXT/INT. STREET/LAURA'S CAR - DAY 79
A car is waiting. Inside, a young woman smiles and waves. Ma -
holding a booster seat - cracks the door.
Oh my God!
Oh my God!
The girls hug.
You look... Amazing. I can't
believe you're here.
I know. I know.
I've missed you so much. I can't
believe you're actually here. And
look at Jack! What a sweetheart! He
is so cute!
Ma gets into the passenger seat.
This is too weird, sitting in this
car right now.
You are such an amazing person,
Joy. I have thought about you so
79 CONTINUED: 79
And I am so happy you are here with
me now. I cannot even tell you.
I'm happy, too. And a little
You just sit back. Relax. We'll
take it nice and slow.
We watch from the sidewalk as the car pulls away.
80 OMITTED 80
81 INT. CAR - SOON 81
The girls talk...
...Tracy is doing so good. She got
her teaching certificate and now
she's teaching in Milwaukie, loving
it. I saw her last summer and she
is still so fun.
I always liked her even though we
never really hung out.
She liked you too.
Your Mom was very popular in
That's actually not true.
81 CONTINUED: 81
If you weren't popular, I don't
know who was.
The girls laugh. Laura's phone rings and she answers.
Hey, I'm driving.
Something pert/flirtatious comes into her tone.
You'll just have to, won't you?
She hangs up.
Who was that?
Just someone I met at work. Not
What work do you do.
Real estate. I mean I graduated
Environmental Studies and I'm still
super passionate about that - like
what we're doing to this planet,
but the whole property thing is
82 EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - DAY 82
The car drifts around, eventually finds a spot. Ma, Jack and
Laura emerge. Jack is facing away from the mall. He is held
by the big open view of the car park and road network beyond.
(taking his hand)
Jack. This way. Just hold my hand.
82 CONTINUED: 82
They start to walk towards the entrance. Ma stops and
crouches down. Puts her hands on Jack's shoulders and speaks
You're going to be fine. OK?
83 INT. MALL - MINUTES LATER 83
They walk through the whooshing doors of the mall and step
onto the ascending escalator. In the atrium, mobiles,
banners, skylights. Teenagers, families, everyone scanning
the myriad goods on display. At the top of the escalator Jack
sees a huge array of fruit and vegetables outside a
Further along, they pass a bookstore. Jack spots a display of
new Dylan the Digger books. He grabs one.
Ma, it's Dylan!
You can't take that, Jack.
83 CONTINUED: 83
It doesn't belong to you.
She takes the book from him and dumps it back in the display.
Come on. If you're good we can get
another book, a new one on our way
84 INT. CLOTHING STORE 84
The girls cart Jack into the store among the hanging clothes
They tear through the racks. Techno music throbs. The
For a moment Jack loses track of the girls. The clothes are
She reappears from behind a rack.
I'm here. OK? Just calm down.
I was scared!
(doing her best to be
Don't be. This is normal. This is
what people do.
I don't like it!
Remember your superpowers, alright,
have fun. And no whining, OK?
A clerk appears.
Hi, there. Anything I can help you
84 CONTINUED: 84
I need some... (she looks around
desperately)... some shoes.
Great. Shoes are all over there.
Just let me know if you need
anything else, okay?
Ma goes and stares at the shoe display. Many colors, many
styles. She's paralysed. Jack is close beside her.
I don't know.
Can we get Dylan now?
These ones are kind of cute.
No. I definitely don't want any of
these. I'd never wear these.
She grabs Jack's hand and drags him out of the store. Laura
follows looking weirded-out.
85 INT. MALL - LATER 85
The trio hurries through the mall. Ma looks nervous, Laura
concerned, Jack bewildered and angry.
(barely paying attention)
Are you hungry, Jack? You want
something in the food court?
They've got, I don't know, pizza
I want Dylan. You said.
I said if you were good.
I could run and get it for him.
85 CONTINUED: 85
No. I said no, so he has to
They pass a Cinnabon outlet.
Jack, you want a Cinnabon? You
Cinnabon is good. You might like
I think we should just go.
I want Dylan. I want Dylan now.You
You are being really naughty Jack.
Jack starts into a full on tantrum.
She grabs him to carry him out, but he pulls away. All the
noise has drawn the attention of the people around them. A
couple of TEENAGERS approach Jack.
Hey, are you that kid from the TV.
Get the fuck away from him. Get the
86 INT. LAURA'S CAR - SOON 86
Ma, Jack and Laura clamber into the car.
Oh my God. Oh. My. God.
86 CONTINUED: 86
Shit, shit, shit. Those assholes.
Buckle up, Jack, all right?
He looks around, not knowing what to do.
Jesus Christ. Just buckle it, all
She leans over the seat and jerks the buckle on.
That's how it works, all right?
I don't like you in the world!
Well maybe I don't like you either!
Laura pauses, Ma glowers.
(angrily to Laura)
Laura backs out of the parking spot.
87 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 87
Jack sits with Nancy and Leo in the quiet room, playing
Oh, you got me on that one.
You guys want to start again?
They set up the board again. Nancy spins the dial and moves
Here we go. My turn.
87 CONTINUED: 87
You know, it can be tough to be a
Mom. Sometimes it's really tough,
and you can get angry, but it
doesn't mean you don't love your
Jack takes his turn.
88 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY 88
Jack sits with Dr. Mittal. After a little while, Nancy comes
Dr. Mittal stands.
OK. Let her rest. I'll see you
again next week, Jack.
Mittal and Nancy leave. Jack hears them talking quietly in
the hall. Nancy describing Ma's behavior, sharing her
89 INT. BEDROOM - DAY 89
Jack sits on the floor beside the bed watching Dora on
Nancy's smart phone. Ma's who's been dozing sits up.
Jack. Please turn that off.
Jack keeps watching.
Now. I mean it. Now.
I want to watch!
Jack! Please. Please. I'm begging
you, please turn that off.
Jack looks at her. She is twisted in pain at the sound of the
Jack switches it off.
89 CONTINUED: 89
It reminds me too much of Room. I
can't have it.
89 CONTINUED: (2) 89
Jack ignores her.
You've got so many other things to
play with. You should try something
He won't respond.
Come on. Let's look at all your
She drags him down to the living room.
90 INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS 90
She points to a pile of boxes in the corner.
Look at all these toys. Most kids
would love that stuff. You've
barely even looked at them.
I don't want to.
Come on, Jack.
He shuffles to the pile. Ma crouches - finds and rips open a
box of Lego.
It's pretty cool, right? You like
Nancy steps in beside her daughter.
He needs something real to do. I'm
getting worried about him with the
I don't give him my phone so please
don't give him yours.
90 CONTINUED: 90
I just want him to connect to
something. You know?
He's really doing fine.
Ma's aggression deserts her. She is distressed, afraid. She
screws up her face, hides it in her hands.
I'm sorry, I don't know what's
happening to me. I can't feel
anything. Even for ...
Her hand flings towards Jack. She chokes her words back.
Don't judge me. You have no right.
People walk around like the world
is fine and normal but it's not.
Nancy tries to put her hand on Ma's arm.
Don't! I can't bear it. I thought
this would be heaven, but it's
worse. Can you understand that?
You just need to rest.
(recovering, closing the
crack of vulnerability)
No I don't! That's not what I need.
That's what the Doctor...
(wiping away tears)
No! That's not what he said. You
don't know what he said. That's
confidential and you don't even
know. Just forget it.
90 CONTINUED: (2) 90
I feel like you're impossible to
talk to right now.
Oh, I'm sorry!
No, you're not sorry.
You think you know what's in my
head. Trust me, you couldn't handle
Tell me and see. I've asked you.
So you're seeing that every time
you look at me? Great.
You're my daughter, that's what
Yeah, well you seemed to get on OK
How can you say that? You think
you're the only one whose life was
Actually, that's exactly what I
How would you feel if somebody took
Jack from you?
Shut up. Go easy.
Jack puts his hands over his ears.
Look at him. You should be thinking
90 CONTINUED: (3) 90
Don't you ever tell me how to look
after my son. I'm sorry if I'm not
`nice' enough for you. Maybe if you
hadn't been in my head saying `be
nice' that day I wouldn't have gone
to help him.
Nancy is horrified.
This isn't even my house anymore. I
don't know what this is.
Ma leaves. Jack shakes his head. Holds back tears.
I'm sorry, Jack.
Nancy moves to hug him but she sees Jack stiffen and she
91 EXT. BACK YARD - DAY 91
Jack wanders the back yard.
92 INT. MA AND JACK'S BEDROOM - DAY 92
Jack wanders in. Ma is sitting on the bed. She seems calmer.
Come here, Jack.
He goes over and she wraps her arms around him. He cuddles
You know, Jack, we're going to have
to move away from here someday.
We're going to have to get our own
house. And a yard. We're going to
have to do all kinds of things.
93 EXT. HOUSE - DAY 93
Cube vans rolling up. He sees a woman, slick, driven, 50s get
out of an SUV. This is the Hostess, the same one we saw on TV
94 OMITTED 94
95 OMITTED 95
96 INT. DINING ROOM - DAY 96
Jack is fascinated by the machinery. The boxes, cords,
tripods and lights.
He stands near the camera crew, listening to them talk,
watching them set up their gear.
97 INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER 97
Jack, looking through the back window, watches the camera
crew follow his mom and the hostess around the yard. They
pretend to talk. Ma is dressed in her best outfit. Nancy
Time for you to go upstairs, Jack.
Remember what your Mom said.
98 INT. LEO'S DEN - LATER 98
The house is quiet apart from two muffled voices. Jack looks
over to see Leo asleep in a chair.
99 OMITTED 99
100 INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 100
Jack creeps out of the room and down the hall. He walks down
the stairs - gingerly, but on his feet.
101 INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS 101
Jack edges into the living room, finding an enthralling
circle of lights and cameras focussed on his mother and the
hostess in their chairs.
The center of the room is shadowless and ultra-vivid, exposed
by many bounces and fills. Ma and the Hostess face each other
in two armchairs brought in for the occasion.
You are an amazing, inspiring,
courageous, beautiful young woman.
101 CONTINUED: 101
I know all our viewers are amazed
by the intelligence and poise and
endurance and inner strength you
displayed during your ordeal.
101 CONTINUED: (2) 101
Truly, an amazing test of
Thank you. Thank you so much. I
hope they all know how much their
thoughts and prayers have meant the
last few weeks. To our whole
Jack is enthralled.
And Jack. Your son. By all accounts
he is a normal, high-functioning,
happy little boy. Amazing.
He is. He's my life. I never could
have survived without him.
You made life as normal and
nurturing as you could given the
environment. You gave him a
childhood. How did you manage to do
I... I didn't think about it. I
didn't plan it. When I found out I
was pregnant with Jack, it just
seemed like a terrible joke. You
know? To bring someone into that
place, it just seemed so wrong. I
was in a very scary frame of mind.
I thought the devil was controlling
my life. In a way he was.
Ma makes an effort to control her emotions.
Are you okay?
I'm getting the feeling my client
needs to -
Without taking her eyes off Ma, the Hostess holds her palm
out to the lawyer. Her tone is brusque, matter of fact.
101 CONTINUED: (3) 101
Just a minute, please.
Then, everything was different once
Jack came, because he was so
beautiful and I had to keep him
Ma, calmer, pulling herself together.
When he's older will you talk to
him about his father.
Jack's not his.
The Hostess thinks she's getting an astonishing scoop.
I beg your pardon, are you -
A father's a man who loves his kid.
So true, in a very real sense, but
the genetic relationship -
That's not a relationship. Jack's
nobody's but mine.
The Hostess decides to change tack.
You breastfed Jack for five years -
in fact, viewers may be startled to
learn that you still do.
In this whole story, that's the
The hostess looks over a a colleague, down at her notes.
Did it ever occur to you to ask
your captor to take Jack away?
101 CONTINUED: (4) 101
To leave him outside a hospital,
say, so he'd be found.
Why would I -
So Jack could be free. The ultimate
sacrifice, of course, but for him
to have a normal childhood...
He had me.
She starts to stand, dragging her mic pack with her. The
lawyer steps in. Chaos.
102 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - EVENING 102
Later. Hushed. Jack eating at the table. Leo reads the
sports pages nearby, a silent companion.
Jack can hear Ma, in the lounge, talking low to Nancy. He
recognizes low sobs: Ma is crying.
Jack stops eating halfway through a mouthful, can't swallow.
103 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - MA'S OLD ROOM - NIGHT 103
Night. Jack wakes, sensing himself alone. No Ma in the bed:
he touches the mark her body's left. No Ma in the room.
104 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LANDING - MOMENTS LATER 104
Jack walks on tiptoe down the landing.
The last door is the bathroom, and there's a crack of light.
Jack taps very quietly on the door, remembering the rule.
He goes to the top of the stairs and considers descending.
Then he creeps back to the bathroom, whispers a bit louder.
104 CONTINUED: 104
He tries the handle, but the door opens only a few inches.
Frightened he starts to bang on the door.
An adult torso, Leo's, comes into the frame, driving with
full force against the door which gives a little. Jack puts
his face to the gap and sees Ma's hair spread out on the
105 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LANDING - NIGHT 105
A little later. Jack gets glimpses of chaos: on the bathroom
floor, TWO PARAMEDICS working on Ma (who responds just enough
that we know she's not dead), Nancy in the bathroom doorway,
Leo trying to calm her.
But no sound. It's as if Jack has been deafened by an
Later: as Ma is carried out in the background, Jack sits on
the floor. We push in on him; he is hypnotized by the
flashing ambulance lights on the wall.
106 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - MA'S OLD ROOM - DAY 106
There's so much of place in the
world, there's less time because
the time has to be spread extra
thin over all the places like
butter, so all the persons say
hurry up, let's get going, pick up
the pace, finish up now. Ma was in
a hurry to go boing up to heaven
but she forgot me, Dumbo Ma, so the
aliens threw her back down
craaaaaaaash and broke her.
Next morning. Jack in a ball on the bed. He opens his fist;
Bad Tooth, all he has of Ma.
In the background we hear the phone ringing.
Jack, come here. It's for you.
107 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 107
Jack arrives. Leo holds out the phone. A pause then Jack
takes it, holds it too far away: his first call.
Hi, Jack. I've got someone who
wants to talk to you...
Is he there? Put him on.
He's on. He's waiting.
She struggles to get control of her voice.
Are you doing OK?
Jack is stumped by this question.
Come back now.
I wish I could. I just need to -
I pick. I pick for both of us.
107 CONTINUED: 107
Ma breaks down in sobs.
Jack hands the phone to Leo who talks to Nancy in murmurs.
107A INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - CUBBYHOLE - EVENING 107A
Jack sits in the space under the roof in Ma's bedroom playing
107B INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LOUNGE - NIGHT 107B
Jack watches TV with Nancy and Leo
107C OMITTED 107C
107D INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - DOWNSTAIRS VARIOUS 107D
Jack mopes around the house. Nancy and Leo give him space.
107DA INT. MA'S OLD BEDROOM - DAY 107DA
Jack wakes up alone.
Minutes later we see him enter Ma's walk-in closet. Sounds of
things being shifted around inside.
107E INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LANDING 107E
Jack walks out to the landing with Ma's box of memorabilia.
Moments later, journals and photos are spread around him. He
examines her year-books, photos of her as a child his own
108 EXT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - DAY 108
A week has passed and the outside of the house is completely
clear of press/onlookers. Nancy's car pulls up. She get's
out, let's Jack out of the back seat and the two of them
carry shopping bags to the front door. A NEIGHBOR waves.
Yes we have. We're making cupcakes.
109 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - A LITTLE LATER 109
Nancy and Jack bake companionably in the kitchen. Jack stands
on a chair.
You know how to beat eggs, Jack?
Sure. I did it before. In Room.
109 CONTINUED: 109
Did you? Wow. What else did you do
Lots of things. I miss it
Wasn't it awfully small.
Jack shakes his head.
Uh uh, it went every direction all
the way to the end. It never
finished. And Ma was always there.
109 CONTINUED: (2) 109
It was small in wardrobe.
What did you do in wardrobe?
Sleep. When Old Nick came.
I want to see Ma.
I know. She just needs to be on her
own a little while.
We hear the front door closing.
Hey Jack. There's someone here
who'd like to meet you.
Jack hops down from his chair.
110 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 110
Jack walks out into the hallway and stops dead. Leo is
standing there holding a small terrier dog.
Jack, meet Seamus. Would you like
to pet him?
Jack approaches cautiously, reaches a hand gingerly to pet
the dog, withdraws, reaches again and pets him. Nancy appears
in the background. Jack sees her.
I could just go in and tell her
about Seamus. Only for a minute. Or
I could just look at her.
Come on, let's get this guy some
air after being all stuffed up in
111 OMITTED 111
112 EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY 112
Jack tentatively climbs on a frame in a playground. Leo
watches, with Seamus on a leash.
113 INT. FRONT LIVING ROOM - DAY 113
Nancy is reading. Jack enters.
I need the scissors.
For cutting my hair.
You really want to do that?
I want to send it to Ma.
She needs my strong more than me.
So I want to send it to her. Or you
could take it to her.
Nancy is moved.
I can help you if you'd like.
That would be great.
113 CONTINUED: 113
Okay. Let's do this right. I've
wanted to cut that hair a very long
114 INT. NANCY'S KITCHEN - LATER 114
Jack sits in a chair with a sheet around his neck.
Nancy clips his hair.
I used to cut your mother's hair
all the time. And your Grandpa's
hair. I've still got it.
You think this will work? Can my
strong be her strong too? I'm not
really sure if it works that way.
Of course it does. We all help each
other stay strong. No one is strong
alone. You and your mom, you help
each other through, don't you?
And you and me. And you and Leo.
And Leo and me. We all have the
114 CONTINUED: 114
I guess we do.
Ok, here goes.
Jack closes his eyes as Nancy cuts off his pony tail.
115 INT. BATHROOM 115
Jack is leaning his head back on the round lip of the
bathroom sink. She turns on the water.
Now lean back.
The water is nicely warm now.
This is the best part.
She pours water over his head, and shampoos him.
Feels good, doesn't it?
He closes his eyes and nods. She pours more water. And more.
His face is rosy with the heat.
I love you, Grandma.
I love you, Jack.
116 INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY 116
Jack is drawing a multicolored picture.
He uses all the colors of the crayon box.
The picture of a house grows in colors and dimensions. The
door is green. The windows orange. The roof red.
117 EXT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - DAY 117
Jack plays with the Neighbor Boy and Seamus in the garden. He
hears a tap tap tap and looks round. Ma is watching him
through the glass back door. He runs to her as she opens the
door. They greet each other with nervous joy, without words.
118 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - MA'S BEDROOM - SOON 118
Jack and Ma sit beside each other on the bed.
I'm sorry, Jack.
Don't do it again.
Are you better now?
Starting to be.
She strokes his short hair then reaches into her bag and
takes out his ponytail.
I'll always keep this with me,
118 CONTINUED: 118
I will never, ever let it go. When
Grandma brought it to me, I... I
knew I could get well. You saved
They sit placidly a moment. He reaches for her shirt.
Sorry. There's none left.
Jack think for a bit, accepts the new situation.
I'm not a good enough Ma.
But you're Ma.
She puts her arm around him. They sit in a gentle silence.
I'm going to play with Aaron now.
He's my friend.
Ma hugs him hard before he leaves.
119 EXT. BEACH - DAY 119
Ma and Jack look out to sea.
When I was four I didn't even know
about the world and now me and Ma
are going to live in it forever and
ever till we're dead.
120 INT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY 120
Ma and Jack water their new African Violet.
This is a street in a city in a
country called America on the earth
that's a blue and green planet
always spinning so I don't know why
we don't fall off. Then there's
Outer Space, and nobody knows
120A INT. NANCY'S HOUSE - LOUNGE - NIGHT 120A
Ma and Nancy are curled up together on the sofa. Leo is
there, too. The adults laugh as Jack fools around with
121 INT. NANCY'S CAR - DAY 121
Ma and Jack are parked outside a Mom & Pop Burger Joint. They
eat in the car.
Ma and I have decided that because
we don't know what we like we get
to try everything.
122 EXT. SUBURBS - NIGHT 122
Jack and Ma walk in the darkness through quiet suburban
123 EXT. NANCY AND LEO'S HOUSE - DAY 123
Ma and Jack sit in a hammock in the back yard. The weather is
We have so many things to do.
Flying in an airplane.
Definitely. Making new friends.
123 CONTINUED: 123
Can we go back to Room?
Ma looks concerned.
Just for a visit.
124 INT. POLICE CAR - DAY 124
A police car pulls up outside Old Nick's. Jack, Ma and
Officer Parker get out. They stare at the house, still
surrounded by crime-scene tape.
Follow me, guys.
125 INT. OLD NICK'S HOUSE - LOUNGE - DAY 125
The car port is now sealed off and the only way out back it
through the house. Jack follows Ma and Officer Parker inside.
It's tidy (except for a desk ransacked by police),
anonymously banal: a leather suite, a cross-trainer, a flat-
126 EXT. OLD NICK'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - DAY 126
They step out into the back yard. Jack's gaze moves to the
grey shed. A double-take: it's Room.
With an enormous bulldozer beside it.
126 CONTINUED: 126
Ma heads for the shed, Jack right behind her.
Officer Parker stands nearby. There's a MALE OFFICER there
also, guarding the scene.
127 INT. ROOM - DAY 127
They step in. Drawings stripped off the walls, furniture
shifted: the magic's gone. Jack stares and sniffs the air.
This isn't Room. Has it gotten
shrinked? Our friends...
Taken away for evidence.
Proof that we were here.
Jack retraces their track marks around the bed. He draws a J
in the fingerprint powder on the table.
Their Plant is all shrivelled. Jack strokes it.
Under the bed, he finds Eggsnake; touches the needle tongue.
He comes back to the doorway, where Ma stands frozen. He
measures his height with his hand: an inch over the 5.
He hears bird song from the yard; patter of rain.
It's because Door's open.
It can't really be Room if Door's
Do you - would you like it closed?
Jack shakes his head.
127 CONTINUED: 127
I have to go now. Is there...
anything you need?
Jack looks around at the detritus of his childhood. Then he
walks to the wall behind the bed and pats it.
He goes around Room fast, whispering his bye-byes.
He looks up at the skylight, rain running down it. He climbs
onto the table.
Say bye-bye to Room.
Ma says it but on mute.
128 EXT. OLD NICK'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - DAY 128
Crane up as Jack and Ma emerge from the shed, hand in hand,
and walk away without looking back.