Betty (1992) Script

Is it true you're a real doctor?

Definitely.

Here's the car.

Where are we going?

Don't you trust me?

No.

I don't trust anybody.

You still haven't said where?

So, what's your name, then?

Betty.

Short for Elizabeth?

Betty.

Where are we going?

To eat. Aren't you hungry?

I'm thirsty.

You can drink too.

You're all gray!

Gray?

Oh, yes, yes. I love gray.

We're going to a place you don't know. It's very special.

It's near Versailles.

You smoke non-stop.

Non-stop.

2, 3 packs a day?

What do you care?

It's all the same to me.

But I'm a doctor. Didn't I tell you?

Yeah.

Twice already.

Do you like hare?

That's all they serve tonight.

It's cassoulet on Wednesdays.

Is it cassoulet?

Cassoulet... Yes, that's right.

It's cassoulet night.

Takes getting used to.

You either like it or you don't.

Here we are.

Come on.

It doesn't look so hot.

It has it's charm. You'll see.

It's weird...

"The Hole".

Yes, "The Hole".

The Hole.

The Hole.

Funny how they all ingest animals and never wonder...

How are you, Doc?

You're not listening.

Yes, I am.

What did I say?

That by eating animals people...

EXCUSE me one moment.

The same?

Your first time in The Hole?

Yeah.

Known Doc long?

No.

Want something to eat?

I'm not hungry, thanks.

Make yourself at home. Everybody here does.


Sorry to leave you alone.

They served refills.

Well done.

I'm still thirsty.

Joseph! A drink for the lady.

You have an itch?

What?

Here... Right here?

Yes... I guess. Under the skin?

Crawling?

Is What crawling?

Near the surface or deep down?

How does it feel?

They all have different natures.

What are you talking about?

Worms, my dear child.

What worms?

Don't you know, then?

You have worms under your skin.

All kinds of worms, dear Betty.

Tiny ones, big fat ones, busy ones, and lazy ones.

And surely many other more insidious little beasts.

I'll reveal all the facets of their many natures for you.

No, don't move.

Watch how I track them down.

Filthy little things.

Sadistic little devils.

Don't be afraid.

Leave her alone, Doc.

I'm just removing a little worm.

Just leave her alone.

Come with me. I have to tell you something.

Just a second, she wants me...

This is urgent. Come with me.

Afraid I might hurt her?

You know I...


Waiter. Yes, ma'am.

Give me a drink.

What do they all have against me?

Waiter.

Yes, ma'am. The same?

No. Have any cigarettes?

I'll see.

Mario will drive him home.

May I?

Did he scare you?

It's nothing. He's a charming fellow.

Cheers!

Here's to you.

You realize he's a junkie. He left you to have a shot.

Known him long?

No.

His name's Bernard. He was a doctor in Versailles.

I'm thirsty.

You're a real hit with Alan.

He keeps ogling you. He's on his 8th scotch.

If it makes him happy.

Mario's back.

It's pouring out.

Put him to bed?

With his wife's help.

Was he ranting?

He was counting rabbits on the ceiling.

When he's like that he sees animals everywhere.

Not to mention the worms he keeps stabbing at with that gold toothpick.

He tried it on you?

You write:

I, the undersigned, Elizabeth Etamble...

She wrote Betty.

Ah, no. Not Betty!

Elizabeth!

I, the undersigned, Elizabeth Etamble... nee Fayet, 28 years old, no profession, residing at 6 Ave Ruysdaël, Paris, do hereby state that I accept without reservation

the following conditions...

I sold them.

Sold what, my dear?

I gotta get drunk. Excuse me.

Of course.

Do you live around here?

Paris?

I don't live anywhere!

Would you like a small one?

Your yank admirer came over with NATO when he was about 20.

Now that he's retired, he's settled here.

He comes in nearly every night in his old uniform.

I wrote just as they wanted, I wrote Elizabeth, not Betty.

And I took the check.

And I walked out.

You don't give a shit! You don't give a shit!

Mario.

Do you have any gauze? I think so.

In the drawer.

I'll take her home.

You?

Sure, why not? To the Trianon?

Couldn't she use a doctor?

What for?

Put her in my car.


Be careful.

Joseph! My friend's ill. Is the room next to mine free?

Of course, Madame.


Did I wake you?

I don't know.

I wondered if you needed anything.

How do you feel?

Fine, fine.

Even my headache's gone.

I think I'm hungry.

What would you like?

Ham and eggs.

Have you eaten?

Yes, ages ago.

Is it late?

It's 4 o'clock.

Do you like your eggs well done?

Tea or coffee?

Black coffee.

Henry! I'd like some ham and eggs, well done, and black coffee.

Good coffee, not this morning's dishwater.

Thank you.

Shall I open the curtains?

Did you give me a shot? I feel...

Yes, but don't worry.

I was a nurse for 25 years.

My husband was a doctor.

And I washed you, because you threw up.

How about a nice hot bath before breakfast?

Don't get up. I'll draw your bath.

It's not too hot?

It's just right.

Do you feel dizzy?

Just a little.

I'm ashamed I've bothered you so.

Not at all.

I've seen worse.

Don't fall asleep in the water.

I won't.

I've been here for 3 years. It's a bit like home.

I sent your clothes out to be cleaned. The maid should bring them up.

Just leave it here please.

Wait. I've found you some slippers.

They're a bit big.

It's okay.

I wish I knew your name.

It's Laure.

Laure Levaucher.

My husband taught medicine in Lyon.

I lost him 4 years ago.

Aren't you eating?

I'm not hungry. Yes, you are.

You have to eat.

I couldn't stand living alone.

I came here for 2 or 3 weeks' rest and I'm still here.

My name's Betty.

Bon appetit, Betty.

I was pretty drunk, wasn't I?

Above all, sick.

No, I was dead drunk.

Did I behave badly?

Oh, my poor child! Obviously you don't know The Hole.

Aren't you eating?

I can't swallow.

Maybe you'd like to be left alone.

Do you want to phone, write...

No, no.

Is there anything you need picked up?

I'll leave you.

No, oh no.

Are you all right?

Not very.

Do you feel nauseous?

Do you want a drink?

For me, that's all that works.

That's better. I didn't think I'd make it in time.

Do you know where we are?

Sure, come on. The Trianon in Versailles.

How about staying for a few day's rest?

I don't know.

I don't feel like anything.

Listen, Betty...

I call you Betty, you call me Laure.

Okay.

You seemed a bit lost last night.

As if you had no place to sleep.

Would you like to hear my life story?

For 28 years I was a happy middle-class wife.

My husband and home in Lyon were my whole world to me.

If I'd had children, obviously I wouldn't be here.

I have no more reason to live, you see.

I'm sure you understand.

Before I came here, I started drinking heavily.

Getting away saved my life.

What happens to me, what I do now no longer means anything.

People come to visit the park, tourists come and go through the hotel.

I'm sure they think I'm part of the staff.

I had you put next door, in case you needed any help.

And I did.

Now you can do as you like, you can leave...or you can stay another day or two...

Or change rooms...

No, no.

Well, tonight I'll be at The Hole. I go every night.

Was it your first time?

Yes.

Didn't you notice anything?

In my condition...you know...

Mario says his clients are all twisted.

Shall I tell you about Mario and The Hole?

Sure.

Want another?

Will it hurt me?

It shouldn't.

Fine.

Mario likes to play the tough guy.

Most clients think he was in prison.

It excites the ladies.

In fact, he used to be a bartender.

And then he drove a cab in Toulon.

But he claims he was a sailor.

Anyway, one of his fares was a rich South American lady.

Her husband had just died of a stroke, coming out of a Monte Carlo casino.

He owned a cocoa plantation in Colombia.

Mario says she was... absolutely twisted.

In any case he became her chauffeur, factotum, and certainly everything else.

Am I boring you?

On the contrary...

I'm not sure about the rest. Now it's a mix of fact and fiction.

The woman was named Maria Orutti, from one of the country's oldest families.

After the husband died, they begged her to return.

They harrassed her with telegrams, threatening to cut off the money.

It made her crazy. She'd say: "They hate me."

"It's to kill me, to put me in an asylum

"that they want me home. "

"Come With me. You are strong. You will protect me. "

So they sailed back together.

But Mario never had a chance.

The family was waiting with the police to take her away...

And how go the studies?

All right.

80 Mario was stranded in a strange port, flat broke.

He claims he had dozens of jobs, not all so legal, it seems.

Do you know Lyon, Elizabeth?

No, not at all.

But I think the family paid him to disappear.

He roamed around Venezuela and Panama.

When he got back, he bought The Hole. God knows how he managed, but he built up a solid little clientele.

People you never thought existed.

All twisted, like he says.

People like me.

Can I have some luggage picked up?

Of course, Madame. Just leave us instructions with the address.

Charles, see to Madame.

There'll be a few bags and maybe a trunk.

6 Ave Ruysdaël.

Etamble? Like the General?

I'm his daughter-in-law.

Do you know how many pieces there will be?

No.

Will one car be enough?

Yes, of course.

If you wrote a note, that might help avoid problems.

Will this evening be a good time?

Will someone be there?

Please give my things to the bearer - Thanks.

There's always someone.

Whenever there's a storm, I lose 2 or 3.

Enough for a few days, eh?

How d' you know?

Well, Betty...

How's the lasagna?

It's excellent.

Beats the shitty cassoulet?

The cassoulet's good.

Not so bad here, huh?

I feel like an old customer already.

Nice to hear that.

Looks like our gang isn't coming out tonight.

They're afraid to get wet.

It's a bit early.

So, how's the stomach?

For the moment, okay.

See the guy over there, the Kojak lookalike?

He's an English lord.

His name's John.

He'll sit there for hours without a word.

He knows when it's time to go, down to the second.

He'll stand up straight as a rod.

And the girl will follow him.

They change every week.

And you'll never guess...

You'll never guess what I did today.

No, Mother, what did you do?

Did you see a movie?

How did you guess?

I just said it like that.

What did you see?

Something about an abortionist. I didn't like it in the least.

Aren't you watching, Elizabeth?

No, thank you, Mother.

Is the television too loud, Guy?

Not at all, Mother. I can always work in my study.

Oh my dear, I like having you around me.

Are Frederic and Odile coming down today?

They won't be long. I believe they're even going out tonight.

Where are they going?

You can ask them.

You ate nicely. And now we go to bed.

Time to go beddy-bye.

And you too.

After they're asleep an hour, I'll take my night off, as you said.

Charlotte wants to stay with us 5 minutes.

I advise you not to give in, Elizabeth.

My husband always said to earn a child's respect, never give in to them.

Well, well, well. What's all this?

It's out of the question.

Off to bed like a good girl.

Daddy has work to do. Off you go!

Say goodnight to Grandmother.

Good night, my dear. Sweet dreams.

Off you go!

We can't stay. We have a reception at the ministry.

You don't say!

How lucky! You'll be terribly amused.

It's unspeakably dreary.

But we can't avoid it.

But have a quick port first. I'll get it.

Just a drop. We can't totter into the Ministry.

What's the bash for?

Some bash! The Minister of Defense of Burkino Faso.

Oh, Negroes.

Port, or something else?

Thanks, my dear. Will you serve?

Not having any, Elizabeth?

No, I'm not.

Happy with the nurse?

Yes.

She's so perfect, we almost feel like intruders.

That's the problem: either they're possessive or inept.

Frederic, remember...

...Antoine's German nurse? Don't mention her.

A pain in the ass, if you'll excuse me.

I had to apply for visiting rights.

You're exaggerating.

Not at all.

Remember, Guy? Before you were with us, Betty.

What was her name, Frédéric?

Not Big Bertha?

You're always joking!

Frédéric! What was her name?

I think it was Bertha.

Why, no!

Mother, remember the German nurse?

What was her name?

Mom?

Is she asleep?

My God!

What is it?

I don't know. She looks dead.

She watched him laid out on the bed for more than an hour.

Finally she realized he was asleep, an empty glass in his hand.

Really twisted.

What are you thinking about?

My mother-in-law.

Oh, but I know her.

We lived on the same street in Lyon.

Strange, I had a feeling. Oh, really?

She had a heart attack, you know?

My god! When was that?

It was 7 or 8 months ago.

And how is she now?

Oh, she's fully recovered now.

She's been back in Paris 3... no, 4 days.

She's staying with us, I mean my husband, Guy, the younger son.

The one who refused an army career. The General was livid.

The older one, he's working in the Defense Ministry. Frederic.

He lives above our place. I mean Guy's.

Yes, he married the Fleury girl. Odile, no?

I knew her sister quite well.

A Lyon family, vaguely related to mine.

And your mother-in-law is a Gomieux.

...except ...Hector, an oculist in Broussais.

This is like being in 8 Lyon salon.

That's What we call "dead weight of society".

I know that the Etambles have a country estate in Chassagne wood, near Chalamont, where my brother shoots duck.

I went there each of our 6 married years.

The family spent August there.

The General, his wife, the 2 brothers, their wives, the children.

A nightmare, those summers.

Frédéric and Guy playing tennis all day.

I suppose you'd like to have lasagna.

What else do you have?

Lasagna.

We made a mistake.

That's what I figured.

Okay. We'll have lasagna.

There you are!

I have two children. Two girls.

Charlotte is 4 and Anne-Marie 19 months.

Starting to talk like a real person.

Good evening Laure...

I hope you excuse my decamping last night. I believe Laure explained...

You didn't surprise your aunt?

Oh Daddy. Auntie was arranging the attic. Remember the attic?

So we climbed up silently. And then Laurence goes mooooo...

Really, Laurence.

Like a cow had snuck into the attic.

Auntie was so scared she dropped a pile of books.

It's not their fault.

Pardon?

Would you mind if we left?

Don't you feel well?

I just want to go back.

Excuse me, Madame Etamble.

I've put your luggage in your room.

The driver left this for you.

It's Elda's writing. The nurse.

She packed my bags.

Well, I'll leave you, as you...

You're going back?

No, no, but I imagine you want to unpack your bags in peace.

Do you mind staying?

Not at all! I don't want to impose.

I absolutely adore packing and unpacking.

I used to spend all day packing for trips with my husband.

My mink.

It's an investment.

And as you'll need it one day, best buy it now since it will cost more in 2 or 3 years.

Guy said it was an investment.

I was afraid he'd keep it.

I'll fix you a drink.

I'm embarrassed. You always buy.

I promise I'll let you buy the next bottle. The next two!

My daughters.

This one looks like you. She has your eyes.

Cheers! To you, and for all you've done for me.

But they're not my children now.

In fact, I don't think they ever were.

Except when I was expecting.

Do you believe in motherly love?

Ah, I forgot. You don't have kids. You couldn't know.

Maternal love, like in books or songs, like we're taught at school.

I believed in it when I got married.

One day I'd have children.

A nice idea, part of a whole: a home, a family.

When I learned I was pregnant I was confused.

I didn't expect it so soon.

Married just 2 years, and now everyone only spoke of the child.

Even before its birth I was the mother.

Maybe I was jealous.

But I don't really think so.

For me, marriage was 2 and we were already 3!

Yeah! They took care of me.

My health failed. And that's when they took over.

They would have kept me in bed. My mother-in-Iaw came up from Lyon.

Very well, my child. Above all, no stress. Think of the baby, and follow Doctor's orders.

At night Guy brought flowers and stayed 30, 45 minutes.

But he had nothing to say.

They were so impatient they brought me to the clinic 48 hours early.

I was afraid that I'd pay for all the harm I'd done.

And yet, I rebelled. Very confusing.

Yes, I understand.

You do? No, I don't think that's possible.

Why, yes. I understand.

Anyway. The child was born. It was a girl.

Everyone pretended to be happy.

My husband seemed so loving. I was thrilled.

Then I saw the love wasn't for me but for his baby's mother.

It was his child. Any woman could have played my part.

And then they hired a nurse. Swiss.

You rest, my love.

Elda will take care of the child.

What's maternal instinct?

I never even learned to hold the baby right.

Elda would immediately come to its rescue.

Several times a day I'd go to the nursery.

Elda would put a finger to her lips.

Or signal not to disturb her feeding... or diaper her, and I was just allowed to watch.

Everything was clean, everything in order.

That was 4 years ago. Charlotte grew up, she talked, she walked. And she's still not my daughter.

I don't know what they'll say: that I'm dead, or went off on a long trip.

You won't see her again?

They're against it. I promised.

It's not important.

Where's my drink?

I'm gonna wind up being a drag.

Thanks.

Want to see my father?

He died in Morocco.

I was only eight.

He was in Morocco a few months.

I never knew what he was doing there.

Nor did my mother.

I remember him well.

Never serious. Always joking about things.

Mom told him: Comb your hair for the photo.

"I am the way I am."

Do you see your mother?

No, not often.

My father had a... not really a... a little factory... a store... where he made fertilizers.

A chemist ran the show after he died. Mom sold it 3 years ago, and kept the apartment upstairs.

She never remarried?

No.

When I was 10, she sent me to her sister.

Said the country was good for my bad health.

Do you know the Vendée?

No.

Just the beach resort.

Ah. Well, we were inland, near Deux-Sèvres.

Uncle and Auntie had an inn in a village there.

I liked it a lot there.

The rooms were damp and had feather beds, to snuggle in.

I forgot that I had a photo of Thérèse.

Who is Thérèse?

The chambermaid at the inn. Welfare sent her. She was fifteen.

She was always in black. It was her only dress.

Her tiny breasts showed through.

It made me jealous.

Thérèse!

Thérèse!

Where is she now, the little sneak?

Thérèse.

Yes Madame.

The rooms made?

Yes Madame.

Let's prepare the beans.

I wanted to be her friend, but she was too old.

So I made do, hanging around her.

Schwartz used to tease me about her Did I tell you about him?

No, I don't think so.

Sure I did. He was the medical student.

He washed dishes to pay for his studies.

He lived in a maid's room near the Place des Ternes.

I met him only because he lived near us.

Charlotte was almost a year old by then.

From his bed I could see hundreds of chimneys.

Thérèse was your biggest childhood influence.

Tell me about Thérèse.

What went on with Thérèse?

It was a Saturday. Auntie took the car to the St. Mathurin market.

It was during vacation or maybe I skipped school.

I don't remember.


He was mounting her. There's no other word.

It smelled like a stable.

I couldn't move.

It was like I was hypnotized.

Their thighs looked like they were alive.

Tell your aunt, and I'll give it to you too.

I wanted to stay to the end, see Thérèse's face afterwards, hear her voice.

Schwartz told me a lot about my attachment to Thérèse.

It bothered me that she was still a girl, like me, and almost an adult.

She'd ask to play with one of my dolls.

It's Lolita!

You want the clinical medical truth?

You envied her!

Really?

You envied her!

To be in her place!

It's true that from that moment I followed her everywhere.

I knew she wasn't happy with my uncle.

He was jealous, he spied on her.

I caught her twice. Once, in a field, during winter.

With a farm boy in red boots.

Then, in the hallway...

Hurry. If I stay too long, he'll come up.

Hey hey hey. Stickel wrote about a similar case.

Bewusstein un...der Sexualität You don't see that she can and does like it.

A woman should suffer for a man. That's what marked you.

He was right.

I thought women had to suffer, to be victims.

I was afraid, terribly afraid, but I was tempted.

My stomach hurt. I was so tempted... and so afraid.

I'm boring you, huh?

No no no. Not at all, not at all. On the contrary.

I'll get you a drink.

That's all. My uncle never touched me.

Anyway, I stayed 'til I was 14.

I wondered what I'd do if he got me in the cellar.

I'd be afraid, but I don't think I'd scream,

I don't think I'd struggle.

But he didn't do it.

No, he didn't.

You know, I wanted to ask Thérèse when I saw her in the cellar.

I wanted to say: show me your wound.

I wanted to have a wound too.

I've always been chasing that wound.

I must be looking for pity.

I'm not a victim.

I'm not to be pitied.

No one ever hurt me.

I'm the one who did the hurting.

I'm a fool.

Say it!

I blew it all.

I've soiled everything, myself included.

Since I was 15.

I've been a whore just to imitate Therese.

I sold my children.

My husband threw me out.

It's an official document.

I, Elizabeth Etamble, nee Fayet, declare I am a whore, had lovers before and during my marriage, solicited them in bars,

that I made love next to my children's room.

Here... when I say I sold them, I'm not lying.

200,000 francs!

As a down payment...

Otherwise it'd be too cheap.

"I don't want you on the street", he said.

I don't want you on the street.

As soon as you have an address, send it to me, so my lawyer can get in contact with you.

You won't go without.

There it is...my wound, all my wounds, all the men I've chased after, just to hurt myself.

For years I've hidden my drinking, 'cause I can't live without it, can't be like them.

Anyway, I don't want to be.

But I stopped when I was pregnant.

I gave him kids as he asked, but I wanted them to be healthy.

Still, I took a bottle to the clinic, a little flask, and right after the delivery...

A drunk and whore... that's what I am.

Calm down.

Don't be a fool! You're just like them!

Come on.

Go to bed. Get undressed.


You're like ice.

I'll prepare a hot-water bottle.


Madame Etamble? Hello? Madame Etamble!

Who is it?

The switchboard. I have a call from Paris.

I'll connect you.

Hello! Betty? It's Florent!

Can you hear me?

I can hardly hear you. You okay?

Yes.

You're sure you're all right?

Yes.

Not in pain? I hardly hear you. You still in bed?

Yes.

Can I talk to you? Are you alone?

Yes.

Guy asked me to contact you.

Naturally, the sooner the better.

I could come out to Versailles and we could have dinner.

No, not today.

Tomorrow morning? The afternoon I'm in court.

No. Not tomorrow.

When, then? As you like...

I don't know. I'll call you.

You okay? If you need any help...

I'm okay. I don't need any help. Goodbye Florent.

You slept through Act 2 on my shoulder.

On purpose.

Let's boogie! Okay? I love it.

Taking my Wife? I'll take yours. Know where it is?

Yeah, yeah. No problem.


Betty, not in your nose!

It's dirty.

Robert! Change that disgusting shirt. Pigs for a family!

What do you want? We are what we are.

That's just like you. Dirty girl!

You write 50 times: I'm a dirty little girl.

It's true I'm dirty, but I wanted to be clean, too.

Oh! I'm sorry. I'm really so sorry!

Say Guy, isn't that your brand new suit?

Well uh, that is... it was my new suit...

Look at me!

Do you have any spot remover?

I'll go see. Thanks.

Do you work for a dry cleaner's?

No, I'm a secretary. But my father was a chemist.

So you know about chemicals!

I'm sorry. It's all right. I know.

To apologize correctly, you must have a coffee with us.

I really, I can't. I'm late.

No, no.

Yes...yes.

No. If you're well brought up, you can't refuse.

Well, just to show I am.

That's better.

Don't worry.

That suit's 2 years old.

That's not true, 3 years old.

Here you are.

Thank you.

And another coffee, please.

Well, what should I do with this?

Shall I remove your stain?

Please!

You're not serious. I am!

You're crazy!

Yes!

Yes, I'm crazy!

So...

thought it over?

I'm listening.

Guy, you know...

You don't love me enough?

No, you know that's not true.

So?

I'd rather not get married.

It's better.

Why, if you don't mind telling me?

Because of everything. Me. My life.

Betty, I wasn't born yesterday.

It's none of my business, what you've done in the past.

It hasn't been very pretty.

I'm not interested.

You don't understand.

That life... I enjoyed it!

It's gone.

It's gone.

Do you love me?

Yes.

80, life begins here.

It's like we're starting from scratch, you and me both.

Saturday we go to Lyon to meet my mother.

But Guy, I can't keep house! Don't be silly.

We have people for that.

You are my wife.

He is nice, you know.

And he's a good fuck.

That's why sometimes I think I'm disgusting.

He doesn't take care of me.

He tries, but he only takes care of what I represent.

Like, if I'm sick, I'm sent to the doctor.

The family doctor. And he's something else!

He doesn't want his wife to be sick.

Oh no. Not me. The mother of his child.

It's not his fault. It's his upbringing.

You can't stop yourself, huh?

You're still sublimating.

Hey! You trying to make me fat?

There you are. Typical, that.

You transpose the mental to the physical. And you accuse me!

That's...that's typical. Careful!

Dr. Freud. And I thought you were studying dermatology.

There's no contradiction.

Humans are a whole: exterior and interior, material and spiritual.

You know your problem?

No. Tell me.

In your tiny little head you really want to be a heroine.

You have an idea of what you want to be...should be, so you fall even deeper. It's classic!

Me? Fall?

Lying is natural to you. And not just to others.

You lie to yourself, afraid of who you are.

Soon as you feel uneasy, pow, you start telling yourself stories.

Shut up! What am I?

A guinea pig? Okay. Keep it up, and you'll end up in the morgue...

or the nut house.

Go on. Eat!

I wondered if you were asleep.

Are you all right? Hungry?

Should I order breakfast?

No, thank you.

Not even a cup of coffee?

Does your pulse rate sometimes drop sharply?

Do you prefer it dark?

I don't care.

It's depressing, this darkness.

At least you slept. I didn't hear a peep.

Do you have any pain?

Migraine?

Would you mind if I phoned a doctor? I know a good one nearby.

Bernard?

No, no, no. And I promise he won't ask any indiscreet questions.

I don't care.

Would you like your face washed?

No...no.

Blanche? Laure Levaucher. Is the doctor in?

Hello, Doctor? Sorry to bother you.

No, no. I'm calling for a friend who's staying with me.

I'd like you to come see her.

Well, it's hard to explain...

Last night I gave her some phenobarbital.

Now her pulse is 53.

No, I don't think it's a reaction.

Oh, 27, 28 years old, I'd say.

Thank you Doctor. Yes, I'll wait here.

Come directly up to my room.


Betty! You're still asleep?

It's already one o'clock.

The doctor's coming at quarter-to-two.

How about a wash or something to eat?

No, thank you, Laure.

Be nice, and shut the door behind you.

Sure, if you like.

Sleep well.

What are you thinking about?

About you.

And? And what?

And, what do you think about me?

It's very complex.

You're like my sister.

What?

When you preach at me.

When you bug me, I think of her.

What'd you do if I didn't come here?

But you do come here.

I'd look for you! At my place?

Well, yeah.

And my husband?

Betty, my dear, tonight I'm taking Mother to the theatre.

Mother? Perfect! I adore Anouilh.

My god! It's Elda's day off!

That's all right. I don't feel like the theatre.

Well, I must go.

See you tonight.

I've got to go. Stay 5 minutes.

You'll write me a note? A note?

A joke, Mother.

When does Elda get back?

Not before midnight.

The baby looks pale.

We'll look after her.

Won't we, Elizabeth?

Of course, Mother.

After my dentist appointment I can pick the kids up At school.

Fine.

See you tonight.

Betty!

Can you go see? I think I heard crying.

Yes, Mother.

Don't get up, I'm going.

How was the dentist?

The same. You wait an hour, and then he finds something wrong.

Somehow, he always hurts you.

I'm forever there.

After 10 years it hurts less. That reminds me, I have to make a call.

I'll take the kids out to give Granny some peace.

They don't bother me!

That's kind, but it's better for them.

Remember, Betty. Dinner at our place!

Of course!

I can't talk. There are people here.

I can't get out. I'll call after dinner. Around nine.

You won't be lonely?

Don't be silly.

Odile's just upstairs...

Some company! Hurry, you'll be late.

The tickets, dear?

I've got them, Mother.

You can go. I'm fine.

I can wait Madame.

No, go on. Get some rest.

Thank you. Good night.

Hello! Hello! Is that you?

Are you sad?

Not that! If you knew what I've been through!

Think I've been laughing?

Did you miss me?

Listen. You know where I live.

The kids are asleep.

The nurse and maid are out, my husband's at the theatre.

So?

Don't you understand?

Yes.

You don't seem thrilled.

Listen to me, I've wanted this too long. You'll see when you get here.

Come.

Okay.

Come.

Are you afraid? No.

Not happy to see where I live?

You don't like it?

Yes, yes.

Well, I hate it.

Come by me.

What's wrong? What is it?

What about the kids? Their room's behind that door.

Wait!

There. If Charlotte wakes, we'll hear.

Don't be such a lump!

We're going to enjoy this.

I'll get Frédéric. You lie down on the couch.

No, no. Not on that!

Hurry! My drops... my drops. Give me 20 drops.


Elizabeth! Guy wants to see you.

In the salon. They want to see you.

Come here.

You can sit down.

The counsellor has rushed over to help me resolve this.

I know we were wrong, Mother and I, to return without warning, but she was unwell. You'll excuse us?

Guy!

Write what the counsellor dictates. I find it equitable.

Generous, in fact.

It's very simple:

You recognize your wrongs,

you renounce guardianship of the children as well as the right to see them.

In exchange, we guarantee, financially speaking, you won't be in any need.

Either accept and all will be well, or refuse, and it's war.

And it's a war you will never win.

What is it I have to do?

You write:

I, the undersigned,

Elizabeth Etamble...

She wrote Betty.

Ah, no. Not Betty! Elizabeth.

I, the undersigned, Elizabeth Etamble nee Fayet, 28 years old, without profession,

residing at 6 Ave Ruysdaël, Paris,

do hereby state that I accept Without reservation the conditions...

A check for your immediate needs.

When I have your address I'll send your affairs and my lawyer will contact you.

No, Betty. Please.

They're asleep. They wouldn't understand.

So, you're not well?

What's the problem? Well, we'll have a look.

May I? I'll wash my hands.

What has she had this morning? Breakfast?

No, she wouldn't eat.

Not even coffee?

No.

Are you in much pain?

No pain anywhere?

No migraine, chest contractions?

You can stay if you like.

It's all right. No. I have a call to make.

Is that you? No, I'm at the hotel with Betty.

The doctor's examining her.

It's not serious.

Any drops in blood pressure?

No... Make it two hours.

Fine. I'll explain.

Right... See you later.

Love you.

Turn over.

Any dizzy spells?

I've had a few recently.

Serious enough to lose your balance?

No, not quite...

Any recent emotional shock?

Doctor.

We haven't behaved ourselves. We've been drinking quite a bit.

I gave her 2 phenobarbitals of 100 mgs and she slept calmly.

The phone woke her up. She's been like this since then.

There's nothing wrong organically.

What you need is quiet and complete rest.

A clinic would be best. No. Not that!

I won't insist.

If you behave, the hotel is as good as anywhere.

Do you have guests?

No, no one.

Fine. That's best.

All right. No going out for 4 or 5 days. Don't eat, except at night, a light vegetable soup.

Peace and quiet. Understand?

Yes.

Good.

Now, turn over.

I'm giving you a shot.

No, Betty. Please.

They're asleep. They wouldn't understand.

Ice? Yeah. Make it a double.

With soda?

I don't care... No.

Give me another.


Don't bother.

He's not there. He's not back?

He came back and left.

With his bag and his instrument, like he was in a rush.

And he said to rent the studio.


Isn't Philippe here?

Philippe? The saxophone?

Yeah.

I don't see him. He must have got a replacement.

Buy you a drink?

If you like. I'd like to.

What'll it be?

A whisky.

A whisky. Cloclo, a double whisky for the lovely lady.

Ice?

Yeah.

Soda?

I don't care...

No.

What's your name, my beauty?

Betty.

It's over there!

Through here!

Is Number 3 free, Maria?

Right away, Madame.

Go ahead!


Strip off!

On your feet, my girl.

Cut the shit. The hour's over.

I want to sleep. Sleep.

But not here.

Move it or Mr. Charles'll take over.

Don't want to leave? I'll kick your ass outta here!

I bet your papers aren't right. And I don't like that!

Move it!

Take your things with you! I need the room!

Just what we need to get hassled!

He's just a poor kid, see, and he was terrified.

If I don't find him he won't come back.

He's scared of Guy.

Guy? He doesn't give a shit! You know what?

I'm sure he knew all along!

You all right? Happy?

Where you taking me?

You're not taking me?

Me? Where you want me to take you?

You don't know where to go?

No.

You're not a thief, are you?

How about my place?

We could go to my place, huh?


Quiet. I think she's asleep.

No, wait. I want to make sure.


What else did she say?

So much I can't remember it all.

She's a poor lost soul.

She'll spend her life looking, not knowing what for.

There are times she looks like a stray dog.

But sometimes her eyes... are completely blank. There's no expression.

Do you think she's cold? No, the poor thing.

Maybe she'll wind up getting adopted like a stray dog by a Good Samaritan.


So, is she asleep?

So it seems.

You see? What did I tell you?

Give me a drink.


Don't bother, angel, I'll get it.

No, this is Laure Levaucher.

A Mr. Etamble wants to speak to you.

It might be Frédéric. Ask his first name.

That's not so easy.

Which Mr. Etamble, may I ask?

Your husband.

Should he come up? No, no! I don't want him up here!

Tell him I'm coming down.

But the doctor said...

I don't want him here. Anyway, I feel all right.

No, tell him I'll meet him downstairs in half an hour.

Am I disturbing you?

No, of course not.

Florent hardly recognized your voice on the phone.

I was afraid you were sick or something.

I was tired, that's all. I'm better now.

Have you seen a doctor?

What did he say?

I'll be okay in 3 or 4 days.

Can't we go outside?

Is someone looking after you?

A girl friend.

Are the kids well?

Yes, but Charlotte has a cold and she's furious about being kept in.

Is your mother back in Lyon?

Tomorrow.

I wanted to talk about the paper you signed.

I...

I don't intend to use it right away.

I was really worried about not having heard from you.

That's what Florent told me.

I asked him to call and arrange to meet you.

But you refused, so...

I wanted to get better first.

Had a breakdown?

I don't know. Anyway, it's not serious.

Well, look...

In a situation like this, we can't rush things.

We have to think this out carefully.

We're not alone in this.

We debated it a long time, Mother, Frédéric and I. You may not think it's the best way.

But you can see that it would be difficult for you to come home right away.

But you can't stay alone. You are alone here?

Weren't you told at the desk? No...yes. I knew.

We thought as an experiment, you might go with Mother to Lyon.

But you can stay here a little longer. There's no rush.

You can live with her a while.

And then, later on...

Was this your idea?

We all...discussed it.

You...thought I'd accept?

I don't know.

I don't know now.

You want that?

I'm thinking of the children.

And I'm thinking of you too.

Thank you, Guy. I'm really touched by your gesture, really I am.

The same goes for your mother. Thank her for me.

Then it's no?

It's better this way.

Not so much for me as for all of you.

I warned you. Remember?

But you wouldn't listen.

But I'm glad you came.

It's better to part this way.

Hey kid, you getting romantic?

I'll call Florent in a few days.

Get going, now.

And don't forget to thank your mother.

It's not my fault if I hurt you.

But I'm asking you to forgive me.

Get going, now.

Are you sure? Yes.

Go on.

You don't need anything?

No, nothing at all.

Good luck, Betty.

Thanks.

You too, Guy.

Thanks.

So, how'd it go?

Just fine.

He asked me back.

Oh, really?

And what did you say?

I said no.

It's over.

Feel up to it?

Oh, yes. Can I have a cigarette?

Can I leave you? I have things to do.

And you're okay now.

Don't worry.

Anyway, you've played the nursemaid long enough.

No, not at all.

Going to The Hole?

No, Paris. I'm seeing my banker and accountant.

Lots of very exciting people.

Well, I'll be running along.

If there's a problem, call Mario.

See you tonight.

Try to rest.

Goodbye, Laure.


Mario.

It's you. You're here.

Ah, it's so good.


Afraid?

No.

I have to go to The Hole.

I'm coming along.

No way. The doc said...

He doesn't know what it is to be a woman.

I've never been happier. And you?

I'm happy.


Where do you live? Over the club.

It's an old farm.

It's all beams.

We'll have champagne tonight.

Okay?

And I won't drink too much. I promise.


Have my bill sent to Lyon. You have the address?

No problem, Madame. We hope to see you again soon.

Goodbye, François.

Goodbye, Madame. Thank you.


LYON

Remember Madame Levaucher?

Laure Levaucher?

The professor's widow?

Yes. She just died.

Her maid found her dead in bed.

It's in the paper.

Didn't she leave Lyon 3 long time ago?

To live in Paris?

Versailles. But she kept her apartment here for visits.

Was she sick?

They didn't say.

She wasn't all that old.

Forty-nine.

That's not old!

How are your children?

Just fine. Very happy.

Guy's children are adorable.

But that poor Laure Levaucher.

I used to run into her from time to time.

A beautiful woman, always rather pale.

But I never thought she was sick.

She could never have known that Laure had died because Betty had survived. It was one or the other...

And Betty had won.