Beginners (2010) Script

(MEN WHOOPING)

Okay. Is it on?

Yeah, yeah.

Okay. Okay.

This is for our friend, Hal Fields.

Hal, we love you.

(MEN CHEERING)

(LAUGHING)

Arthur, you're coming to live with me now, okay?

This is my car.

This is the dining room where people come and eat sometimes.

This is the living room.

That's the bathroom.

(EXHALES DEEPLY)

OLIVER: This is 2003.

This is what the sun looks like, and the stars, nature...

This is the President.

And this is the sun in 1955.

And the stars, and nature, and cars and phones and movies and the President.

These are what pets looked like.

These are fireworks.

This was smoking.

This is what it looked like when people kissed.

When they were happy.

When they were sad.

My parents got married in 1955.

He was a museum director and she fixed up old houses.

They had a child and they stayed married for 44 years, until she died in their bed, after four months of cancer, and eating French toast for every meal, and watching the Teletubbies every day, and confusing white straws for her cigarettes, and skipping back and forth through time inside her head.

Six months later, my father told me he was gay.

He had just turned 75.

I'm gay.

I always remember him wearing a purple sweater when he told me this, but, actually, he wore a robe.

I'm gay.

I'm gay.

I loved your mother, but...

...now I want to explore this side.

I don't wanna be just theoretically gay.

I wanna do something about it.

I wanna do something about it.

I wanna do something about it.

OLIVER: He changed all his clothes.

He got a boyfriend, Andy, a physical trainer who was also studying for his professional pyrotechnic license.

Since I came out to my father, he never speaks to me.

That's why I've been always attracted to older men.

(LAUGHING)

He found an out gay priest to guide him spiritually.

He saw a therapist for the first time.

He joined the Prime Timers, movie night, Los Angeles Pride.

And then four years after he came out, he died in this room.


Look, it's lonely out here, so you'd better learn how to talk with me.

I know. I know.

(INAUDIBLE)

(COUGHS)

Calm. Calm, calm breaths.

Calm.

(BOTH EXHALING)

HAL: Oliver!

Please help me with all these ropes.

Pop, Pop, stop, stop, stop.

You're gonna hurt yourself.

Mr. Fields, we're gonna have to secure your arms again, okay?

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

You two married?

No, Pop.

Why not? She's great.

Yeah, she's a great nurse in the hospital, but we don't really know her.

You're very high on drugs.

Yes, you've always had some very good reasons, ...haven't you? No, Pop, I just don't wanna be like you and Mom.

Well...

Thank you.


Oliver?

(MIMICS GUNSHOT)

Ollie, you can do better.

That's good.

Go and have your own experiences with your own people.

I'll be right here.

I'm a human. I'm not a dog.

And you're a Jack Russell and that's a breed.

Your personality was created by this guy, John Russell, who was a hunting enthusiast in the 1800s.

And he bred your ancestors for their stamina and their courage for the hunt.

You think you're you when you wanna chase the foxes, but other people planted that in you years ago.

And now, somewhat arbitrarily, you're considered very cute by us humans.

And we keep breeding you not to chase foxes, but to be cute.

And we put you in television shows and movies, and you're chasing tennis balls because they're as close to a fox as you're gonna get.

Hey, Liz. Hey.


OLIVER: Let's read this one. I found a lot of books.

Yeah, all right.

Give me the flashlight.

Nice. That's nice.

OLIVER: Andy brought those for you.

HAL: Oh, yeah? Yeah.

Who did that painting?

Well, I don't know. It's just a painting on the wall.

HAL: And these?

OLIVER: They're just photos, Pop.

But how do they relate to the exhibit?

They're just personal photos. They're not art.

And that's the water sprinkler thing.

Well, it's beautiful.

What is?

Putting the Japanese Gardens there. It's just beautiful.

ANDY: Hal?

Andy!

I brought something for you.

We made a recording for you.

HAL: Oh, God.

ANDY ON TAPE: This is for our friend, Hal Fields.

Oh, my God.

Huh? Yeah.

(MEN CHEERING ON TAPE)

(FIRECRACKERS BURSTING ON TAPE)

OLIVER: Jesus, Liz. Another band that wants portraits.

LIZ: Well, at least it pays the rent.

You do something decent once and that's all people ever want.

Hi, Liz.

(SIGHS)

Oliver? Yeah?

The pen is not your friend.

The paper is not your friend.

The party is your friend. We're your friends.

Your friends are your friends.

Okay?

(SINGING SOFTLY) I've got the skills (BEATBOXING)

He's got the moves

(SINGING SOFTLY) I've got the moves.

I've got the skills. I've got the skills.

Arthur, you haven't been invited to this party.

You're gonna stay and look after the house.

(DOG WHINING)

(DOG BARKING)

(SIGHS)

You remember when Oliver was funny, and he could actually, like, talk in complete sentences?

Funny, funny... I don't think...

Funny. Yeah.

Fun. But not funny, unless, like, serious is funny.

Then he's fucking hilarious. But...

Lovable. Lovable.

Yeah, very lovable.

You are very lovable.

(REGGAE MUSIC PLAYING)

MAN: Hey, what's up!

Step aside.

Step aside.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

He is so cute! Does he do tricks?

No.

His name is Arthur. He doesn't do tricks.

No? No.

Arthur. Sit.

Oh, my God!

Hi. Shake.

Oh, my God. He's so cute. I want him.

(IN GERMAN ACCENT) Does it make you feel powerful to order my dog around?

Maybe give you a sense of power?

(EXCLAIMS) You're being a therapist!

Freud!

OLIVER: Thanks, yeah. Very good.

WOMAN: (LAUGHING) Bye, Arthur.

Well, I didn't ask for this. Who would ask for this?

This color, this nose, this cheek, this chin.

You know, this is my life.

This isn't a story. This isn't a joke.

Yeah.

I'm so glad you came, Doc.

Just really good to get this stuff off my chest.

I'm sorry. Our time is up for this week.

Thank you for coming in.

Oh.

I was just...

I was gonna take a break, actually.

Okay.

I guess we should start with your mother.

Well, then, your father.

I don't understand. You can't talk?

Is it a mental problem? Do you need analysis?

It's a physical problem.

I was doing such a good job of hiding it.

How could you tell?

Clearly, I'm gonna need a drink.

You?

You stay here. Yeah.

No, it's not a natural color for a chicken. No.

And you see what happens when you free yourself from the cage, walk away from the factory?

You just have no real color. You're like...

Hey, can you...

SHAUNA: Hey, there.

Uh-oh. One. Uh-oh. Two.

ELLIOT: Two drinks.

What does that mean... One, two.

Well, that's two people.

Two people. A girl and a guy? Hopefully.

Yeah. Wow. Making moves.

(PHONE RINGING)

OLIVER: Hello?

Oliver? Yeah.

I'm not sorry I woke you.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

I went to Act Bar tonight.

OLIVER: You did? Yeah.

They had some wonderfully loud music.

(MIMICKING BEATS)

What kind of music is that?

Probably house music.

House music. Okay.

House, house music.

Did you meet anyone?

Did you meet anyone? No.

Young gay men don't go for older gay men.

You have it easy.

Would you like to dance?


(INAUDIBLE)


Hello.

Can I give you my number?

Thanks.

I feel bad dragging Arthur to the party. I should get home.

It was really nice meeting you.

Au revoir.

Yeah.

(CELL PHONE RINGING)

Hello?

(PHONE BEEPS)

Is that you?

(PHONE BEEPS)

One beep means "yes"?

(PHONE BEEPS)

I've always wanted to have a phone call with someone who doesn't talk.

(PHONE BEEPS CONTINUOUSLY)

You wanna do something?

(PHONE BEEPS)

Now?

(PHONE BEEPS)

Okay, I'm parked just right up the street.

Okay. You point, I'll drive.

This way?

(WOMAN LAUGHS)

(INAUDIBLE)

Nice place.

Oh, my mother. My mother died five years ago.

Oh, man.

Oh, you spoke.

(WHISPERING) I'm not supposed to.

My father died two months ago, almost three.

He was gay.

He was gay the whole time they were married.

He came out after my mother died, and he was 75 years old.

Sorry.


(LAUGHS)


(WHISPERING) Can we just sleep?

Sure. Sure.


Oliver.

How long are you here when you get back?

A year?

A month?

Right. And then?

You're filming here. Acting.

And after?

Just somewhere else. Where?

Yes.


Hello, house. Hello, Oliver.

Jesus, Pop, you get so much mail.

DR. LONG: Hal, it's remarkable how well you've recovered from being on the ventilator.

(CHUCKLES)

But?

The bronchoscopy revealed a mass about the size of a quarter located in your lower right lung.

I'm afraid the biopsy showed it's cancerous.

Uh-huh. I see.

It appears to have spread to the large hilar lymph nodes in your chest and liver.

With the already weakened state of your heart and lungs, surgery isn't possible, given its location.

We can start radiation treatments and see if you're strong enough for chemo.

You will be able to go home.

Do you have any questions?

No.

Thank you.

I'm sorry.

Well, let's not rush out and tell everyone.

Andy?

No need to get him up a tree.

Can you read me something?

"The Brazilian ballet star is already known not only as a skilled partner, "but also as a gifted and versatile dancer

"who adeptly fields roles ranging from the strictly classical..."


OLIVER: Yeah, he's fine. He sleeps on your bed.

HAL: But is he eating?

Yeah. Yeah, he's eating.

Oh, God, I worry so much about...

Oh. Here we are.

What have you got in there?

A slug.

Andy, you can't bring that kind of thing...

You cannot.

I can. Look.

Fuck you.

It's time for inspection.

Hello, Mr. Fields. Hello.

I'm Andy. Hal's boyfriend.

I'm Sophia.

You know, I have the right to be here as much as anyone else.

HAL: Go take a walk. Calm yourself.

OLIVER: What was all that?

Andy hasn't had it easy, too.

Be nice to him.

ANDY: Excuse me.

Andy, where did you get these?

(INDISTINCT)

Guys, guys, this is to us.

Cheers.

ALL: Cheers.

Drinking is not allowed in the room.

(EXCLAIMING IN DISAPPOINTMENT)

It's not?

I'm sorry.

(MUTTERING INDISTINCTLY)

No, no, no. No, no.

She's a wonderful nurse.

Here's to healthcare. (ALL LAUGHING)

MAN: To healthcare!

OLIVER: What did you do with my father? He was so polite.

Well, I invited him, but he never returns my calls.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Two, four, six, eight.

(SIGHS) That's it? That's all you're gonna tell me.

I'm gonna meet her at her hotel again, okay?

You happy?

Yeah. I'm very happy.

Are you happy?

Here's eight.

We haven't actually had a conversation yet, so, you know...

You're thinking about her all the time.

And you know that because?

Because you're not talking about it.

I know you.

It's true.

It's embarrassing. I'm 38, falling for a girl again.

It's like I lost the instructions or I never had them.

Where's Pop?

At the museum.

Is something wrong with you guys?

What, are you in the FBI?

No.

CIA?

No.

KGB? No.

SLA? PTA?

No.

BMW?

There's nothing wrong with me and Pop.

When you feel bad, you go into your room and scream as loud as you can for a minute or two and then it's out of you.

It's called catharsis.

I don't feel like screaming.

You will.


What the fuck is that?

L-E-It. Elliot.

Well, that's ridiculous.

I know.

You're not very supportive.

Well, it's just like copying something that someone, like, did 30 years ago in the Bronx.

Well, yeah. I'm a part of a tradition of civil disobedience.

Something bigger than myself.

How's it work?

You have to shake it. Shake it.


What was that?

Historical consciousness. Something bigger than myself.

Let's do it again.

ELLIOT: Okay, but when you see her, don't tell her that you painted historical consciousness on the wall.

(DOG BARKING)

(DOG WHINING)

He's sweet.

He misses your dad.


Maybe we could just talk for a second.

Right.

Well, my name is Anna.

You're worried you can't trust me because you don't know who I am.

I get it. That makes sense to me.

(PIANO PLAYING ON RECORD PLAYER)

(GROANING)

(MUSIC DISTORTING)

Oliver, stop it.

This music's old.

It's black.

Black music's the deepest 'cause they suffered the most.

Them and the Jews.

In my next life, I'm gonna marry a good hot-blooded Jew.

Someone full of emotion.

I'm Jewish, right?

You're a quarter.

I'm a half.

Your father's none.

He has the least emotions.

You'll have more emotions than him.

But I'll have the most emotions.

You get to play chauffeur, but only to the bottom of the hill.

You're turning into a wonderful driver.

Excuse me, Mrs. Fields?

What, you're not allowed to interact with the art?

Well, it's just that...

You too? You like being a good citizen?

No.

Can you toss me my camisole?

No, my camisole.

(ANNA LAUGHS)

Camisole?

You don't know what a camisole is?

I was brought up by these animals, and they didn't like questions.

They were very frowned upon. So, I had to guess.

You can ask me anything.

Anything?

What's that there?

That's a tree. Yeah.

And cars. Uh-huh.

Another building like this one.

Right.

People in the building like us.

Half of them think things will never work out.

The other half believe in magic.

It's like a war between them.

(CHUCKLES)

How do you know so much about people?

Oh.

Well, you have to learn how to read their faces.

For example...

Here is mad.

Happy.

Sometimes it's just nothing.

Oh, yeah?

This is nothing.

And they are good at looking one way and being another way.

ANNA: You don't know me. I like that.

OLIVER: No, that's not true.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah, you have blonde hair that goes down to about here.

You smoke in non-smoking rooms. You bite sometimes.

Okay, open your eyes.

(VEHICLES HONKING)

Yeah, you drive on the sidewalk. You were raised by animals.

Sometimes you look very alone, like you just got here.

Yeah, you see, you don't know me at all.

(INDISTINCT)

Someone flashy walks into your life and you're just gonna fall for it.

No, it doesn't work like that. There are other steps, it's complicated.

Yeah. Me, too.

HAL: What happened with Michelle?

I don't know. You know.

She seemed great.

She was great.

Well, maybe you should take out a personal ad, you know, where you can explain your situation.

My situation?

Yeah.

I mean, you wanna be in a relationship and you can't stay in one.

That's your fatherly advice, personal ads?

Well...

A lot of people use them.

(CLEARS THROAT) I did.

What?

If Andy wasn't going to be monogamous, why should I be?

Jesus, Pop.

Jesus yourself. Yeah?

(ALL CHEERING)

MAN: You look great, Hal. So handsome.

Hello, house. (IN DEEP VOICE) Hello, Hal.

Hello, Hal.

(ALL LAUGHING)

Oh, God, what have you got this time?

It's a green caterpillar.

No, no, no, you don't have a green caterpillar.

Yeah, I do.

Oh, my God. Gross! Oh, Jesus.

Hey, you going?

Yeah. Michael's in town.

Oh.

Right.

I thought he was your boyfriend.

At least I'm the number one boyfriend.

(GROANS) Pop.

My stomach.

All right, come on.

Come on.

Well, let's say...

Arthur, down.

Let's say, since you were little, and you always dreamed of some day getting a lion?

And you wait and you wait and you wait and you wait, and the lion doesn't come.

Then along comes a giraffe.

You can be alone or you can be with the giraffe.

I'd wait for the lion.

That's why I worry about you.

Here.


You see, you'd like me to be with someone like me.

I like Andy because he isn't like me.

He's fun.

(ANNA SHOUTS)

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Hey, what'd you get?

Liv Ullmann. (LAUGHS) Very serious.

And I found this crazy book.

That's kind of a classic American thing.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Maybe we can figure out some classic American things to do.

Yeah.

Like 75. Mmm-hmm.

Or 75 all the way through...

Through 80.

Louise Brooks, star of silent screen, effectively banned from Hollywood in the early '30s, ended up working as a salesgirl at Saks Fifth Avenue.

I love her.

And Veronica Lake.

Was a pin-up model and a film star.

Success was short-lived, a series of broken marriages.

She struggled with mental illness and alcoholism.

She died of hepatitis at the age of fifty-three.

All these actor stories end sad.

I can tell you that already.

That's not a good thing.

So. Now I want real Mexican food.

And I want to try page forty-six.

No. Yeah.

Really?

It's really good.

What do you think?

It's so good.

It's good. Mmm.

I wasn't sure you'd like it. Why?

You're an actress and staying in that fancy hotel.

I like this place.

I used to love hotels.

But now I'm always in a new apartment or in another hotel somewhere.

How do you keep hold of friends? Or boyfriends?

Makes it very easy to end up alone.

To leave people.

You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people.

You are like that?

It's what you do?

So, we are the same?

Yeah, I guess so.

(LOUD MUSIC PLAYING ON RECORD PLAYER)

Oh, did I wake you?

Yeah. Thank you, Maria.

And now that you're here, would you please put those up there?

What are you... Pop.

What...

HAL: I'm reorganizing.

Prednisone makes you crazy.

I'm just not sleepy. I feel great.

Pop, you should rest.

Soon as I finish these papers. Right, papers?

(IN DEEP VOICE) Right, Hal. As soon as you're done, you can rest.

ANNA: (CHUCKLES) What?

OLIVER: Nothing. You're pretty.

No.

Yeah.

Jewish girls are not pretty.

They can be interesting or cute, but not pretty.

You're kidding, right?

That's what my mom told me.

She did not.

(LAUGHS) No, you're right.

This girl at school told me that, and I went home and my mom said, "Anna, who told you that?"

OLIVER: This is what it looks like when Anna tells me about being Jewish in 2003.

And when I tell her my mother was Jewish.

And that my father turned in his gay badge when my mother turned in her Jewish badge.

And they got married in 1955.

My mother didn't know she was Jewish until she was thirteen.

It was 1938.

This is what people looked like.

And lions and giraffes.

This man was the Man of the Year.

Her father tried to hide that they were Jewish.

This is the swim team that asked her to leave once they discovered that she was Jewish.

This is what pretty looked like in 1938.

My father realized he was gay when he was thirteen.

It was 1938.

This is what pretty looked like.

This is the high school where they first met.

This is the war they both went to.

And this man was popular when they met again.

This is the only place my father could hide and have sex in the '50s.

My father said if you got caught by the vice squad, you could lose everything.

This is everything.

My father laid down on a couch like this and told the psychiatrist all his problems in 1955.

The doctor told him that homosexuality was a mental illness, but it could be cured.

Not everyone got cured.

This is where my parents lived in 1955.

And this is the home where the first gay-rights group were secretly meeting.

While they were reciting their vows here in this church, Allen Ginsberg was writing his famous poem, Howl, blocks away in this room.

GINSBERG: "...who let themselves be fucked in the ass

"by saintly motorcyclists, "and screamed with joy, "who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, "caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love..."

(INAUDIBLE)


Just do the portrait of them. It's an album cover, right?

That's all they want. Yeah?

Yeah.

Right.

(COOING)

Here, Pop. Oh, God.

I know, I know. Come on.

Hey, no, no, no. That's Gay Pride day stuff. Just leave those.

All right.

And that's gay book club. You better leave those, too.

But what about the chair? Is the chair gay?

The chair is not gay. Obviously.

Pop, Pop, the cord won't go so far.

To hell with it.

Oh, what's that?

Now that you're out of the hospital, you'll have to exercise, get you back into shape.

That's a great idea.

Okay, let's try it. I'll show you how.

HAL: Yeah, later on.

I'm gonna make myself some tea.

Okay. I'll go clean it up. It's a little bit...

Your mother's vase needs some flowers.

You need to tell Andy that you're not well.

Pop, you're just out of the hospital. You should take it easy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

HAL: You'll tell him, won't you?

Me?

Please.

Hey.

You know, I tried to have sex with women?

Yeah? Yeah.

I just wanted you to know, I tried. It just... It didn't work.

Hey, I don't have a problem with gay guys.

Have you had sex with a man?

No.

I heard that if a man hasn't had sex with another man, he's always afraid of gay men.

You know, they're a threat.

I don't know, Andy.

I didn't want you to feel threatened.

I don't wanna have sex with you.

What I do, most people wouldn't even call it sex anyway.

Okay.

Okay.

Hey.

I couldn't tell him.

That's okay.

No, it's not.

You can't hide this from him. He loves you.

For someone with so much relationship advice, you seem awfully alone.

Just act natural.

When he's not looking, we'll make a run for it.

Okay?

(ANNA LAUGHING)

(PHONE RINGING)

Don't, don't, don't.

It's my dad.

He's that bad?

I'm gonna let you be me.

Okay.

(IN MALE VOICE) Annie?

(BOTH CONVERSING IN FRENCH)

You never call me back.

I'm busy. I'm shooting all the time.

You know, I can't stop thinking about...

You know, about it.

Doing it.

Doing what?

Killing myself.

You are the only one I can tell that to.

You should tell Mom about that, not me.

You are my girl.

Now I'll have to kill you.

Just as it was going so well.

I know. I'm sorry.

Really?

(MIMICS GUN FIRING)

Hey, Anna.

Hey, Oliver.

How do you feel about vandalism?

I don't know.

Pretty okay.

(INDISTINCT)

Oliver, don't write any of that serious stuff, okay? Just something funny.

Girls like funny.

Okay? Okay.

You know what? Here, give me Arthur.

We'll just stay here and get arrested.

You know, that's good.

Good? Mmm.

ELLIOT: You okay?

OLIVER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You okay?

Yeah. I'm gonna stay here with my new friend.

Okay.

Anna?

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

(OLIVER LAUGHS)

I'm trying to impress you.

(GASPS) Really?

It's working.

Arthur, Arthur.

No, no, no, no. I'm sorry.

No problem. No problem.

What's with this card?

Do you mind? No.

Thank you. All right.


He looked like your dad.

Yeah.

(EXHALES DEEPLY)

Somewhere along the line he stopped admitting to himself that he was sick.

Oliver, this is Blake. He's a wonderful man.

Look. I finally got a tattoo.

Registration purposes, of course.

Good for him.

OLIVER: We did a lot of shopping.

Bought all these books.

CASHIER: Hello, Hal.

Hello.

New clothes.

He was obsessed with Staples.

Bought a lot of plants.

A lot of parties.

Well, glad you could make it.

I thought I was cooking dinner.

It's movie night, you idiot. (CHUCKLES)

MAN: Hal, you look wonderful.

I'm turning the corner on this thing.

Hi, Oliver. MAN 2: Hey, Oliver.

Hey.

OLIVER: These political letter-writing parties.

There was an out gay congressman he was supporting.

He hired a secretary he would dictate to.

And one May morning...

He started telling everyone he was getting better.

Why are you telling them you're turning the corner?

Well...

You have stage four cancer.

It's not as bad as it sounds.

Pop, there is no stage five.

That's not what it means.

Well, then what does it mean?

It just means that it's been through three other stages.

What movie are we watching?

The Times of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician...

Yeah, I know who Harvey Milk is.

Good, good.

HARVEY ON TV: What really counts is that a person care.

Does a person care about his city or her city?

Is a person sensitive...

Wrote an essay about religion.

"Eventually, Jesus grew old.

"He could no longer walk far

"and he could no longer preach in a loud voice.

"One day he announced to his apostles that he was departing.

"The three disciples prayed with him, "gave him water, bathed and fed him.

"After gasping for breath for several days, "one morning, just as dawn came, "Jesus passed away."

You rewrote Jesus' death?

It was far too violent.

We need new stories.

(ALL LAUGHING)

OLIVER: For the first time I saw him really in love.

ANNA: He sounds amazing.

But that must have been crazy for you.


Anna?

ANNA: I couldn't sleep and I wanted to walk around.

You've lost so much.

What if I can't make it further?

If this is too much, then we should just stop.

(OLIVER SIGHS)

(CRYING) Wait, wait.

Wait, wait, wait.

I don't wanna stop.

Oh! (LAUGHING)

Ready? ALL: Yeah!

Again! ANDY: Again?

Again! MEN: Again!

Fuck!

Fuck!

Fuck!

MAN: Fuck!

ALL: Fuck!

Fuck!

Fuck!

Fuck! Fuck!

Arthur.

Arthur! (WHISTLING)

MAN: Come on, doggie, doggie.

Arthur.

I'm gonna go this way. I'm gonna go farther out.

Whoo!

Ah! You're awake.

Arthur says you have to get up.

He says it's his day off.

He speaks to you, too. Yeah.

He says now. Now. Now.

Your English is not so perfect.

And he said 10 minutes.

(ANNA SPEAKING FRENCH)

(SCREAMING)

(YELPS)

You okay?

You did really well.

ELLIOT: Yeah, I can't believe that was your first time.

It was your first time.

You watching all the humans going around and around.

WOMAN: Excuse me, sir. There's no dogs allowed in the building.

You need to remove him from the premises, please.

If I leave him on his own, he loses all control.

I'm sorry. There's no dogs allowed in the building.

Yeah, yeah, but... Come on, please.

If I leave him in the car, he cries, he howls. I can't leave him in the car.

I'm sorry, no. He needs to be removed.

(EXCLAIMS IN FRENCH)

I don't know what she's saying and I don't like it.

You need to remove the dog from the premises.

She's just talking in French. She's saying, "It's okay, it's such a small dog."

You're gonna call the authorities? All right, you know what?

She's calling the authorities. BOTH: Steal the skates.

Steal the skates.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Okay? Okay.

(BOTH WHOOPING)

Come on, Arthur. Faster, faster.

Okay. Sorry. Excuse me.

Hi.

(ANNA WHOOPING)

I can't do it.

(PHONE RINGING)

He doesn't always call this much.

Sometimes he's fine.

Yeah, well.

He shouldn't do this to you.

(PHONE CONTINUES RINGING)

(STOPS RINGING)

Even if we don't answer the phone, he's still here.

I run somewhere new and...

You're leaving here soon.

Yeah.

I think you should come to my house.

Move in with me.

Would you want a strange girl like me?

Yeah, a lot.

Do you cook?

Yes. (SCOFFS)

I would love that.

I'm really gonna have to kill you now.

Mmm. Why?

Because I'm falling in love with you.

OLIVER: Anna and I are in a relationship in 2003.

This is what the sun looks like and the stars.

This is what it looks like when we eat.

When we tell each other the stories in our heads.

I was born in 1965.

Anna was born in 1971.

This is what the sun looked like.

Her pets.

Her parents.

She left home when she was sixteen.

She lived here and here and here and here.

She had three serious relationships. She left all of them.

I had four serious relationships. I left them, too.

Or let them fall apart.

We didn't go to this war.

We didn't have to hide to have sex.

Our good fortune allowed us to feel a sadness that our parents didn't have time for, and a happiness that I never saw with them.

We didn't know how we learned the stories in our heads, but sometimes they stop running and I can really see Anna's eyes in 2003.

Her ears.

Her feet.

This is what it looks like when she says, "I love you," in 2003.

This is what it looks like when she cries.

When she tells me there's always a new empty room waiting for her.

They used to make her feel free.

Now they make her feel the opposite of free.


Last one. Oh, Lord.

I know.

There.

(SIGHS)

This is for you. Yeah.

Now, that means Gay Pride.

Yeah, everyone knows that.

No, they don't.

Yeah. Everyone knows about that.

No. Of course not. Don't be silly.

Pop, pretty much everyone knows that that means Gay Pride.

Do they really? Yeah.

Did you know?

About me?

No.

I just thought you and Mom weren't in love.

We loved each other.

But you were gay the whole time.

Well, I worked hard not to be.

For 44 years?

Yeah.

I knew I was gay, though.

I mean, at parties I'd be staring at the husbands and not the wives.

What about sex?

Well, she didn't think I was the greatest lover.

But we made do.

Look, I liked my life.

The museum, our house.

That's what I wanted.

And Mom.

You wanted Mom, too, right?

Yes!

Stop that.

She proposed to me, you know.

I said, "Look, I love you, and we're great buddies, but you know what I am."

And then she says,

"That doesn't matter.

"I'll fix that."

I thought, "Oh, God.

"I'll try anything."

OLIVER: Sex.

Life.

Healing.

Sunlight.

Nature.

Magic.

Serenity.

Spirit.

The first Gay Pride flag was made by a man named Gilbert Baker in 1978.

He gave a meaning to each color.

This man was President.

This was invented.

This is what movies looked like.

Pets.

On November 27th, 1978, Harvey Milk was shot and killed.

One week after, my father opened his annual museum Christmas exhibit.

He collected stuffed animals from people in the community and he put them on display.

My father printed a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit in large type on the wall.

The stuffed rabbit asked, "What is real?"

And the rabbit asked, "Does it hurt?"

And the horse said, "Sometimes."

"Does it happen all at once?"

"It takes a long time.

"Generally, by the time you are real, "most of your hair has been loved off, "your eyes dropped out, and you get loose in the joints.

"But these things don't matter at all

"because you are real.

"You can't be ugly except to people who don't understand. "

(OPERA PLAYING)

Andy's moving in.

Yeah?

Is that a good idea?

Just be happy about it. Huh?

Come on.

OLIVER: This is the idea, is that it's the history of sadness.

Here could be your... This could be your...

You know, you're gonna need a big CD box.

Four billion years ago, Earth begins.

And the idea is that sadness has not yet been created, but...

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, too.

Well, that went well.

Come on, Arthur.

This is the living room.

Dining room.

(LAUGHING)

There are my... I have some boxes. They're my parents.

My mom.

Hal, Georgia, meet Anna.

Anna, Hal, Georgia.

Hi.

These are the stairs. Oh, yeah?

They go up.

I emptied these for you.

I'll get your case.

(CRYING)

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

(CURSES SOFTLY IN FRENCH)

Are you okay?


I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to bother you.

I was...

I was nervous and excited.

I kept thinking, maybe, I'm not so lost.

Why were you crying yesterday?


You okay?

Yeah.


You look so unhappy.

Well, are you happy?

Here?

Maybe I'm not perfect at it.

I don't really know what I'm doing.

But I wanna be here.

(INAUDIBLE)

I don't know, Anna.

I don't think this is what I'm supposed to feel like.

Okay.

I will go back to New York then.


DR. LONG: Hal, you don't need to come in for any more treatments.

Is there something wrong?

It's best you stay home.

Hospice can help you more now.

Any more treatments would just cause more pain.

Yeah, I understand.

I'm sorry. I wish we could do more.

No, no, you've, you've done an excellent job, Dr. Long.

And thank you

for coming to the party.

(INAUDIBLE)

HAL: You always wanted to hold my hand when you were little.

I couldn't, you know. I was afraid it would look funny.

I wanted to be close, you know, and my father certainly was never close with me.

God, I hope I wasn't like that.

I can barely remember you from when I was little.

I guess I was at work.

WOMAN: Look at the hand of the man in the brushwork.

It's as if you can feel the spirit of the artist, if he's very good.

And his every gesture.

It's like a sort of structural entity in...

I mean that in the...

Let's go home.

...largest use of that word.

What about your father? What will he possibly do without us?

MARY: Georgia, are you leaving?

Yes, Mary. It's an emergency.

Oliver's appendix has ruptured.

Oh, dear.

He's a very composed child.

You point, I'll drive.

Ah! The infamous left.

And?

Left again. Going in circles. I like it.


(PHONE RINGING)

ANNA: Hey, it's me. Leave me a message.

(BEEPS)

Anna?

Where are you?

Hey. Hey.

All right, here.

All right, Arthur, okay.

You're gonna look after Elliot.

I'll be back in a couple of days.

Good luck.

All right.

Okay? Thanks.

(DOG BARKING)

(DOG WHINING)

(SIGHS DEEPLY)


He remembers me.


(PHONE RINGING)

ANNA ON PHONE: Hey.

Hey.

Look, I'm so sorry, but I'm at your front door. I'm in New York.

(CHUCKLES)

I am in Los Angeles.

You're in LA?

You said you were coming here.

Yeah. But I didn't leave.

Fuck. I'm in your building.

Okay. See the window near to the radiator?

There is a hide-a-key behind it.

Okay, I'm inside.

Well, there's, like, nothing here.

No.

This is my kitchen. It's where I eat.

This is my bathroom.

It's very fancy.

Outside my window is my neighbor's roof.

The room at the end is my bedroom.

That's my closet.

Those are my clothes.

My pictures.

Why do you leave everyone?

Why did you let me go?

OLIVER: Maybe because I don't really believe that it's gonna work.

And then I make sure that it doesn't work.

Isn't Juan's hair wonderful?

Thanks.

I use this great mousse.

Well, it's terrific.

Do you wanna try something?

Just a little bit?

I don't think so.

Come on. Just try a little bit. It'll be fun.

Yeah? Yeah.

How do you do it?

Okay. I'm gonna show you how.


There. Is that it?

How do I look?

Great.

You look great.


Oliver.

He's gone.

(SOBBING)

OLIVER: Once you make the call, you have less than an hour before two men come and place the body into a bag.

They charge $1,485 for a cremation and deliver the remains in a small, metal container the size of a jar of peanut butter.

You will need to get a death certificate.

You will need to make copies and send them to cancel every credit card, phone account, utility, gym membership, every insurance policy, mortgage, to settle their taxes.

You will have all their mail forwarded to your address.

You will write their obituary.

You run it with a photo in the paper for $2 a word.

You'll wonder if it's right.

You'll throw a lot of their stuff away.

You'll bring a lot of their stuff to your house.

This is the photo my mother kept in her bedroom.

When I was a kid, I thought that was my arm giving her daisies.

Now I make a new mistake and I think it's her arm giving me the daisies, saying, "Here. Here is simple and happy.

"That's what I meant to give you. "

Hey. Hey.

Arthur.

Hey.

Thank you.

Thanks.

Sure.

Come on.

It's because I'm gay.

Isn't it?

What?

You never called or came to see me.

No.

No, it's because my father loved you so much.


Arthur.

Hey.

Hey, how have you been? How have you been?

Hey. Hi.

Hey.

Come in, come in.

The living room.

Dining room.

(GASPS)

Crazy picture.

Yeah.

Can I read it? Sure.

"I'm looking for sex

"with the hope it turns into

"friendship or a relationship.

"But I don't insist on monogamy.

"I'm an old senior guy, 78, but I'm attractive and horny.

"I'm an art historian, now retired.

"And in addition to art, I like houses, gardens, "parties and walking with my Jack Russell.

"I'm 5'11", 160 pounds.

"I'm trim, gray hair, blue eyes, hairy cheest."

Chest. Chest?

"I like giving and..." And what?

"I like giving and getting rubdowns

"and then going into the mutual soft stuff."

"I have a nice house with food, drinks, friend and me.

"If you are willing to try an older guy, "let's meet and see what happens."

He didn't give up.


What happens now?

I don't know.

How does that work?