Another Woman (1988) Script

'If someone had asked me, when I reached my 50s, to assess my life, 'I'd have said I'd achieved a decent measure of fulfilment, 'both personally and professionally.

'Beyond that, I would say, "I don't choose to delve."

'Not that I was afraid of uncovering some dark side of my character.

'But I always feel, if something seems to be working, leave it alone.

'My name is Marion Post.

'I'm Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy

'at a very fine women's college, 'although right now I'm on leave of absence to begin writing a book.

'My husband is a very accomplished physician, a cardiologist, 'who some years ago examined my heart, 'liked what he saw and proposed.

'It's the second marriage for both of us, 'and he brought to it a 16-year-old daughter

'who lives with his former wife but visits us frequently.

'She's a sweet girl who can be a little undisciplined at times, 'and I've tried to take her under my wing as best I can.

'I also have a married brother.

'My mother died recently, but my dad's still alive and healthy.

'Not much else to say, except normally I write at home, 'but construction noise next door has become so terrible, 'I subleased a one-room flat downtown as an office.

'A new book is always a very demanding project, 'and it requires that I really shut myself off

'from everything but the work.'


'As I settled down to work that first morning, a strange thing occurred.

Something about him just got to a deeper thing in me.

So this was my... my big experience with another man. My first one.

And I've never been able to get it out of my mind. I still have fantasies about it, which are sort of bugging me.

What do you mean, "fantasies"?

Well, sometimes when I'm masturbating, or when I'm just...

Well, sometimes when I'm... when I'm working, I find myself thinking about Giles.

And, uh, it's not that I'm not attracted to my wife any more.

I mean, I still am. I really am physically moved by her, and other women, but...

'While eavesdropping on the intimate revelations

'of a psychiatrist's office might be fascinating to some people, 'it was not exactly what I had in mind when I rented the place.'

Well, um...

I don't really have to use him like a piece of pornography...

'I worked hard all day, and the work came very slowly.

'Beginning a book is always the most difficult part for me, 'and by late afternoon I'd become tired.

'I lay my head down and closed my eyes, and I guess I dozed off.

'I don't know exactly how long I was asleep, 'but one of the pillows must have slipped down off the vent, 'because I gradually became aware again of a voice.

'It was a woman's voice, and it was such an anguished, heart-wrenching sound

'that I was totally arrested by its sadness.'

I just know that I woke up during the middle of the night.

And time passed, and there were strange shadows.

I began having troubling thoughts about my life.

Like there was something about it not real.

Full of deceptions.

That these... these deceptions had become so... so many, and so much a part of me now, that I couldn't even tell who I really was.

And suddenly I began to perspire.

I sat up in bed with my heart just pounding.

And I looked at my husband next to me, and it was as if he... he was a stranger.

And I turned on the light and I woke him up, and I asked him to hold me.

And only after a long time, did I finally get my bearings.

But for one moment, earlier, it was as if a curtain had parted, and I could see myself clearly.

But I was afraid of what I saw.

And what I had to look forward to.

And I wondered...

I wondered about ending everything.


Please, please.

It is with a mixture of some joy, but mostly paralysing anxiety...

...that I hereby plunge into the big five-o.

I was, uh, I was fine till last week.

Then my son said to me, "Gee, Dad, don't your options begin running out?"

He's very funny, my son.

Marion, I was telling Lydia about your little adventure today.

Oh, yes. Those new buildings are built so thin.

No, this is an old brownstone. Well, there's no privacy left.

Last week, Lydia and I were at home. It was a Sunday morning...

Mark... This is true. And we started kissing...

Mark! And next thing we were on the floor...

Are you crazy? He's drunk. I was having her on the kitchen floor.

The living room floor, the living room floor.

I gotta admit, it was a surprise. Did it not happen that way?

So the door opens, and the superintendent, he has the key...

Oh, no. Barges in. Some kind of plumbing leak.

And we are in flagrante delicto.

You know what he does? He gets up, stark naked, and says "Mr Banducci, "this is not the pipe that needs fixing."

That was quick, Ken. Could you have come up with anything that quick?

No. That was grace under pressure.

Did he laugh? Oh, no.

He turned very red and he crossed himself.

Sad.

One good thing about becoming 50. You don't have to do it again.

I know.

It's Laura. She had another fight with her mother, wants to sleep at our place.

It's not fair to Kathy.

Well, you tell her, cos once again I can't get through to my daughter.

I know. Just... hold on a minute.

Will you talk to Marion? OK.

Laura? This is not a good habit to get into.

You know your mother's high-strung. She's just gonna get frantic.

Well, it may not seem fair to you, but it's up to you to deal with her moods.

Well, if she can't, then you just have to rise above it.

OK? I'll see you at my father's tomorrow.

We'll talk about it then. OK.

Bye-bye.

She listens to you cos she looks up to you. Me, there's no communication.

It's just... It's a terrible situation.

Hey.

Take you back?

God, yeah.

Would you ever think of making love to me on the living room floor?

Would you want me to?

I don't know. Would you want to?

I don't know.

Actually, I don't think I see you as the hardwood floor type.

No?

Hey, Ken, what are you doing in there? Have you eaten?

Hello, Lydia. Look, you know my wife pretty good.

Would you say that she was the type to enjoy sex on the living room floor?

Ken! Oh, my God. You know, you guys...

I'm only teasing. That was really embarrassing before.

But not unpleasant if you don't get splinters.

'The following morning, I'd agreed to meet my sister-in-law.

'I waited as long as I could, but when she didn't show up I decided to leave.'

Marion. I'm sorry. Oh, hi.

I got stuck in traffic. Oh. The thing is, I'm really late now.

Sorry. I just need a few minutes. Well, I'm so behind schedule.

You said eight, and I waited, but I've gotta get going.

Stupid bus wouldn't move. Maybe some other time.

I've gotta be disciplined when I'm writing, Lynn, otherwise I'm not gonna get it done in time.

I need to borrow some money.

You know, Paul and I are getting a divorce.

I heard. I'm sorry.

Are you? Why do you say it like that?

Because... I know you never really approved of me.

Why, I hardly know you.

It's not from my lack of trying.

Oh, look, I know this must all be very upsetting to you. But, you know...

I'm sorry.

If you needed money, how come Paul didn't ask me?

Well... he wouldn't.

Well, why not? He has before.

Marion... don't you know how he feels about you?

Sure. We've always been very close.

You're deluding yourself.

Of course, in a way he idolises you, but... he also hates you.

I'm sorry, I don't accept that.

You're such a perceptive woman.

How can you not understand his feelings?

Look, um, I'm late, and... and, uh...

To tell you the truth, I make it a practice of never getting into these conversations.

They're fruitless, and people say things that they're sorry for later.

Why don't you just tell me how much you need and I'll discuss it with Ken. OK?

'The encounter with my sister-in-law had left me angry, 'but I refused to let it interfere with my work.

'I had a reasonably productive day, but as late afternoon approached, 'I began to feel anxious somehow.'

I really can't believe I'm saying this.

Lately, I've had odd feelings about my marriage.

It's as if it's been... coming apart.

And I've just been, in so many ways, denying it.

I must admit, I have moments when I question whether I made the right choice.

I've told you there was someone else once.

The last time I saw him was several years ago, before I was married, at a party.

Stop it. Just stop it. This is just crazy.

I'm marrying Ken, that's all there is to it.

How can you marry Ken? You love me. I... What? You're so conceited.

What makes you think that I love you?

I know. There are some things one knows just so surely as...

Well, I-I... I'm... I... You're wrong, and I'm sorry if I've misled you.

It's you you're misleading. I'm surprised at you.

I mean, Ken is your close friend.

I love everything about you, and I want you to come and live with me...

Stop it! Stop it. Right now.

Marion? We're toasting!

Just go away.

To Ken and Marion on their big day next week.

And to Marion's new book. German philosophy will never be the same.

Let's hope not.

You'll go on for ever. Heidegger definitely got what he deserved.

Hey, I'd like to propose a toast.

To good health and happiness.

Aren't you gonna drink to Marion? Yes, why not?

I drink to Marion with my eyes.

Smoothie. Old smoothie.

I was just returning some things.

You could stop staring.

I'm not a ghost.

Well, we did spend a few years together, had a child together, in this house.

I wish you'd called.

I'm not staying.

Although some of these people used to be my friends too.

Would you like a drink? Kitty...

Don't panic, I'm not accepting.

These are artefacts from more civilised days between us.

I think perhaps you should just leave them and go.

Which one's Marion?

I am.

Kathy, this is in terrible taste, you know.

Oh, my ex-husband is an authority on taste!

Now what does Emily Post say about adultery with a philosophy professor in a Holiday Inn while his wife is in the hospital having her ovaries removed?

OK, that's enough. Now please leave. Ah, jeez.

I realise that you've been hurt, and if I've done anything wrong, I am sorry.

Forgive me. I accept your condemnation.

I'm so sorry.


What can I say to change your heart?

I'm really amazed at you.

He's your friend. He's just... He's just had an embarrassing experience.

Yes, he is my friend. And I love him.

But he's a prig. He's cold and he's stuffy.

Can't you see that? "I accept your condemnation." Jesus!

He handled a very difficult moment quite well.

Oh, too well. Do you like that?

He's a snob.

He's a wonderful man.

And he's... he's a terrific doctor.

He's cultured and he's honourable.

I love to be with him. I... I...

I love reading books with him, and... It's all up here. All up here.

And he's sexy.

Adultery in the Holiday Inn? Did they take a credit card?

He would never try to undermine you.

Even if he loved a woman passionately?

Maybe we should join the others.

Maybe I was wrong about you.

Maybe you're two of a kind.

Maybe you've had too much champagne.

Maybe this conversation is scaring you.

I have to go.

Why don't you do that?

'I often wonder about real love.'

Or should I say, I keep myself from thinking about it.

I don't mean the kind I've experienced.

It's deeper, much more intense. And then I become frightened.

Because I feel too much...

Hi. How are you? Fine.

This is great, this is really nice. I like it a lot. So are you ready?

Sure. I'm sorry, am I too early?

Oh, no. So I'm here on time? OK, great.

You know your dad's not coming? Yes. I spoke with him. Are you all right?

Me? You just...

No, sure, I'm fine. OK.

All right, well, we should get going then, so we can beat the traffic.

I've gathered a number of your mother's possessions and mementos.

Pictures, letters.

You may as well have them.

I just can't seem to bring myself to throw them away.

Has it been unbearable, these past few months?

I've managed to keep myself busy.

I wish you'd consider moving to the city. I'm fine right here.

Clara comes in. She cleans and cooks for me the way she always has, so that's no different.

Twice a year, the board of the Smithsonian meets.

That gets me down to Washington, and takes up some of my time.

I'm all right. I'm fine right here.

But you want nothing around to even remind you of Mother?

Well, there are times when even a historian shouldn't look at the past.

You think at your age you can meet someone and fall in love again?

One hopes at my age to build up an immunity.

Are you aware that Paul and Lynn are getting a divorce?

Nothing Paul does would surprise me, and I'd much rather not hear about him.

He's had bad luck. He's had the same chances you've had.

It's just that he doesn't have it inside him to stick with anything.

I hope you're not still giving him money. No, just, you know, now and then.

I've salvaged him from more financial messes, and I've spent more money doing it, than I care to tell you.

Someday he'll defraud somebody in one of his so-called business ventures.

And he'll go to jail.

I noticed you sort of gave me a disapproving look at dinner.

Well, I didn't think it was very sensitive of you to ask my father whether at his age he could still fall in love.

Well, he didn't take it badly. No, but it just isn't very tactful.

He's old now. He doesn't have to be reminded of it.

I'm sorry.

It's OK, it's just...

Never mind, it's... youth.

Here are the photos.

And here's my mother's jewellery. Such as it is.

They were never ones for sentimental possessions.

Here's her book of Rilke's poems.

You know, she was the one who first introduced me to German poetry.

And there's a picture of the house in the fall.

'That's really nice. Oh, there we are in the kitchen.

'And there's Clara. Look how young you were here, Clara.

'You were so good to us. I can still taste the cookies you used to bake.

'You used to sit up with us when we had those miserable colds. You were a saint.

'Oh, and here I am, older. I could go up to the spare room and paint for hours.

'The time would just fly by when I was doing a picture.

'And there I am with my friend Claire. You know, she became an actress.

'We used to be so close, but I haven't seen her in years.

'And there's my mother. She loved strolling around the grounds.

'She loved all beautiful things. She loved nature, music, poetry.

'That was her whole existence.'

Paul? I'd like to discuss something. Yes, Dad?

I've had a talk with my brother Ben.

And he has promised me that he will find a position for you next season in his firm.

I don't wanna work in a cardboard box factory.

It's paper products, Paul, not just boxes. But I tried it once. I go nuts.

Paul...

There are some obligations one must accept.

This has not been a good year.

Your mother is very ill, and I have decided to take time off to finish my study on the Continental Congress.

It's important that there is enough money to see that Marion can go away to college.

I want her to take that scholarship. She is such a brilliant girl.

But I had other plans.

I'm sure those plans included card-playing and time-wasting.

That's not fair. Paul, your grades are mediocre.

It's not because you're not smart enough, it's simply that you don't apply yourself.

I know. And Marion's a genius.

She has the opportunity to go to Bryn Mawr.

Do you want to prevent her? No.

She's going to be something. She's got what it takes. There are no limits for her.

If only I could stop her daydreaming in the woods with her beloved watercolours.

Paul?

What's wrong?

He's making me go to work in the paper box factory.

Well, what do you wanna do? I don't know.

Move out of the house, travel, find some interesting business, anything but work in a paper box factory.

I hate him. Both of them.

They live in their own world.


Is this close enough? Yeah, I'm meeting Scott right up here.

Why don't you come? He'd love to meet you, and I've told him a lot about you.

Thank you, honey, but I'm really tired.

Can I take a rain check? Come on, just for one beer.

It's really early, and Dad's not gonna be home yet.

Do you see someone?

I do. Who?

It's just, uh... it's an acquaintance of mine, it's a woman I know.

All right, well, thanks a lot. I had a terrific time.

OK. OK. Bye.


I forgot half of that speech tonight...

Marion. I...

Claire? It's you. It is you. It is.

Claire? I was just talking about you. Yes?

I was going through old photos at my father's house.

What are you doing here?

I'm doing a play. And it's closing, but... You're in a show?

Yes. I guess you don't read the theatre section of the paper.

Well, yes, I do, but I just had no idea.

I'm sorry, what am I doing? I'm sorry. This is my husband, this is Jack.

Marion Post. Nice to meet you.

Oh, my goodness. Claire, I have wondered about you so often.

Well, we live in Monterey now. Really? Do you have time for a drink?

Sorry, we're meeting some friends. No, we have time till our appointment.

Do we? Oh, great. There must be a place here.

Come on, this way. Straight ahead. I just...

...Amnesty International and ACLU. Then they were on the same day.

Listen, you gotta be kidding me. Are you saying that you are a member of Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union?

Marion always had the urge to save humanity, didn't you?

Just give me a flood or a famine. Ken too.

Where do you find the time? It doesn't work out all the time.

And head of the philosophy department. It's impossible.

I took two years of philosophy, University of Chicago.

They've got a great department. It was good, before they made me leave.

And Claire, you never told me about this chapter in your life.

I thought I had. We were so close.

It was clear she'd be a gifted actress. No...

Don't you believe her. This woman always had that flair.

Do you get to the theatre much? I guess not with your schedule.

I do. My husband really prefers the opera, but there's so little to see.

I used to be a devoted Brechtian. I staged some Brecht.

Did you? Yes. "Mother Courage."

Not the one here? Yes, the one here. Did you see it?

Sure I saw it. That's the most intelligent rendering of that play I've ever seen.

That's sweet of you. I had problems with the translation.

Some of the speeches could have been a little better.

Exactly. The translation was awkward.

But you did a terrific job. Really terrific.

Hey, hey. Hey!

Look at me once in a while. I'm your wife, not her.

Huh?

You've been hanging on her every word since we sat down.

You're embarrassing me.

Jack is very impressed by certain things which I apparently cannot give him.

Claire, take it easy.

Do you deny he's been looking into your eyes for over an hour?

I don't think you heard one word I said. You're a little drunk.

If you'd rather be alone with her... Claire, stop it, this is foolish.

We're just having a nice chat. Don't play so innocent with me.

This wouldn't be the first time. Stop this!

What does that mean? Let's go, Claire. Sorry, Marion.

We've been in this situation before, where you so innocently wound up causing me to doubt my whole life.

Claire, you're being awfully theatrical.

I don't know what you're talking about.

We didn't just drift apart, Marion. I withdrew.

You're not talking about David? Then you do know.

I know I never had any interest in him. But you knew how much I cared for him.

I had nothing to do with him. And I never gave him a shred of encouragement.

That's not true.

Your conversations were full of subtle flirtations, full of meaningful little looks, and... little gambits designed to seduce.

That's so untrue.

And you've held that against me?

He couldn't see anything except how infatuated he was with you.

We never spent a single moment alone. I never had anything to do with him.

And I say you seduced him. You just turned it on whenever he was around.

Maybe you didn't even know that you were doing it.

Claire, let's get off the subject.

I must've seemed very bland to him after you.

This is nonsense!

To have backed off of a close friendship because of some fantasy?

I'm sure I brought it on myself. I was so proud of you.

You were my best friend. You were so witty and so quick, and I was so naive.

Of course you would want David to fall for you. He was exceptional.

I never accepted his overtures.

I told him he was going with you and it was out of the question.

By that time you had what you wanted. That's absurd.

I really believe that you may not have realised what you were doing.

This is outrageous. You should never drink.

I swear to you, it was never in my mind. Not consciously or subconsciously or...

Think about it. Just think about it sometime. You should be the actress.

'When I got home, Ken was asleep.

'I was too shaken up to go to bed.

'The incident with Claire had left me edgy and uncomfortable.

'I thought if I read for a while, it might relax me.

'I thumbed through my mother's edition of Rilke.

'When I was 16, I had done a paper on his poem about the panther, 'and on the image that the panther saw as it stared out from its cage.

'And that image, I concluded, could only be death.

'Then I saw my mother's favourite poem, '''Archaic Torso of Apollo".

'There were stains on the page, which I believe were her tears.

'They fell across the last line.

'''For here there is no place that does not see you.

'''You must change your life.'''

You got in late last night.

I ran into an old friend.

Then I didn't sleep. I don't think I closed my eyes for ten minutes.

I don't know how you do it. I'd collapse.

We're going to the concert with Mark and Lydia tonight.

I'm good for today, it's tomorrow I'll feel it.

Yeah, but tomorrow we're going to Tom and Eleanor's for dinner.

And Friday, Mark and Lydia are taking us out for our anniversary.

Is it our anniversary already? Yeah. Goes quickly, doesn't it?

What's the matter?

I don't know.

What is it?

Well, you know, shouldn't we spend our anniversary alone?

We could go to the restaurant where we had our first night together.

In Philadelphia?

Hold me.

Hey.

Honey.

I've already found your present.

Did I seduce you away from your wife?

No, I seduced you, don't you remember?

Then I was worried in case you wouldn't consider me because I was married.

Well...

So how was it with Laura last night? You know that kid idolises you.

Yeah.

I'd better get going, I guess. I have to stop at the library on my way downtown.

OK.


You're silent today.

Usually you're quite talkative.

Yeah, I... I-I have nothing to say.

Mm-hm.

I... That is, I have nothing to report.

Are you angry?

No, not that I'm aware of.

But you have nothing to say?

No.


She saw us, Scott. I asked you to lock the door.

You said they were walking in the woods.

Dad said he was uncomfortable about us being here for the weekend, and I tried to explain, make him trust me, and I said it would be all right, and this...

Come on, I'm sure she's sophisticated. Yeah, you don't know Marion.

I thought you said she was pretty hip. Yeah, she is, she's great. She's...

She's great. She... I dunno, it's just that she's, um...

She's a little... judgemental.

You know? She sort of stands above people and evaluates them.

I've heard her make remarks about her brother, and...

I always think that she's gonna judge me that way. I dunno.

I just... Now I feel really cheap for some reason.

Cheap? Yes.

Cheap? Yes.

I thought it was very romantic. It was.

With the fire, and the wine...

Yeah. It was.

'I couldn't work anymore that day.

'I felt I needed some fresh air.

'I walked the streets aimlessly, just trying to put some jumbled thoughts in order.

'I don't know how long I wandered, 'but when I looked up I was quite far from my writing room.'

What's happened?

I don't know.

Well, what are you doing here?

Something must be wrong. Oh, don't say that.

Marion, you don't seek out my company very often.

You must need something.

Yes, I do need something.

Only I don't know what it is, exactly.

Well, what do I have I could offer? You can be honest with me, Paul.

You and I were so close when we were young.

How honest do you want me to be?

It was just today that I realised how long it's been since we've even spoken.

Well...

I gave up pursuing you when I realised how uncomfortable it made you feel.

That's not true. Don't deny it. Come on, Marion.

You know...

I realised... that I disappointed you.

And worse, I realised that I embarrass you. How I live and who I marry...

Of course, that's falling apart now, so we don't have to worry about it.

She wants me to work for Cousin Andrew.

But she's right, because I never have supported her and the kids properly.

Well, would that be so awful? Working for Andrew?

You used to say that.

I know. I know I did, but...

Times change. Yeah, they certainly do.

Do you remember, some years ago, when I showed you something I'd written? Remember what you said?

No, I don't remember. I was probably just trying to be truthful.

Yes, I'm sure. You said, "This is overblown.

"It's too emotional. It's maudlin.

"Your dreams may be meaningful to you, but to the objective observer, they're...

"It's so embarrassing."

I said that?

Exactly your words.

So I try not to embarrass you... any more.

I should go.


I've spent all afternoon trying to think of a great place to take you two to celebrate your anniversary on Friday.

What's wrong with the hotel in Philadelphia where you had your first illicit moments of passion?

You see? He thinks like you think. He drinks, not thinks.

I should drink. I should drink. If I ever started drinking... This is not drinking.

Excuse me, I'm sorry to disturb you, but...

I was a pupil of yours 20 years ago in Vermont.

Cynthia Frank? You probably won't remember, but...

Yes, I do. I do remember you.

You changed my life. I did?

You... she was the inspiration for every woman in the philosophy department.

That's very kind of you. I still remember the lectures so clearly.

There was a particular talk you gave on ethics and moral responsibility that...

Well, your ideas were amazing to me, and they're still amazing to me.

Well, I didn't mean to interrupt, but I wanted to tell you.

I've seen you here before, and I never was able to say that you changed my life.

Thanks.

Hey, all right. All right. Well done.

Do you remember that lecture?

It's terrific that she just turned around and...

It's very touching.

'I had spent a second sleepless night, 'and the following day at work I really felt it.

'I couldn't write at all, and what little I did try was forced.

'Usually I can't sleep in the day, but I was exhausted.

'I closed my eyes for a few minutes, 'and that's when the dream must have come.'

You're not gonna say anything?

You haven't said a thing, and your hour's almost up.

I don't believe you have nothing to say.

I think it's because you're angry.

Too choked with rage to speak.

What is it that enrages you?

Life.

Life? The... the universe.

The cruelty, the injustice.

The suffering of humanity.

Illness, ageing... death.

All very abstract. "Humanity." Don't worry about humanity all the time.

Get your own life in order.

Yeah. We'll continue this tomorrow.

What would you say she was suffering from?

Self-deception. Good. It's a little general.

I don't think she can part with the lies. No? Too bad.

Not that she doesn't want to. It's precisely that she doesn't want to.

When she wants to, she will.

It's all happening so fast. I have to hurry.

I'm trying to prevent her from killing herself.

You don't think she would? She's already begun.

She has? Oh, not very dramatically.

That's not her style.

She's doing it slowly and methodically, and has been since she was very young.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have another patient.

Now that my life is... drawing to a close, I have only regrets.

Regrets that the woman I shared my life with is not the one I loved the most deeply.

Regrets that there is no love between my son and myself. That is my fault.

Regrets that perhaps I've been too severe with my daughter, too demanding, that I haven't given her enough feeling.

But I was so unhappy myself, so caught up in those stupid studies of historical figures.

Even though I have achieved some eminence in my field, I asked too little of myself.

'Suddenly the dream shifted

'and I found myself on a street that was familiar.

'It seemed to be where I had run into Claire, in front of the theatre.'

What's going on? Come on in. It's OK.

Would she like to observe the rehearsal? Claire is such a good actress.

She plays innumerable roles.

Would you ever think of making love to me on the living room floor?

Would you want me to? I don't know. Would you want to?

Well, somehow I've never seen you as the hardwood floor type.

No. That's a pretty insulting thing to say.

It's you that's the type not to make love anywhere but in bed with the lights out.

Now who's being insulting? I suppose you'll undress and go to bed.

Well, it's 01:00am.

Let's try being honest. There's not much passion left in this marriage, is there?

Is there not? I haven't noticed. Don't be so aloof.

I'm trying to tell you something. It's not erotic any more.

Well, was it ever? Was it not?

Marion, I'm tired.

We rarely sleep together any more, and when we do, it's by the book.

It's the same routine. I know what you're going to do and in what order.

Yeah, it's true, we are both creatures of routine.

Now can we go to sleep? It's late.

And could you please try not to toss and talk in your sleep?

Last night you kept saying "Larry". I assume you dreamed about Larry Lewis.

'At the mention of Larry Lewis's name, 'I experienced odd feelings of melancholy and longing.

'I wanted to weep in the dream, 'but the tears wouldn't come.'

Are you married? Yes. You knew I got married.

Oh, yes.

Yes, I had heard that.

Larry wants us to move back to New York, but I don't.

We've had such a nice time in Santa Fe.

Are you happy? I'm happy.

Why don't I leave you two? I'm sure you have a lot to talk about.

I see your by-line now and then in magazines.

Did you read my novel?

I have it, but I am embarrassed to say I haven't read it yet.

You inspired one of the characters.

Oh?

I hope you weren't too rough on me. No. I wrote of you with great love.

Your wife is lovely.

Yes. I met her right after you said goodbye to me.

Her name's Jennifer. She's also quite a good writer.

Do you have any children? Yes.

We have a daughter.

It's been the greatest, most beautiful experience of my life.

Do you ever think of me?

Do you ever think of me?

Once in a while.

I hope you're happy with Ken.

I ran into him on the street not too long ago. He must have told you.

I think of you more than once in a while.

But without regret. Please, don't tell me you have any regret.

Darling, come here for a moment. I want to show you a beautiful sunset.

Which character in your novel did I inspire?

Hlenka. I gave you a beautiful name. Hlenka.

I described our times together.

You'll recognise it.

I have to go now.

My wife needs me.

Marion, please, don't cry.

Although I am glad to hear our little scene is moving.

I'd like to go home. And you will.

I just thought you might like to see our second act finale.

Your first husband's suicide scene.

It's touching.

Sam was not a suicide.

How do you know? It was 15 years after you divorced.

He died in his sleep from mixing pills and alcohol.

I was at his funeral.

Well, you know, that's always a grey area.

Alone in a hotel room, depressed...

Sam was a wonderful man.

We had such lovely times together.

You taught me so much.

You were a wonderful pupil.

Certainly the most interesting one in my class.

Still, the age difference...

I shouldn't have seduced you. Intellectually, that is.

I should have resisted that temptation.

I shouldn't have made you adore me, but you were such a dazzling pupil, the temptation was too great.

And so I paid the price.

We both paid the price.

Inevitably there comes a time when the pupil absorbs all that he or she can.

And what seemed like constant joyous imparting of knowledge and opinions becomes suffocation.

Ironically, that's what they wrote on my death certificate.

"Suffocation."

Oh, Sam.

Wait, there's another important scene between you and Sam.

No.

No more.

'That night we had what was supposed to be a charming dinner

'with Tom and Eleanor Banks. Doctor Banks.

'Everyone was full of energy, and I must've seemed drab in contrast.

'Not only was I tired, but the dream had put me in a foul mood.'

Tom and Eleanor are funny.

All that carrying-on about ESP and parapsychology.

You'd think they'd be more sensible.

And then when you put it down so unequivocally, I thought they'd die.

You were a little cruel, however correct.

I was so tired, I was in a stinking mood. And who knows? Maybe they're right.

Maybe there is more to life than meets the eye. What the hell do I know?

Their beliefs are one step ahead of Ouija boards. And all that talk about Greece!

You'd think no one had sailed round the Greek islands before.

If we're so contemptuous of Tom and Eleanor, why do we go out with them?

It's just when they get on to certain topics.

Next week it'll be flying saucers!

Why do we have to see people every night anyway?

We never spend any time alone.

Well, that's not so. Yes, it is so. Every night it's friends.

Yours, mine, people we hardly know.

We've known Tom and Eleanor for years.

And you don't even enjoy him. Of course I do.

You've spoken contemptuously many times because he's a radiologist, which you don't take seriously. I'm joking.

No, you're not. You disguise it as joking, but you're serious.

You're trying to provoke an argument. Why are we afraid to be alone together?

I didn't think we were. Because we've nothing to say any more?

We talk.

Why go out with Mark and Lydia on our anniversary anyway?

If that's all that's bothering you, we won't go.

But neither should we drive all the way to the hotel where we had our first tryst.

Don't do that. Don't make something romantic sound infantile.

OK, but it's the same level of maturity as sex on the floor.

We might as well have it on the floor. We don't have it in bed.

I don't believe we're discussing this. Why've you stopped sleeping with me?

We are simply going through a less active period, that's all.

It's not uncommon.

Why? I just wanna know why.

Why don't we just go to bed?

There was a time that we were dying to be together.

Marion, you're still the most desirable woman I know.

But we won't make love tonight because there'll be some excuse.

I hadn't realised how much of that had slipped away until today.

I'm really sorry. If I've done anything wrong, forgive me.

I accept your condemnation.

'You were a wonderful pupil.

'Certainly the most interesting one in my class. Still, the age difference...'

I love you.

I love you too.

Happy birthday. I told you not to bother.

Oh, I wanted to. Open it.

While you were out I read your paper. It was quite brilliantly written.

It's your work that's brilliant. And more important, it's original.

What is it? From a play or something? Yes.

It's an original from a French production of "La Gioconda".

I love it. I thought you'd like it.

It was all I could afford from that great store.


'The following morning, 'I realised I'd forgotten to get an anniversary gift for Ken.

'I thought it would be a simple thing, but it took surprisingly long.

'The truth was I couldn't really think of what he might like.

'After window-shopping for an hour or so, I came across an old antiques store.

'At first I didn't think there'd be anything special for him there, 'but somehow I was drawn to look further.

'The place was empty and dusty, and in the back a radio was playing.

'It was full of odd pieces, and I found browsing in it quite fascinating.'


Excuse me. Are you all right?

Thank you. I'm OK.

Can I help you?

I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm so emotional. I was...

Thank you.

Thank you. I was... I was just looking at that picture there, and I...

And I just felt so sad.

Oh, but this is a very optimistic work.

You know, I saw the original of this once. In fact, its title is "Hope".

I think, of all the paintings Klimt did in that period, this is the most positive.

I'm sorry.

Are you an artist?

Yes. Well, I used to do some painting when I was younger.

I was absolutely in love with this whole school.

It's funny. Just this morning I was thinking about... that I missed painting.

I'd like to get back into it. Really?

I guess we all imagine what might have been.

But that was a long time ago.

Well, anyway...

Are you feeling better now? Yes, I just wanna get some air.

What kind of paintings did you do? Oh, watercolours, mostly.

'We left the store and walked along together.

'I wanted to know her better without seeming pushy.

'We talked about art, and the discussion seemed to cheer her a little.

'We stopped at a gallery and spent time marvelling at the pictures, 'and I took a chance and invited her to lunch.

'I was excited when she accepted.

'She suggested a little out-of-the-way place that was charming and private.

'We ordered a bottle of wine, although she hardly touched it, being pregnant.

'The result was that I wound up drinking most of it, 'and while I really wanted to find out about her, it was me who did most of the talking.'

Fifty.

I didn't think anything of turning 30.

Everybody said I would.

Then they said I'd be crushed turning 40.

But they were wrong. I didn't give it a second's thought.

Then they said that I'd be traumatised when I hit 50.

And they were right.

I'll tell you the truth.

I don't think I've ever recovered my balance since turning 50.

Aw, gee, 50's not so old.

No, I know it isn't, but... you just suddenly look up and see where you are.

You're in a good spot, aren't you?

Well, I thought I was.

And then there's chances gone by you can't have back again.

Well, like what?

I don't know.

Maybe it would be nice to have a child.

You really think that?

I do.

I've never said it before, but I do.

'How arrogant! How self-centred and feelingless!'

I told you I didn't want a baby!

What do you mean, "you didn't want a baby"?

It was partly mine. Except it's my life that gets derailed.

I'm just destroyed! You go on doing what you want... and I have to stop and bring it up. But we'd share the responsibility.

You know it would devolve down to me. I wanted this baby!

I told you, it was not part of my plan. But you did it without consulting me.

Consulting you? It's my baby.

Do I have to consult you for every move I make? It's only your ego that's hurt.

You said you wanted children. I do, but not now.

I don't have the future stretched out in front of me indefinitely.

It's easy for you to say. You've done your work. I'm just starting out.

I'm trying to make something of myself! It's not fair to the child.

But you do it without asking me! Or giving me a chance to argue you out of it!

I didn't want to be argued out of it.

We've talked this to death! It was unwanted!

Do you want to bring a child into this world, really?

You're the one that hates it so much, forever lecturing me on the pointlessness of existence.

I hate you so! Let me go! Stop it!

I can't stand this anymore. Let me go!

To be capable of such a lack of feeling!

Knowing how I felt!

Caring only about how you felt!

Your career. Your life of the mind.


I feel... I feel a little depressed.

I met a really sad woman today.

A woman you'd think would have everything.

And she doesn't. She has nothing.

And it made me feel frightened.

Because I feel...

I feel if I don't stop myself, as the years go by, I'm gonna wind up that way.

She can't allow herself to feel.

So the result is, she's led this... cold, cerebral life, and has alienated everyone around her.

Well, you know, we've talked about this before, how I... how I only... only hear and see what I want to.

That's exactly what she does. She...

She's pretended for so long that everything's fine, but you can see clearly how... how lost she is.

She had an abortion years ago, which she regrets.

She rationalises it in many ways, but I think the truth is she was afraid of the feelings she would have for a baby.

And she's a very bright woman, very accomplished.

But like me, she... Well, you know emotions have always embarrassed me.

I've run away from men who I felt threatened me, because the intensity of their passion just frightens me.

I guess you can't keep deep feelings closed out for ever, you know, so...

I just don't want to look up when I'm her age and find my life is empty.

Anyhow, while we were at lunch, a very upsetting thing happened.

'In the midst of a conversation, she noticed her friend Lydia.'


Marion?

You're late.

I got you an anniversary present.

I know it's tomorrow, but why don't you open it now?

I didn't know what to get you.

As I said, I always like an opera.

Happy anniversary.

Come on, let's get dressed.

I'm not going anywhere.

What are you talking about?

I saw you and Lydia in the restaurant today. You didn't notice me, but...

I watched the two of you.

Afterwards, I went walking for a few hours to calm myself down.

Actually, if I'd had any perception, I would've been suspicious from the start.

Because you and I committed adultery for months when you were married to Kathy.

That was a very different situation.

I don't think it was.

I guess it wouldn't mean much if I said to you that it's passing.

It was never very serious.

And it was, uh, utterly foolish of Lydia and myself.

I feel sorry for you, Ken, because, in your way, you've been as lonely as I have.

Have we been lonely?

At least I've come to recognise it.

'The following days, I didn't get any work done.

'Mostly I walked the streets and just thought about my life, 'trying to put everything in order.

'I felt the need to talk to my brother Paul, 'who had made an important decision about his life too.'

Strange. Lynn and I go through hell and we're staying together, you and Ken never fight and you're breaking up.

So will you move out? Or will he? Oh, no, I will.

I really do want a clean start.

I wanna do a lot of things differently.

And that does mean between us, too.

I'd like to spend a lot more time with you and Lynn.

I'd like to get to know everyone.

If that's OK with you.

So was it Dad's fault? Did he do anything wrong?

Oh, we both did, you know?

I mean, I'm just as much to blame as anybody.

Maybe more. Well, it's too bad, you know.

I just wanted to make sure that the shock of it didn't upset you too badly.

Well, I... to tell you the truth, I'm really...

I'm not shocked, I'm just surprised, you know? I mean...

If I can be honest, I always felt there was something between you two that was...

I don't know. Maybe too comfortable, or... that's not the right word. I don't...

Just something, you know?

Well, I hope that this isn't going to have any bearing on us.

I really value your friendship.

Yeah, and I value yours.

Yes? Hello. I'm your next-door neighbour.

And I thought you should know that through some acoustical oddness I can hear all your patients quite clearly. Really?

Well, thank you. I'll take care of it.

I've had the problem before. I know what to do.

By the way, you have a young woman that you see. The pregnant one?

I wonder if you could tell me how I could get in touch with her.

Oh, yes. She's terminated her treatment.

She's gone away. I don't have any way of reaching her.

I'm afraid I can't say any more.

'I resumed work.

'It went well, and I was undisturbed by extraneous distractions.

'The writing seemed to flow and I was full of energy.

'Once on a sunny morning, I paused for a break, 'and I thought I would look through Larry Lewis's novel, which I'd never read.

'I was curious about the character named Hlenka, 'which was rumoured to have been based on me.

'I opened the book, leafed through, 'and sat down as my eye was caught by her name.

'''Hlenka and I accidentally ran into one another one day

'''while we were both buying tickets to a concert.

'''I knew her because she was the lover of a man I knew quite well."

'''Recently they had decided to marry.

'''This was a catastrophe for me personally, '''because from the first moment he'd introduced me to her, '''I was in love with her.

'''I convinced her to have a drink with me."

'''It was the only time I'd ever been alone with her since we met.

'''She was lovely, and I spoke too much and too rapidly, '''because I was embarrassed over my feelings toward her, '''which I felt were painfully obvious.

'''We walked around in Central Park and talked about lots of things.

'''I told her about a book I was planning to write, and my wanting to live out west.

'''She spoke enthusiastically about her upcoming marriage, '''but I thought it was too enthusiastic, '''as if she were trying to convince herself rather than me.

'''Soon it began to rain.

'''We ducked into an underpass to avoid the cloudburst.

'''I remember thinking how wonderful she was, '''and how beautiful she looked at that moment.

'''And I wanted to tell her so many things, because my feelings were swirling so.

'''And I think she knew everything, and that frightened her.

'''And yet some instinct told me that if I kissed her she would respond.

'''Her kiss was full of desire, '''and I knew I couldn't share that feeling with anyone else.

'''And then a wall went up, and just as quickly I was screened out.

'''But it was too late, because I now knew that she was capable of intense passion

'''if she would one day just allow herself to feel."

'I closed the book, and felt a strange mixture of wistfulness and hope.

'And I wondered if a memory is something you have

'or something you've lost.

'For the first time in a long time, I felt at peace.'