By the Sea (2015) Script

I smell fish.

You might wanna take your heels off, my darling.

Are you open? Yes.

Great. We would love a drink Ok.

What would you like?

Gin for me... and a glass of white wine for my wife.

Thank you.

Bonjour.

Beautiful view.

Yes, we think so.

What brings you here?

Just wanted to get away from it all.

This is as good a place as any.

My name is Roland. This is my wife Vanessa.

I'm Michel, and the hotel manager Patrice.

Pleasure to meet you.


Merci. Merci.


What's that sound?

That's the sea.

I don't see a radio.

I'll try to pick one up tomorrow.


Morning.

I was trying not to wake you.

You were sleeping peacefully.

I don't sleep peacefully.

You know that.

Are you off to find inspiration?

I have my inspiration.

Then why are we here?

Don't be nasty, darling.

If you want, I can be back early for dinner.

I need more time.

You go write, I'll be fine.

All right.

Have a nice day.

I won't.

I know. Love you.

I know.


Fuck.


How is your stay?

What?

You're good?

Fine, yes.

Thank you.

Hello madam.

If you want a bag, they are over there.


Will that be all madam?

That's it.

Your total is eight francs.

And an espresso.

The machine? The big one.

The total will be... eighteen francs please.

Thirty five years?

Since high school.

My Father, ten years before that.

Do you ever travel?

No, very little.

My daughter got married in Chicago, about five years ago now.

I went for the weekend, I like it here.

One weekend?

Yes, one weekend.

And your home is nearby?

Yes, around here.

With your wife?

My wife passed away last year.

I'm sorry.

She was in a lot of pain.

Through her I discovered a beautiful thing.

If you really love someone.

You want more for them than you want for yourself.

Do you understand?

I wanted her to stay. To resist.

But it was for myself.

But more than that, I wanted her to go, for her.

So I was relieved when she passed away.

She's found her peace.

And you?

I'm in pain every day.

I miss her.

That is life.

Yes, it is.

Where is your wife?

At the hotel.

Tired from the trip.

How long have you been together?

Fourteen years.

You're just beginning.

She seems like a lovely lady.

You are very kind.

She's not always lovely.

In fact, she can seem downright rude.

But she actually is lovely.

She's very lovely.

Do you want another beer?

Yes.

Can I buy you one?

Sure but I'd rather have whiskey.

Ok.

Whiskey for me too.

Hey.

Good day? Nope.

Well... I don't know.

I don't know.

Michel's a sweet man.

He's sweet.

Do we have food?

I walked down a ridiculous hill and went grocery shopping.

Then I read a book. It was terrible.

I don't know why you worry so much.

People publish pure garbage all the time, and nobody seems to mind.

I can write.

I'm a good writer, remember?

You are.

I love your words, you know that.


You should go for a walk or something today.

Might be good for you.

Don't have a drink today.

Might be good for you.

We could be happy, you know.

You resist happiness.

Don't quote some book and try to analyze... You don't resist happiness?

Are you trying to illustrate your point by making me unhappy?

You're a good woman.

Jesus.

Have I become that dull?

Try and write something today.

Good plan, Batman.


You had a tough night?

I don't know.

Ness?

Right.

Are we ever gonna talk about it?

I suppose it's best we don't say a word.

Ah, shit.

Uh... Sorry.

I got it. I got it.

It's okay.

Don't you want to go home now?

What?

What the fuck?

Are you telling me when to go home?

I'm trying to help you.

I'm a man.

Yes, yes, I know.

Come on. Come on.

I can walk home.

I can walk home alone.

I can fuck my wife myself.

I don't need your fucking help.

Fucking shit.

Hey, I'm going. I'm going.

Be nice.

All right? This place is shit anyways.

I don't want your life anyway.


Hello.

Hello.

My name is Francois.

Vanessa.

It's a beautiful day.

Hmm.

Where are you from?

New York.

American?

Hmm.

We talked about having our honeymoon in New York.

Yeah, my wife and I, we...

We just got married.

That's nice.

Hmm.

Well, have a nice day.

And you.


How is your head?

Fine.

If your wife is coming, let me know and I'll wear a tie.

She'd see right through you.

They always do.

I am very sorry.

Used to be so nice. You know...

I understand.

No. You can't understand.

We had a life... you couldn't even imagine.

Toast of New York.

Hmm.

I was a writer.

I was a fucking writer.

And she...

When she took the stage...

Ooh-la-la.

What a body.

She was happy.

She was happy.

In this second stage in life...

Some people have children.

Some people... live for each other.

And some of us...

not sure what we have... what we've become.

Can I give you some advice?

Do I have a choice?

Love her.

She's not so easy to love.

You think you are?

Hell, no.

I'm an asshole.

Sounds like you deserve each other.

That we do.


You're back early.

I missed you.

Don't be silly.

Drink?

Sure.

Have you seen her?

Who?

The neighbor.

The couple? Hmm.

Yeah.

What?

Nothing.

Anyway, I was getting bored.

It's not the place. The place hasn't let me down.

It's moi.

Michel is such an interesting guy. He's...

He's too kind.

But he's heavy.

Any writer worth his salt could get a story here.

It's just me.


I'm blowing you a kiss.

I'm blowing you one back.


Since 1920.

I knew it when I heard her laugh.

I always loved her laugh.


Oh, you never put your clothes away.

We're in a hotel though.


Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up! What?

What? Do you wanna fuck her?

Huh?

The woman next door, do you want to fuck her?

Honey, what are you doing?

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

I don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Get off!

And now you just woke me up.

Where are you going?

I gotta take a piss. You mind?


Do you want to fuck her?

Jesus Christ, no.

Yes, you do.

Honey, why are you doing this?

Why are you trying to put that in my head?

Huh? So you can be the victim?

Being the wife of a failed writer is not good enough for pill-popping and self-pity?

Now you need a better reason to destroy yourself?

You know my reason.

Plus, you would have to try and fail to be a failed writer, and you're nothing.

You're a drunk.

Fuck you.

When I return, I hope you're passed out as usual, so I don't have to listen to your silly voice.


Bonjour.

Bonjour.


God damn it.


Come on.

No.

Stop it.

Stop it. Come on.

No. Come on.

Ugh!

Ow!

Stop it.

You make me sick.

Disgusting.

I'm not gonna make it.


Good morning.

Morning.

Did you see your fisherman this morning?

Yes.

Francois is going to visit a friend tomorrow.

Do you want to do anything?

With you?

Yeah.

Like what?

I don't know. We can play cards, go for a walk, get a drink.

I don't know how to play cards.

I can teach you.

Okay.

5:00?

8:00. 8:00.

Have a nice day. Bye.


Hi. Come in.

Thank you. Sit down.

Pretty dress.

Oh, thank you.

You should put your hair up.

Oh...

It's funny, my... My husband always say that.

He's right.

So, do you know La Belote?

La Belote, the game is to get the highest number of points.

So let's say I move everything here. How many?

Um, is it? Yeah, yeah, you can do that.

More wine? Four? Damn.

You won again.

11.

Okay. 10, king.

I'll take it.

Hi.

Hi. Belote.

Rebelote. Aw! Come on.

So unfair.

Hey. We haven't properly met.

I see you at the café often.

I'm Lea.

Nice to meet you. I'm Roland. Hi.

Would you like a drink?

Sure.

So unfair.

Do you want to join us?

Okay.

And don't tell me you don't play cards, too.

Your wife told me that, and then she's won every hand.

Well, she's a natural.

Yeah.

Oh, we can't play La Belote.

It's not working if we are three.

We have to change the game.

Let's play...

La Bataille? Yes.

Mmm. Easy.

What was that about?

What do you mean?

Nessa...

Are you trying to push her on me?

Am I wrong to think you're trying to destroy us?

I'm gonna take a shower.

Jesus! What are you doing? Tonight, I'm having a shower with my wife.

No. No.

No. Enough.

It's gotta stop. It's all right.

It's all right. No, I can't... It's just...

Vanessa, enough. Please.

Stop! Stop! No.

Stop it! Stop!

Enough! Please.

I'm your husband.

I can't.

At some point you're gonna stop acting like this.


Another one, please.

Usually I would never ask why someone would want gin for breakfast... but today I will make an exception.

I just want to get drunk for breakfast.

You don't want buttered toast with your gin?

Merci.

Are we ever gonna talk about it?

Nessa?

Do you hate me? Do you hate me?

Stop!

Just stop!

You resist happiness.

Nessa?

Ness?


You're smoking a lot today.

Well-earned rest.


You're smiling.

Now my outsides match my insides.


Stay.

Stay.


Good morning.

We were out of coffee.

Why you looking at me like that?

Just looking.


Like this?

Does that turn you on?

Ah, my mother called.

Really, what did she want?

She wanted to know if I am pregnant yet?

Well, well, well.

Tell her we are working on it day and night.

And ask her if she would like to know which positions we do it.

I'll let her know.

We'll see.


Hello.

Hello.

Did you go on your trip?

Your wife said you went on a trip.

It was okay.

But I prefer to stay here.

I grew up in a place like this, so I'm happy here.

Mmm.

We might have a big sailing day next week.

And we don't really have any friends up here, so...

Would you and your husband consider coming?

Sailing?

Yes, sailing. Why not?

It can be fun.

And you can do the same thing you're doing now, only on the sea.

I'll talk to my husband.

Sure.

Good night.

Good night.

Hi. Hi.

Thought I'd bring dinner home tonight.

I'll get some plates.

Nessa?

Yeah?

We okay?

We are the same as we've been for a long time.

No different.

Okay.

They asked if we wanted to go sailing.

How wonderful.

And you said?

I said we hate boats and we hate people.

No, you didn't.

I didn't, but we do.

So we're not going, right?

Do you want to go?

Why do I feel like that's a trick question?

I just thought maybe an adventure would be good for us.

Maybe, I don't know.

You realize how shocking that is to hear you say that?

But, yes, I would love something fun for us.


Are you sure it was a good idea to invite them on the boat?

And why?

She's...

I like her.

She's nice but he's a bit strange, no?

Strange how?

I think they are both fine people just going through something difficult.

They don't spend time together.

Are you worried that is going to be us after years of marriage?

No.

I'm sure all will be good for them, and for us as well.

It doesn't freak you out?

No.

Not at all.


Were you watching them?

What were they doing?

I ask because I was here the other day while you were on a walk, and I noticed the hole, and I watched them fucking.

Does that bother you?

Will you watch with me?


Do you wanna take a shower?

Yes.


Good morning.

Morning.

We're out of milk.

Will you get some when you go to work?

You watch them in the morning?

Sometimes.

I think I might stay home today.

Is that all right? Do you wanna be alone?

No.

Are we perverse?

Would it bother you if we were?

No.


Hey, neighbor.

Morning.

It's our two-months anniversary.

I was thinking of berries and cream.

Maybe port? I don't know.

I guess it's the thought.

Yeah.

When's yours?

Winter.

Winter?

Were you with her?

She was at the store. It's their anniversary.

Ah.

When's ours?

November. End of November.

Yeah.

What day?

27, 20...

Can't remember.

Me neither.

Ness? Mmm?

It doesn't mean anything.

It doesn't mean anything that we can't remember.

Okay?

They had fresh pastries.


What did he want?

Who?

Francois.

He wanted to know if we still wanted to go sailing.

You're lying.

He asked me for a cigarette.

I started smoking when we got here, and you were here, so I said I was out.

I know you started smoking.

Did you?

Yeah. I know you.

Two seconds.

Oh how sweet.

You think of everything.

I also have a little gift for you.

Happy anniversary!

Oh, thank you.

It's so nice.


Do you see that fisherman?

He goes out every day, comes back every night.

Hardly catches any fish.

What keeps him from going insane?

From being so tired of it all?

What is it we don't know?

Let's go to the café for a drink.

Mmm... No.

How about we invite our neighbors?

Get them liquored up, and see what they do when they're plastered.


Is it possible? She is here.

We have missed you.

You don't know me.

No. I only know your very lonely husband.

It is not easy to watch a man eat alone every night and not start to worry and wonder.

So I am very happy to see you.

I am very happy to be here.

What would you like?

I heard pastis is good. Pastis. Pastis.

Hey! Hello.

Bonsoir.

Hello.

This is Vanessa's first encounter with pastis.

Really?

And? And I've had two.

Yeah? Mmm-hmm.

What did you think?

I think you should have two.

Oh.

I'm not so sure.

Just takes a little practice. Yeah?

I have some memories.

So, Roland, Vanessa tells us you're a writer.

Uh, some days.

It's great. I wish I could write. Mmm.

Well, I do, too, lately.

Hmm. Voilà.

Oh-la-la.

What do you do, Francois?

I just opened an art gallery in Paris.

Mmm.

It's your own gallery? Yes.

I was a dealer first.

Art dealer, and then I opened a gallery.

And hopefully, I have the help of my nice little wife.

So we work together.

Cheers. Okay, cheers, everyone.

Cheers.

Mmm.

Mmm. That's strong.

What do you do, Vanessa?

Me?

Absolutely nothing.

You're a wife, like me.

Mmm...

Technically, yes.

But I'm not very good at that either.

That's not true.

She's a fantastic wife.

She's the best little homemaker in the world.

Not funny?

I used to be a dancer.

Oh. Mmm.

That's great.

Why did you stop?

Because I got old.

But very beautiful.

Yes, yes.

I know this thing by heart.

New Yorkers do not eat pigeon.

We eat escargot, too.

I think I want another drink.

We are strange. You are strange.

All right. Four more pastis.

Yes.

Cheers.

Dear Lord, that was painful.

Let's hope it pays off.


This is no fun.

It's our honeymoon.

This is not how we make a child.


Well, now we know.

They're miserable drunks.


Isn't this just everything?

My first time.

Really? Well, you're a natural.

Can you hold it for me?


You look beautiful laying there.

Maybe I don't say that enough.

It's difficult, because it makes me wanna be with you.

And I know how hard it is for you to be with me.

Only, don't begin to think he sees you any differently than I do.

Of course he does.

He doesn't know me.

Is that what you want?

To be unknown by someone?

Maybe.

Do you want him?

Do you want her?

No.

But you like to watch her.

I like to watch with you, honey.

Makes me want to be with you.

I think of you.

I don't think I like this game anymore.

Roly?

What are they doing?

Nessa...

Please?


They're laying on the bed.

She's reading a book.

He's watching her.

His hands move down her body.

To her thighs.

Between her legs.

He wants her...

But he's waiting.

Waiting for her to let him know it's all right.


He loves the way she feels.

He wants her to know how desirable she is.

And to feel how she desires him.

How desirable she is.


See you later.

Okay.


So he came here and bought the hotel. We had known each other since we were kids.

It was good to see him again.

He is quite an oddball.

He never looks back.

It takes strength to do so.

Most people live in the past. I do, for example.

He never looks back.

Are you a believer?

I am.

This is the only way I'll be with my wife again.

Well, I'm going to give Patrice another coffee.

Hey.

Mmm.

Feels strange not to talk.

No, it doesn't.

Are you working?

No.

You're writing something? Just drinking.

I see.

They told me who you are.

I've read your books.

Have you? Mmm-hmm.

I think I like the first one best.

I guess everybody did.

Everyone did.

Yes. Everyone has many opinions.

How do you like being married?

Yeah, I love it.

Why?

What do you mean, "Why?"

Why?

I like belonging to something.

To someone.

I like knowing what my life is gonna be.

What? You think I'm naive?

I think you're a woman.

I think you're lovely, and I hope your life turns out just as you imagine.


Wanna go for a drive?

I thought we agreed we weren't going anywhere until you wrote.

The rate I'm going...

Let's go for a drive.

I'd like to stop at a church.

Okay.


I prayed that God might forgive me for all the horrible things I said when we knew.

And I prayed for the strength to mean it.

Because I don't.

I'm angry.

I'm angry, too, baby.


Where are we?

I'm taking you to dinner.

I'm not dressed for dinner.

Just do this for me.


I don't want to be here.

It's all right, honey.

Just look at me.


Merci.


Dance with me.


Honey? Ness? Vanessa?

I think I wanna write about you.

I'll change the name.

So what? So what if they know?

Honey, I would never write about that.


My love.

Are we dressing up or not?


I was thinking maybe I'd get dressed and go for a walk.

I'll go with you.

I was gonna smoke.

I won't stop you.

I'll just go on the balcony.


Going somewhere?

I'm taking Lea shopping.

It's my good deed for the month.

Why the sudden change of heart?

I needed a pair of shoes.


What are you looking for?

Something... sexy.

Sexy.

Everything's here. Look, a lot of choices.

You good?

Um... Yeah.

I look, um...

I look different.

You want to see?

Yes.


Hey, Roland. Hi.

How are you? Good.

That's a nice jacket.

Yeah, you like it? My missus bought it for me.

I guess our girls had a bit of a spend-up.

Yes.

And Lea told me about your car. The car is great.

Yeah, that's a great car. My uncle has the same, actually.

It's nice. It's a nice car.

Yeah.

All right. Have a good evening.

Bye.


You dressed him like me.

I had that jacket when we met.

Did they look nice?

Did they look nice?

You dressed him like me.

What are you doing, honey? What are you doing?

Nessa.

Help me understand.

What are you doing? What is this?

Would you close the door?

What are you doing?

Would you close the door? There's a draft.

What is this?


I think we should stop watching them.

We don't need them anymore.

We have our life. We have each other.

Let's let them have theirs.

Honey?

Ness.


You're home early.

Mmm-hmm.

Do you want a drink?

I didn't know you liked cards so much.

That's nice.

Cards are fun.

It's a good game. I like cards.

Do you want a drink?

No.

No, I don't want a fucking drink.

I want to know what this is.

Do you wanna hurt me? Hmm? No.

Hurt me. No, I don't wanna hurt you.

Just do it. Hurt me.

Get it over with.

Go ahead. No.

I would never hurt you. Stop, please. It's all right.

Do it. Stop it.

Wanna hurt me? Get it over with. Stop!

Go on.

I don't wanna hurt you. It's easy.

Just do it. Stop!

Come on! Please, stop.

Do it. Stop!

Stop! I don't know what's happening.

You don't understand?

Stop! Stop.

Come on, do it. No! Let's just...

Can we get out of here? Can we get out of here?

Could we just go? Let's just go.

Let's get out of this room. Please?

Please.

Okay.

I don't want to...

I'll get my jacket.


What happened?

Nothing. It's Patrice, he's being funny.

What did he say?

I am not good at telling jokes.

What will you have? I got very nice rock lobsters this morning. Very fresh.

Ok, two please.

Lobsters then.


May I?

No. Wait!

Come on.

Why?

Why?

Why?

Say it.

Why?

Look at me.

No! Look at me!

No. Why?

Stop.

You know why. Be honest.

Say it.

Say it. Come on.

Look at me.

Why?

Because you can't have what they have. No.

Say it.

No. Because you can't have what they have.

Because you're jealous.

No! You're sick!

No! You're sick.

You would ruin them to make yourself feel better.

You want to hurt them. No!

I wanted him! Yes.

No! No!

No.

You're jealous because you're barren.

No. You hate them.

You hate them.

Say it!

You hate them.

You're jealous.

You hate them because you're barren.

And I've loved you anyways.

You don't want him.

You want me.

You want children with me.

You don't want him. You love me.

Say it. I'm barren.

I'm barren.


She's home.

He's... He's trying to say something.

Wait.

He's telling her the truth.

She won't let him touch her.


Well done, darling.

It seems you've just destroyed a happy marriage.


Could I speak with you for a moment?

I don't want to speak to you.

It's not what you think it is.

This is something that started three years ago, when we first tried to have a child.

We lost that child in the first term, so we tried again.

We lost that baby, too.


They said they were going to try and fight past it.

That going through something horrible could even make them stronger.

She's pregnant.

I assume you knew that.

I'm not a bad person.

Am I a bad person?

Sometimes.


We gotta stop being such assholes.

I figured out your fisherman.

He goes with the tide.

You let it pull you out to sea or guide you back in.

Sometimes you have to move with it.

Sometimes, honey, that's all we can do.


Thank you for everything.

Thank you.

Travel safe.