The Good Mother (1988) Script

When I was a child, I spent summers with my grandparents...

At their vacation home in Maine.

In those days, there was no road to the house, so one of my favorite chores was to row visitors across the lake.

My mother had three sisters...

And a brother... my uncle orrie.

In August, the men would join their wives and the children, and for two weeks, the family was fully assembled.

Orrie! Orrie!

Orrie! Orrie!

Looking good. Looking good, mccords!

Sit down. You'll tip the boat. My grandmother seemed overwhelmed in their company, but she was the one I loved the most.

We were all dominated by my grandfather.

He demanded ambition and achievement, and we all tried to please him.

Hi. How are ya, darlin'?

Good to see ya.

All of ya come. Let's get that luggage into the house.

The only one who ever stood up to him was babe.

She was my mother's youngest sister... 20 years younger than my mother.

I can take that. It's heavy.

Okay, watch your toes, sweetheart. Watch your toes.

It's good to see ya, Elmer. Was it a hard row across the lake, Anna?

No, it was easy, gram. Anna! Good for you.

Bring that big one.

Well, I tell you, it's certainly good to be here.

Don't spoil your dinner. Yes, well, here we all are.

Wanna come?

My mother doesn't want me to.

You wanna grow up and be just like your mother, Anna?

Through those long summers, babe became my friend.

I was... well, I was the oldest grandchild, and, oh, I was shy.

Already I was a conformist.

All right. Come on.

Hurry up.


Where'd you get the cookies?

Stole 'em... whaddya think?

Compared to the others, you see, babe just seemed so glamorous and unconventional, and I adored her.

what a bunch of fucking assholes. Once again!

I remember there was a time when babe was gone a lot...

With young men in their powerboats from the other side of the lake.

Okay, I'll see ya.

Babe, do you realize what time it is?

You betrayed my trust.

I'm ready, auntie babe.

Can I go too, mom?

Why is everyone so angry at you?

I'm pregnant.

They're just all in a twit.

My boyfriend's not respectable enough.

They're sending me away to Europe.

Do you love him?

How do you know you're pregnant?

You feel it. Your body changes.

How does it feel?

Like... that.

You wanna see? Sure.

You get bigger here.

And your nipples get fatter.

And down here it gets all tight.

You wanna feel?

Come here.

It's amazing, huh?

Babe, come on.

A week later, babe left for Europe with one of my aunts.

I learned later that she'd had her baby in Switzerland...

And gave it up two days afterward.

one at a time.

And as I grew up and began to drift away, I saw babe less and less.

Then... oh, she'd appear at family gatherings...

Often having had a lot to drink.

I'm fine. It's just...

Oh, god, would you quit?


What is the rush, orrie?

It's late. Father will be waiting.


Babe! Watch... What the hell...

God... oh, shit. Oh!

Hey! Don't be an ass!

Goddamn it!

Babe! Come back here!





In the years after babe's death, I often thought of...

Of what she offered me during those summers.

In her presence, it just seemed as if anything was possible.

And I wanted to be like her. I wanted to take risks.

I wanted to feel... I wanted to be a passionate person.

And even now, in spite of everything that has happened, i... I feel...

I really, really had to try.

Mmm! Molly. Molly, please.

Come on. Come and eat breakfast, okay?

Do I have to eat pancakes, mama? Do you have to?

You said you wanted them. And look. Look what I did. What?

Look at this. I made you a picture.

See? What is it?

You have to guess. Is it dog?

No, no. It's much bigger than a dog.

Here let me put your shoe on. Eat something. Go on. A horse?

No. No. And it lived a long, long time ago.

Hmm. A dinosaur!

That's right. That's right. Do you want some syrup with it?

Hmm? What are you doing? I have to get my other shoe.

Oh, no, no, no. You sit back down here and eat your breakfast.

I'll get your shoe. Put some syrup on it. It'll be good.


What is it? Oh, Molly.

I didn't mean to. I know you didn't. Here. Put your shoe on.

Oh. Oh, god.

I wanna help. Just put your shoe on.

It's getting late. Eat something, Molly, all right?

Hi, Alex. How's school?

Oh, wow. Keep up the good work. I'm glad to hear it.

Yeah. I'm fine. Things are going very well.

Oh, Molly's very good. I just wanna thank you for asking. It's just so sweet of you.

She's gettin' to be real big, Alex. See ya later. Good talkin' to ya.

Real good talkin' to ya.

Whoa! Let's take this again. Let's try this again.

Let's take it a little slower. What is your foot doing on the pedal? Huh?

Oh, damn it. I had my foot on that stupid pedal again. I know.

You know, I drive this way. It's gonna kill me someday. Try and play it. Two-four.


Is this the da-gentles? That's the man's genitals. That's right.

This is the lady's? Yes, that is.

It's that funny, huh?

Look at baby worms. I know. Those aren't worms. Those are sperm.

Is the baby in mama's stomach? No, no, no.

Not really in her stomach, honey. She's in her mom's uterus.

How did she get in there?

Well, she got in there 'cause she grew there from this tiny, little egg.

Just like you grew. See? I'm not a egg.

No, you're not an egg. Not anymore, no.

But I think you're a girl who has to go to sleep real soon.

Do you wanna sleep with Sammy or with Julia tonight? What? Julia.

Julia. Okay. Maybe Julia'll put you to sleep real good, huh?

There you go. Okay. There you go. You're tucked in.

Are you gonna sleep with me? No, I'm not gonna sleep with you tonight.

No, I'm not. Close your eyes. Why are you staying here?

I'm just saying good night. Close your eyes. Good girl. Oh.

Don't look at me, mom. Well, I'm not. I'm not looking at you.

Oh, yes, you are. Are you saying I am? Well, I can't help it.

Do you know that? Do you know why? Why?

'Cause it's the way I love you. I love you with these things right here. See? They just...

Eyes, you mean. Yeah, my eyes. Right. They go like this, and they just go like this, and you know what they are?

What? They're eyeball love.

That's eyeball love, Molly, and I got it for you.

Okay. Okay.

I gotta go pee, mama.

Okay, well, we're gonna be there in just a minute.

It's one more minute. One, one, one, one, one.

All right.

no, not a honk. That's a goose. All right.

Did you notice that new wallpaper? Oh, everybody's here.

Hello, Anna. Happy Thanksgiving. All right, everyone!

Hi, darlin'. Hey, Molly, do you have something for gram?

Ah, there we are. Oh, thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving. I know. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Molly, Molly, gram wants to give you some Cranberries. Here.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

Oh, thank you. You got it?

Tilt your hand, honey. What do you hear from your parents, Anna?

Oh, um, well, not much. They're doing fine.

What are you doing these days, Anna?

Um, I'm doing lab work at the college. Really?

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I'm sort of a glorified dishwasher.

Of course, Anna's really a pianist. Isn't that so?

Well, I, uh... I think piano teacher's more accurate, but the lab work helps pay the bills.

Anna, why this bohemian pretense?

It's tiresome coming from a woman your age.

May I see you after dinner?

Of course.

Not with your hands, honey. Okay?

How's Molly been? Oh, fine.

Adjusting to the divorce? Well, yes, pretty well, I think. Mm-hmm.

Your grandmother and I are worried about her. Why?

She shouldn't have to be in day care.

She's not the child of factory workers, after all.

Yeah, well, neither are the children she's in day care with, if that matters.

As we know, your parents have not had a very strong interest, so your grandmother and I would like to make a contribution to your income, the money to be set aside to be used for someone to come to your home and care for Molly.

I'm sorry, grandfather. I really think that she'd just be bored stiff.

But thank you anyway.

You seem to suffer from some romantic ideas about poverty.

Even though you insist on it for yourself, it's nothing short of criminal to inflict it on your daughter.

It's not poverty that I care about, grandfather.

Brian is helping US. We're hardly poor.

You know, it's...

It's independence. It's being my own person.

Here. Keep it. Okay. Thanks.


Hi. Hello. How are you? Hello, Anna.

It's good to see you. Good to see you too. Good to see you.

Well... well.

You don't have to leave right away. Oh, no, no, no.

I thought it'd be easier this way. And, Molly, you can show daddy where everything is.

Okay! Okay, okay. Okay.

Where are you staying? At Ursula's. I left the number on the kitchen counter.

Okay. Bye.

Oh, yeah. Oh, bye.

Don't forget. I won't forget.

Okay? I'm gonna see you when? Sunday night, right? Yeah.

Okay. Bye. Promise?

It's a promise. Bye.


We were right in the middle of the divorce...

When he told me that he was going to marry again.

Yes. This woman Brenda, who was a lawyer in his firm.

And I remember... I remember thinking that I should care about this, that I should really be outraged.

Oh, god. Why am I doing this? Why am I telling you this?

I mean, I must be drunk or something.

I don't know. No, tell it. Go ahead. Tell it.

Yeah? Okay, well, I told him. I said to him straight out... I said...

I could understand him wanting someone else because...

Sex between US was so, um... nothing.

I think that's the phrase I used.

I didn't think I was being cruel or anything. I really didn't.

It's just that it was so... Obviously, it was so true.

I mean, it was like it was, uh...

It wa nothing.

I remember Brian saying, "ohh, well, I never thought so."

How long were you married? Seven years.

That is a long time for nothing sex.

Well, it wasn't all Brian's fault. Mm-mm.

What do you mean?

Well, I never really felt very...

Erotic or... around him.

So that's why you got a divorce.

Oh, no, no, no, no. It was all very reasonable.

Brian's firm was opening an office in Washington.

He wanted to go, and I didn't want to go.

And, uh... and sex had nothing to do with it?

Well, look, it's never really been a priority of mine.

'Til lately.


Oh, please!

Oh, are those yours? Yeah.

I'm sorry. They were sitting in here for so long, and it was the only dryer.

They're still wet, you know? Yeah, they're a little damp.

I'm so tired of this crap. Even in the laundromat, it's dog eat dog.

Look, I said I was sorry. Your clothes were sitting in the dryer.

The dryer had been sitting there...

Excuse me. What's the rule here?

You're supposed to keep your underwear company while it dries or what?

Will you stop feeling sorry for yourself and just put your clothes in the dryer?

Are you finished here? Can I use this now? Yes, I am.

Yes, I am finished. Thank you.

Excuse me. Yeah?

You wouldn't have a quarter, would ya?

I got all this stuff here.

Hmm? Oh, thanks.

I'm sorry I got upset. It's okay.

It's been a tough day. I had my heart set on some dry underwear, you know?

Thank you.

You're very pretty.

I mean it.

Are you picking me up?

I'm trying to. I'm trying to. It's...

It's pretty predictable too.

Yeah, I know. I'm sorry, but I don't do this, you know? I don't normally do this.

I don't pick up girls in launderettes.

Well, I'm sorry. I guess I'm not in the mood.

Leo cutter.

You're not gonna st... Hello, Leo.

Um... Tamara? Brigitte?

Anna. Anna.

Just Anna? Just plain Anna? No parents, no?

Anna. Anna dunlap. Dunlap.

You don't fancy a cup of coffee, do you, Anna?

No, I'm sorry. I feel pretty lousy today.

But thank you. Yeah. Okay.

Well, look, if you change your mind, I'm goin' to a place called Tommy's grill.

Do you know it? About a hundred yards down the street?

I'll be waitin' for this to dry, all right?

I'm off. Come in if you like.


I spy with my eye the letter "h."

What's next? I don't know. You tell me. What's next?

"A." "a"?

"A." I don't know. "A." Air. No? Not air? What?

What is that for? This? Well, this I've gotta put over here on the bulletin board.

I need some piano students desperately.

Oh, god, look. Molly? Molly.


Molly, come here. Come here right now.

You can't run away like that. But, mom!

Here. Look.

Yeah. Ahem.

Anna, you are so bourgeois.

The minute that you find out he has a profession, you're interested.

No, that is not it at all, Ursula. It's just that it's safe.

It means that he's not some kind of a, you know, screwball or something.

My, he's adorable. Call him up.

No, I can't, Ursula.

Why not? I can't! I can't.

Maybe I'll see him, uh, in the laundromat.

Oh! Anna. Anna.

Do you know how few guys are out there that aren't either gay...

Or married or even like women enough to try to pick them up in a laundromat?

I would've followed this guy home on my knees.

Well, I mean, that's you, Ursula.

"Cutter, Leo." Oh.

Now call him up. Oh. Just... just...


No! I can't call a guy.

Six, five, nine, two. Six.

Oh, hello, this is Anna dunlap.

Anna. Uh, Anna from the wet laundry. Right?


Well, um, I was just hoping it wasn't too late to take you up on that offer for coffee.

I mean, I can understand if you'd rather not. It's perfectly fine. What?

Oh. Well... okay.

All right. Well, that's good.

a dog will be yours someday. Ya ready?

that sounds good. Very good. Hi, Brian. Hello.

Hello. Hey. Gonna have fun?

Yeah. Bye-bye.

Okay. Whoa. Aren't we looking pretty tonight.

Oh. Thank you. So are you going someplace special?

Oh, I have a date. Ah. Well... oh. Well, you look great.

Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm off. Bye. Bye.


Arlene Bennett. Roomful of blues. Give 'em a big round of applause.

Hey, Leo, my man. What's happenin'? How ya doin', butch?

Okay. Anna, butch. Butch, Anna. Butch. Hello.

Hi. Hello. How ya doin'?

Hey. I'll catch you later, yeah?

Yeah, man, I'll talk to you later.

Do you wanna dance, Anna? I... no, I can't. I just...

Why not? I'm only joking. I'm only joking. Why not? I really can't.

No, don't ask.

I mean... watch yourself. Oh!

My real name isn't Leo anyway. It's Lauren.

Well, what made you change your name? Oh, god.

Come on. "Lauren." Listen to it. You know, it's "Lauren."

It's up your nose somewhere. So inward, you know?

But "Leo"! "Leo" goes out there. It's like, you know, "Leo!"

Uh-oh. It's like "Anna." You know, "Anna!"

It's out there. It's a statement. Well, what happened?

Well, by then, I had this fellowship to Yale. I mean, I didn't have a clue.

I'd just come over from Ireland, and i'm with all these guys...

That are supposed to be the cream of the crop.

I thought they were terrible. So, I started puttin' all this odd stuff into my sculpture.

Yeah? Like car parts, industrial refuge.

Weird stuff like that. Just to get at them, you know? Did you?

Yes. Oh, yes! Did I get them!

You know, it was the first time in my life I thought I might be really good.

And then, yesterday, yesterday, I hear that...

One of these guys wins a Grant that I'd applied for.

I'd like to wring his neck, I tell you.

There are other grants. Yeah, but that's not the point, you know?

I mean, we both applied, and he won.

Doesn't mean he's better than you. Aww.

What are you doing? Well, somebody thinks so, you know?

Some boring old fart thinks so.

Garbage men. Yeah.

Always on strike. Ahem.


Watch your step. Oh, thank you. Thank you.

Oh. Oh! Well.

This is your work. Yes. "Celtic twilight."

Hmm. What's...

What's this? Oh. What...

Yeah, it's... this is, uh...

Well, it's... it...

It's a lamp shade made of metal.

It's a thing. This is "drunken boat."

Ooh. That?

"The worshiper."


Oh. Hmm. Yeah.


What is this? Why do you have that? Well, I may use it in a piece someday.

Oh. Along with this. I don't know. Maybe.

Maybe. Yeah. Maybe. Maybe. Well.

Some music? All right. Sure. Music. That'd be good. Sure.

These shadows, huh? I like them.

Yeah? Well... This piece isn't done?

No, it's not really finished, you know? Mmm.

You see, I sometimes use the shadows in the wall. You do.

See? Just to make... just to make... yeah.

Just to make... just a little strange. Play with it. Come on. Try it.

No, no, no. I can't. I really can't do it. Why?

Come on. Of course you can. Let me take your coat. Oh.

Sure. Ahem. Yeah.

It's a good way to learn how to dance. It's a good way, yes. Dance?

No, no. That's the thing... I can't dance, no. I said the wrong word.

Come on. Try it and see. Just relax. Just relax. Oh, god, relax.

Come on. Listen to the music. Watch your shadow on the wall. I do not exist. I'm not here.

Okay. Just... we do the shapes. Yeah. Come on. Ya see that there?

Come on. Yeah. Yeah. Go like, like that?

What's that? Come on. You're doing it. You're doing it.


There you go. That's it.

Hmm. Yeah. That is it, yeah. Hmm.

Right. Just relax. There. You see? Yeah? Relax?

Yeah. Move your body. Yeah.

Move your body. Move my body.

That's it. Now make a shape. Make a shape.

Make a shape? Like... that's it.

That's it. Make a shape.

Well, i... you're doing it.

Let me think. Come on.

Now move your body. There you go.

You've done this before.

What are you... Kiss me. Kiss me.

Oh, no. Oh... Oh, you're beautiful.

Yeah. What? What?

Oh, yes.

Oh, no, wait. Wait. What... what are you...

I... I don't know about this. Wait. Wait. What?

Let's do it this way. You do it.


Mom, it's for you. All right.

Ooh. Well, thank you, mademoiselle.

Thank you so much. Hello?

Oh, hello. Hi.

Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's my moll.

Who is it, mama? Sure is. Um... well, yeah.


Wednesday night. That'd be really good.

Okay. All right.


Come here. Give me your face. Who was that, mama?

Give me your beautiful face.

You mean me? Ooh, you're so attractive.

Excuse me.

Well, I don't know. I... I was scared.

Uh-huh. Scared. Of what? Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Oh, of waking up next to you. Uh-huh.

Yeah. You know. Why did that scare you?

Because. All that intimate stuff, you know?

Getting up and being your ugliest self.

And besides, the truth is, I didn't know if you'd want me there.

Why didn't you ask, Anna?

I am. I am. I'm asking.

Yes. Yes. Yes. And I want you there tomorrow morning too.

I can't tomorrow.

Why not?

Because I have a baby-sitter, and I have to be back by 11:30 tonight.

Uh-huh. Does that mean we're gonna make love as soon as we get back to my place?

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, we could do that.

Oh... don't. Oh, no. I want to take a look at you under here. I do. I do.

No, no, no. Oh, yeah. I'd love to see that.

Oh, Leo, please. Where? I'd love to look under there.

Yeah, it's charming. I've seen it. I really... I've seen it.

It's... you know? What's with the ostrich impersonation, huh?

I don't know.


I don't know.

What? "What?" come here. You're disappointed, aren't you?

No. Mm-mm. You are. Tell me.

Not in you.

What, in you? Well, I don't think... you know...

You don't think what? I don't think...

I don't think I'm very good at it.


Oh, come on. I don't.

Anna. What?

So what? So, we can fix that.

We can? Yeah. We can fix that.

I don't know. You'll get a tad of cutter's medicine.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.

Yeah. Now if we do it, then can I look at you?

Huh? Yeah?

Yeah. Okay.


Hmm? Now can I look at you?

Oh, boy.

Oh, yeah.

Over here. Come on. Come on.

Okay, boy. Okay, boy. Right. That's a good boy. That's a good boy.

Whoo! Yea!

Yea! There it is! Come on, boy. That's the best!

Go get 'em, wrecker. Great!

Hey, listen. Come here.

Here. Leo!

Hey, Leo.

All right. "Couldn't find the damn thing," eh?

Where'd you get it? Yeah. It's beautiful?

All right. Well, it came in, and I knew he was gonna go for it. You like it, right?

I love it. I love it. See? I know what he likes.

I know. Salmon, he likes.

Reminds me of my wife. Aw, come on, you clown.

Get outta... hey, wrecker, bite his ass.

Kill this one. Wrecker.

Hey, wrecker. That's no way... bite his ass. Not that ass.

You trained that thing, didn't you? Get outta here, you clown.

Beat it. Get outta... help!

It's too tight, mama. Well, that's okay.

Push hard. I know. It's a little sticky. You can get it though.

Hi. Hi. Hi.

I know, we must look like a couple of rubber canaries.

That's very yellow.

Uh, yeah, I know.

I need a bandage, mama.

Molly, you don't even have a blister. Come here. Come here.

Molly, this is Leo. Leo, this is Molly.

Hi, Molly. How are ya?

Molly. Aren't you gonna say hello to Leo?




Oh, wait. Let me grab a carrot. Wait.

Whoa. Whoa, moll. Molly! What are you gonna...

Molly, you're gonna wait for US at the crosswalk, right? Good.

What? I know.

Take Leo's hand, honey. No, you're not gonna take it.

Okay, hold mine. Hold mine.

Vroom. Vroom.

Vroom. It needs wheels.

It needs wheels? Wheels. Uh, well... wheels. Right.

What are they? What... somethin' round or somethin' square, moll? Round.

Well, what's here that's round then, moll?

Right over here.

Perfect. Would you make it for me?

Well, I'll show you how to make one for yourself, all right? You make it.

That's what I meant.

Oh, okay. Now I've got it. Is Leo going home now?

No, he's gonna go home in a little while. You wanna say good night to Leo?

Yeah. Night, Leo. Okay.

Night, moll. Thanks for the car.

Oh, my pleasure, Molly. Sleep well.

Here. Give me the car. Let's put the car to sleep.

You go to sleep. Bye-bye. Bye.



I'll tell you something. What?

I think she really likes you.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Me?

Yeah, I think she really likes... I like you.

You like me? Yeah.

How much do you like me? Oh.

Do you like me as much as I like you? I hope so.

Do you know how much I like you? How much?

I like you like that. Yeah?

Yeah, and I like you like...

I like you. I like you.

Mama! Molly? Come on in.

Oh. Oh, yes. There you are.

I thought I heard somebody, mom.

I don't think so. Uh-uh.

What... whoa. Now, Molly, you make sure you ask who it is at the door.

Okay, mama. Who is it?

It's Leo, Molly.

Hey, Molly. Just thought I'd come by and say hello. Are you gonna stay?

I was gonna stay for a little while if that's okay with you. Could we make another car?

Another car? That's a good idea. Yeah.

Let's do that. Okay. Come on.

"But the unhappy Princess couldn't decide...

"Which of her many suitors she wanted to marry.

And her father, the king, was not..." look at that. One king, right?

Are you sure that's a king? Course I'm sure that's a king.

He's wearin' a crown, isn't he?

"Her father, the king, was not famous for his Patience.

"He told the Princess he would hold a race to the top of the glass mountain, and whoever reached the castle first would win her hand in marriage."

I really do think you can see into someone's character...

By the way they play the piano.

Right? Like, for instance, Ursula. Ursula.

Yeah. She has this way of just completely forgetting the tempo altogether.

She just puts her head down and races to the finish... sorry. Was I talking too much?

Huh? No. No. I was enjoying it. No?

Uh-huh. But I noticed that you'd stopped enjoying it.

To tell you the truth, Anna, your lab work, the piano students, the lab work...

It's all pretty interchangeable, isn't it? Well, maybe. Maybe.

I think I feel more utilized with my piano lessons. Oh, Jesus, Anna.

"Utilized." god.

I mean, I just can't stand the way that, you know, you think about your work, your life.

You don't even have work in the sense I'm talkin' about.

Okay, well, what sense is that?

Well, I'm talkin' about a passion, right? A commitment. Oh, boy.

A commitment to something else other than a way to put food on a table.

Well, I have a commitment like that, Leo. I do. What? To music?

No. To Molly. And to doing carefully and well what I do.

Oh, come on. "Careful." These words. Let's not talk about it.

No, wait a minute. I'd like to talk about it. You listen to me for one minute, Leo.

I remember it used to be that men would say, "okay, I want a woman who..." and then the list would be slightly different.

"I want a woman who can cook and who can sew..." uh-huh.

Uh-huh. All right? "Who can entertain my friends."

Yeah? It's still the same thing. It's still your list.

It's still your rules. It's still your game. No. No. That's not it.

I'm just an extension of you, so I better look good to the world.

That's not it at all. Then what is it, Leo?

I'm talkin' about... what if I had been a real musician?

What if I had been a composer? Or what if I had been a performer?

Would that have done the trick for you? Don't make fun of me.

No, I'm not. I really mean it, Leo.

Because I might've been. That was the plan for me.

It's just that I wasn't good enough.

So I made a different kind of life for myself, Leo, with Molly!

And I'll tell you something. She is my commitment.

And I'll tell you, I hate... I really hate to be told that there's no honor in it.

Who's talkin' about honor? Especially by somebody as lucky as you are...

With the good fortune of being good at what you do.

Anna. Anna, come here.

What is it? What do you want? I'm sorry.

No, you're not. Leave me alone, Leo. I'm sorry. No, wait.

No! What are you doing? I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

You're not sorry. You meant what you said. I am. I don't. I didn't...

I don't know what I meant. Please, please. I don't know what I meant, Anna.

I'm sorry, darling. I'm sorry.

Jesus, Anna. What?

I'm sorry! Yeah?

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Oh, Molly. What is it? What's the matter? What is it?

I had a bad dream, mama. What's the matter? What happened?

Something scare you? I was playing a game, and Jerome kept taking my toys away.

Oh, no. What? Every time he did that, mama.

So Jerome did that to you? He did that to you in your dream?

He made me cry. Shh. Oh, he made you cry.

I'm sorry.

You just stay right here 'til you're better.

You can just stay with US.



Oh, Leo. I love you so much.

Oh, wait. This is with me, huh? That's yours.

Molly, let's put this on, all right?

Good girl. Okay.

Expressway service to Washington national airport.

All right now, Molly.

You're gonna be a good girl, okay? 'Cause I'm gonna miss you a lot.

I'll miss you too. I know. I know.

Well, it's gonna go real fast, and you'll have lots of fun with daddy.

How many days is it, mama?

How many days are in a month? How many?


You're so smart, Molly. Okay. Bye-bye.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Bye.

I'll see you, okay? Oh, wait a minute.

Guess what? I made this for you. I made this for you.

What is it? You're gonna listen to it. You guess. You find out.

Will I know it? Maybe.

Okay. Bye-bye.

Bye, mama. I love you.

Bye-bye. Brian, call me.

Yeah, I'll call you. Thank you. Okay.

Set it? Just over there. Straighten out.


New York, New York.

I'll see you soon, eh? All right.

I guess that's it. Do you really have to leave quite so soon?

I do. I gotta go. Do you really? Really?

Yeah. Look, it's only for three days. Okay. I know.

Sure you won't change your mind and come? No, I can't.

I really can't. I got all that stuff to do at the lab.

Come on. We'd have fun. What about you? Maybe we could meet later tonight.

I don't wanna hit traffic and stuff like that, you know? Come on. Do it.

Yeah? Just for a while.

Okay. No, I'm not. I'm goin'. I'm outta here. Get away. Get away from me, woman.

Here. Here's something for you.

For me? Yeah? It's a photograph of me, yeah.

Wait, wait, wait.

See ya. Yeah. See ya.

Bye. Guess what? Come here.

What? You're not going.

You're comin' with me. I knew you'd change your mind.

I want to go with you. Wait. Whoo-hoo. Bye. Bye! I'll see you.

So, Alex, are you studying hard?

Oh, well, no. I tell ya, I wouldn't worry about it.

I'm sure it's going to be perfectly fine.

Me? Well...

Oh, well, you know, a lot has... well, it's changed.

It's really changed since the last time we talked.

I, uh... I met this guy.

And... I don't know. It's kinda, kinda changed my life.

I mean... yeah.

Yeah, it's kinda changed my life.

Hi, Anna. How are ya?

Oh, I'm okay. How are you doing?

Good. How are the kids?

Oh, they're great. That's good.


Hello, Anna. Brian, is something wrong? Where's Molly?

Well, I just came by, Anna, to, uh, tell you that I'm keeping her.

What do you mean? She's staying with me and Brenda.

She's not coming back to you. I'm going back to Washington tonight.

What are you talking about? Ask your boyfriend.

Why don't you just ask your boyfriend what i'm talking about. Leo! Leo?

Yes. Ask Leo why i'm taking Molly away from you. Wait. Wait, wait.

What are you talking about? I don't understand what you mean.

Oh, you just don't have any idea what I'm talking about? That's right.

I don't know what you mean. All right. I came by out of a sense of fairness, Anna.

I just wanted to tell you face to face. You see, I have filed papers.

There's gonna be a hearing. You're gonna be getting a subpoena.

Brian, wait a minute. I would get a lawyer if I were you.

Brian, I don't understand what you're talking about. What do you mean?

This guy live with you? He has his own place, but he stays with US sometimes, yes.

Yes, and you've left her alone with him? Of course I have.

She likes him. They have fun together, Brian. Ask him about the fun, Anna.

What are you suggesting, Brian, that he did something wrong with Molly?

He did, Anna! Well, he didn't.

That'll be the argument in court.

And let me tell you something else. You better get someone very good.

Because I'm gonna win this. She told me. She's told the shrink.

He did it, Anna. You ask him! No, Brian! He didn't do it!

And you let him! You're in charge of her, and you let him! He did not!

No, Brian, wait!

Brian... I'm not gonna argue this with you.

I came by to tell you because I still have some feelings for you, some pity for you, but I'm not gonna argue with you.

Just get a lawyer. Get a fuckin' lawyer.

No! Brian, wait! Go.


Wait. Billy. Billy, get over here.


Oh, boy. Oh, dear. Oh, no.

Okay. Ohh. Okay.


Three, three...


Hello? Um...

Leo cutter, please.

Uh, yeah, frank Dawson from the district attorney's office.

I have a 2:00 with, uh, attorney Miller...

Could I just call down, please?

Well, he has a client right now. Would you like to wait?

Oh, thank you.

Mrs. Dunlap. Nice to see you again. How are you? Good to see you.

Mr. Muth, this is Leo cutter.

Mr. Cutter. Come on in. Mr. Muth.

Okay. Thanks.

This way.

Sit down, Mr. Cutter.

Bring the papers with you? I did. Yes.

Mm-hmm. Thank you. Yeah.

Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum.


Well, Mr. Cutter, Mrs. Dunlap and I have been through some of this on the phone, and I think it would help me to find out just what it is...

That's got Mr. Dunlap so fired up here.

What happened? How often? That kinda thing. It happened once.

Can you fill me in on it a bit, Mr. Cutter?

It happened about a month ago.

Anna was working at the lab, and she'd left Molly with me.

She was going to get back in time to tuck her in.

It was hot, and i'd been working all day, and I wanted to take a shower.

Molly was playing in her room, so I told her where I was in case she needed me.

I got in the shower, and just as I finished, Molly came in.

I'd forgotten to get a towel, so I asked her to get me one.

She got it and handed it to me.

And as I was drying off, I noticed her staring at me.

She'd seen me naked before so I didn't think anything of it.

She'd come in before when you were taking a shower?

Yeah. Sometimes we talked while I was in the shower. She liked the company, I guess.

Anyway, when I'd finished, she just said out of the blue, "is that your penis?"

She was learning those words, that stuff, you know?

She had a book that Anna had been reading to her that explained about babies...

Where babies come from.

Still have the book?

Yes. So...

I just said, "yeah, it is."

I felt a wee bit uncomfortable about it, actually, but I'd seen how relaxed Anna was about things like that, and I didn't want to screw it up.

I tried to seem natural, not cover up or anything.

Okay. And she said, "can I touch it?"

I didn't think about it for more than a second. I just said, "sure," and she did.

And that was that? Yeah. Pretty much.

She'd talked about it some more that night.

She knew a little bit about the facts of life, about sex.

And then I put her to bed.

Well, did you discuss this with Mrs. Dunlap when she returned?

No. Why not?

I felt embarrassed, I guess. And I thought I'd handled it okay.

I didn't see it as a problem.

Well, can I ask, Mr. Cutter, why you didn't tell the child that she couldn't touch you?

You said you felt uncomfortable.

I thought Anna would've wanted me to be as relaxed and as natural with Molly as she was...

About her body and that kind of thing.

So you might say you misunderstood the rules.

I thought I understood them.

Well, what were the rules around Molly in terms of nudity?

Well, they were pretty relaxed.

When you were married to Mr. Dunlap, pretty much the same kind of rules?

Less relaxed.

Okay. Well, Mr. Cutter, we'll have a lot more to chat about.

But for now, if it's all right with you, I'd like to talk to Mrs. Dunlap alone for a couple of minutes, hmm?

It's good to talk to you, Mr. Cutter. I appreciate your honesty.

Well, anything you wanna tell me about Mr. Cutter? Any doubts about him?

Any signs of aberrant behavior?

No. No. I mean, he's not a very conventional person, but I trust him with Molly.

And so, it was just in this case that he misunderstood you.

No, he was doing what he thought was right.

In what sense do you mean? Look, Mr. Muth, um, I have tried to raise Molly freely.

I didn't want her to be ashamed of her body or think that it was something she had to hide.

I think he was just trying to honor that.

Well, I believe him, but, uh, I think we're gonna have to down-pedal this permissive business, Mrs. Dunlap.

We both know it's probably healthier for a kid to be open about sexual stuff, but I don't think it makes much sense to try and educate the judge about it.

But if we explain how it happened, if we explain the context in which it...

All right. Well, we'll do that. We'll do that.

But these judges are very conservative.

What they hear all day long is terrible stuff: Child abuse.

Rape. Child molestation. After a while, they lump everything like that together in their minds.

I mean, I can understand how it happened, and you can understand.

But I can also tell you how their attorney is going to present it, and it's not going to sound good.

So what are you suggesting we do?

I think we focus on how happy she was with you, how responsible you were.

Mr. Dunlap is a bit of a workaholic.

His wife's got the same kind of a job, and so, it's pretty much a choice...

Between a loving mother and a paid baby-sitter.

And we'll let 'em bring up the sexual stuff with cutter.

But we're not going to defend it or tie it in to the idea...

Of sexual openness or anything.

It's just going to be a mistake he made.

Sound reasonable?


You mean blame Leo, huh? That's the strategy.

That's pretty convenient, isn't it? We just find somebody to sacrifice.

Why don't we just build ourselves a bonfire? Do you see it another way?

I don't see how Brian has the right to do this... to sit in judgment on my life like this.

He doesn't know Leo. He doesn't know how we live. Well, all I'm telling you is...

What if we told the truth? How about the truth? Which is?

The truth is that... that Leo would never hurt Molly, that Molly wasn't hurt.

He may have made a mistake, but he was just trying to do what he thought I wanted him to do.

It's Brian who's got this all wrong. It's Brian who's got this all twisted around.

And now you're trying to make it sound like there's something wrong with Leo...

Something wrong with US.

Mrs. Dunlap. What?

I'll represent you in any way you like, but I think the point here is to get Molly back...

And not to enlighten the judge on sexual morality.

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Are we in agreement on that?

Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Anna. What?

Anna, come here. What?

I've said this before, and I guess I'm gonna keep sayin' it.

I am sorry. I don't think it's all your fault, Leo.

I think your lawyer does. No, he's just trying to help me get Molly back.

Huh? How much is it gonna cost US? It's not your problem, Leo.

Anna, it is my problem if I lose you.

That's not what's at stake here, is it? You losing me?

Where's your baby?

Oh, she's staying with her father for a month.

Oh. Yep.

Yeah. It must be hard.

You must miss her. I do.

Very much. What was his name?

Brian. Oh.

Yeah. Brian.

Mmm. Divorced.

We just couldn't make each other happy, gram.

I know that must be hard for you to understand, but...

I understand.


There was a time in my life where I used to wake up every morning and wish I'd died.

Just wish i'd passed away in the night.

I never would have done anything, you know, but...

Each day, I'd open my eyes sorry that I had to.

How long did you feel that way?

Ten years. Fifteen years, I suppose.

Never knew that, gram.

Why should you? No one did.

What ended it?

When babe came. Oh. Yeah.

Your grandfather didn't take too much of an interest.

He hadn't wanted her in the first place.

He'd got his son by then.

She was mine, I felt.

The only one that was.

The only one that was.

You wouldn't believe how handsome your grandfather was when I first met him.

I thought I'd die if I didn't get him.

I just thought I'd die.

I didn't know anything about it.

Why, Anna. To what do we owe the pleasure?

Hello, grandfather.

Yikes! It's Anna! Hi, Celia.

Where's my blueberries? Right here, my sweet.

You remember Garrett. Of course.

Thank you.

Anna wants to borrow money.

I think they're a bit early this year, don't you think?


Well, Anna?

Uh, I need money.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude. Uh, I just do.

You'll forgive my curiosity. I'm wondering why the urgency.

You haven't rushed up here because you suddenly decided to hire someone...

To care for your daughter, surely.


Um, Brian started a custody suit.

He wants Molly. I need money for a lawyer.

What makes him think he can win such a suit?

He believes he has grounds. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I thought only a mother's incompetence would be sufficient grounds.

Uh, he has... he has grounds.

He has grounds based on your incompetence.

I've had a lover, grandfather.

Not an unusual event for a woman in my situation...

Someone living with me, essentially.

Molly's been aware of it.

She's... seen some of it, not to put too fine a point on it.

Anyway, she must have said something to Brian, and, uh, he's angry.

And you've talked to a lawyer.

Mm-hmm. And?

He wants $4,000 to start.

No, I meant what does he think your chances are for keeping custody?

I don't know. I think he feels...

That Brian has a reasonable chance.

And who is this lover of yours, this man whom Molly has seen too much of?

Does it, uh, really matter?

To me, it does, yes. Why?

Why not? Because... Because it just...

It seems like prying to me.

But you would like my money.


It seems to me I have the right to ask a few questions then. I'm so...

I just don't see the relevance of my personal life beyond what I've already told you.

If you're not going to give me the money, why don't you just say so?

And I'll figure out what to do. I'll just figure out what to do next.

Are ya still seeing this man?

Are you? Here now. Stop this.

You don't need to concern yourself with this, my dear.

I'm talking to you, frank.

This is between Anna and me. Anna has asked me for help.

Then hadn't you better help her? That's for US to arrange.

I have money too. You could ask me, Anna.

That's not what your money's for, Eleanor.

It's for whatever I wish. You're not to spend your money on the family.

That's not the way we do it.

You could ask me, Anna.

Anna has asked me. But you're not giving it to her.

Yes, I am!

You are?


I will give Anna the money, Eleanor.

Let me see.

That's that, then?


Thank you.

Well, good for you, frank.

I think I'll nap now. I skipped that today, getting the berries and so on.

I think you should.

Can't you see? She told me what to say.

I don't care what she told you. She's not your lawyer.

Now, the name is harkessian.

She'll be making her recommendation...

On how Molly will spend her time while this is all being worked out.

How often you get to see her, that sort of thing. Mm-hmm.

Now, she'll want to know how this all happened. Mm-hmm.

Remember what we decided: You're sorry. Uh, Leo misunderstood you.

Uh, maybe both of you used bad judgment, etc., etc. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

But the main thing is it was a mistake. That's very important.

Mrs. Dunlap? I'm Mrs. Harkessian.

Hello. Won't you come in, please?

Mr. Muth. Dunlap. How are you?

I think he simply misunderstood me...

My attitudes about sex and how I was raising Molly with respect to them.

I mean, I can understand how it might have happened, but, um, I didn't condone it.

I don't con... I don't condone it.

Mr. Dunlap thought that there were times...

When you and Mr. Cutter had Molly in bed with you.

I wonder if you can explain to me your thinking on that.

Is that what Molly said? It's what Mr. Dunlap said.

W-Well, she couldn't have known. The only time we were having intercourse, she was asleep.

But you did actually have intercourse while the child was in bed with you?

Oh, no, no. I-It's not the way it sounds.

I mean, it's not, um... We didn't actually...

Look, see, Molly...

Molly'd had a bad dream, and, um, she came into the bedroom...

But we weren't making love with her right there, not like that.

It wasn't like something you'd imagine... but she was in bed with you?

Well, she was asleep, and, uh, it was just that once.

And it... it was a mistake.

It was a mistake.

Okay. Is there anything that you'd like to add or any questions you might have?


No, just, well... good.

I'll go get Mr. Dunlap.


And we'll make arrangements for visitation.

Mr. Dunlap?

Get off the swing. It's my turn! No, I don't have to.

Get off now! Now! No!

No, she doesn't have to. Nick?

Larry. Hey, Larry! Don't. Let's not fight, okay?

You can use the swing, but don't fight.

That's better. See?

Mama! Molly?

Molly! Well, look at you!

Look at this dress!

You look so... oh! Look at you.

Hello, Anna.

Hello, Brian. I'll be back to pick her up on Wednesday morning.

Okay. Fine.

There's a list in here of all her things so it doesn't get mixed up.

Good. Good.

Bye, babe. Got a kiss for daddy?

I love you.

Hey, look at this person! Oh-oh! This is a heavy person.

I know. You do know? How do you know?

Have you been on a scale? No.

But I've been on a skateboard. You've been on a skateboard?

Dad took you on a skateboard?

Thank you. You're welcome.

So, um, could you describe Molly for me, please?

She's bright and imaginative.

Um, pretty private, I guess.

Right now she seems a little bit tense. I think she's afraid of letting me out of her sight.

I was wondering why you think Mr. Dunlap is doing this now.

I mean why he's trying to get custody.

Oh, well, um, I can imagine him hearing whatever it was Molly had to say...

And just, uh, freaking out.

I mean he's, uh, a very careful man.

A-And a caring man in a lot of ways.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

But, uh, tell me why you think he didn't call you.

I mean, I was told by your attorney that you had a fairly amicable divorce...

So why wouldn't he just, you know, call you up and say, "what is it? What's going on?"

I don't know. Um, maybe it wasn't so amicable after all.

Maybe he's jealous in some ways. He... he wants to get back at me.

Um, let's focus a little bit on why it was that you allowed Molly to be in bed with you...

While you were having sex.

You seem to be attacking me. Uh, i-in what way?

Oh, I don't know. I really don't know, but I, uh, I hear you blaming me.

Well, you may have heard blame, Anna, but I assure you...

That all I was expressing was curiosity.

Yeah, well.

Well... I felt...

I-I honestly... I honestly didn't feel...

With Leo that...

That there was a need for...

All the... the rules and the lines.

I mean, we were... all of US...

We were very happy.

We had been naked around her. It's true.

But it was...

It was all part of this, um, this world that Leo had opened up to me where...


Well, where I was...

I was beautiful, and our sex together was beautiful and...

And, and, Molly was... she was part of our... part of our love, part of our life and...

I really think you have to understand that... you see, with, um, Brian, we just stopped having sex a long time before we split up.

I was, um, I was frigid with him and...

Well, i'd, i'd, uh, I'd always been frigid.

But... well...

All of that... you see, all of that changed with, um, with Leo.

My life changed, and i... I really think that...

That it was... It was good for Molly.

You know? So that night, when she...

When she came into my room and... and I held her and...

And she fell asleep...

Well, yes, we were. We were making love. I-It's true, but...

I'm sure... I-I'm really convinced that...

That she didn't know.

I see. And I think it was in that context...

That Leo, you know, let her touch him because...

He misunderstood...

What the boundaries were.

I mean...

She asked; She was curious; He let her.

But he shouldn't have.

It was... it was a mistake.

He made a mistake. We both made mistakes.

I just... I don't want to lose her.

I really don't want to lose her.

Now, Mr. Dunlap, During these visits with Molly...

At Mrs. Dunlap's apartment, did you notice any changes...

In Molly or... Or in her environment?

Yes, uh, the first indicator was...

When my ex-wife would get calls from different men.

Objection. The witness doesn't know who called...

Of whether they were "different."

I'll sustain. Well, she would get calls from a male person...

Or persons, and by my next visit, there was evidence that a man was staying there.

Objection. Sustained.

You found articles in the house that belonged to a man.

Right. A razor, a can of shaving cream, hiking boots in the closet, that sort of thing.

How did you feel about that, Mr. Dunlap?

Well, I might have, uh, been a little jealous.

You know, Molly's my little girl. Is this guy gonna come in and take my place?

That sort of thing. Did you notice any other changes?

Changes in behavior?

She was very curious about my body.

Well, about our bodies... My wife's and mine...

In a way that seemed, uh, new, uh, and inappropriate to me.

We'd always been very careful not to, uh, distress her or scare her...

By having her see US... naked.

Uh, when you say "we," you mean?

Well, uh, in both marriages.

It seemed to me that Molly was, um, well, had changed around this issue...

That there was something preoccupying her or frightening her.

And then one time she asked me, just asked me straight out...

I was shaving... If she could see it, and I said...

"No. That's my business."

And she said, "well, Leo lets me see his penis. He lets me touch it."

Objection. That's hearsay. Sustained.

You know better, counsel.

Thank you, Mr. Dunlap.

Mr. Dunlap,

were you aware that, uh, Molly had a book which explained sex to her?

No. You were not aware of that?

No. Uh, were you aware that the day care center...

Had done a project on anatomy and body parts with the kids, which included sexual parts?

No. Well, now that you have been made aware, Mr. Dunlap, uh, doesn't it seem clear...

That Molly's preoccupation with sexuality, with your body, her stepmother's...

Might have a great deal to do with learning experiences...

Rather than anything else?

No. No what?

No, it doesn't seem clear to me.

I see.

You all right?

Yeah, I'm fine. Mm-hmm. You sure?

Well, he's good, your husband, but we made our points, I think.

Mr. Cutter, you're next. They're going to make you a hostile witness.

Listen carefully.

Don't let him trap you into something you don't mean to say.

And don't let him rile you. He won't.

I just want a chance to explain it the way it happened.

Mr. Cutter, how long had you gone out with Mrs. Dunlap before you slept together?

Once. Once. I see.

You are, uh, currently unemployed, are you not?

I'm self-employed. I'm an artist. I make sculpture.

But you are not currently working on a job, are you? Not in that sense, no.

A simple "no" is sufficient, Mr. Cutter.

So it would be fair to say that you live an unstable life, economically.

Yes, that's fair. So moving in with Mrs. Dunlap...

Represented a fairly good deal for you, didn't it?

I didn't move in.

You slept there every night and had your meals there.

Usually. But you didn't move in.

No. Well, we won't quibble, your honor.

Mr. Cutter, you took care of my client's daughter from time to time, didn't you?

Yes. You were alone with her.

You bathed her. You put her to bed. Yes.

And on one of these occasions, you were naked in front of the child, were you not?

Yes. And you told her to touch your genitals.

No, I didn't.

You did not tell her to touch you.

No. She asked if she could.

A child asked if she could touch you sexually.

Yes... no. Not sexually.

The child asked if she could touch your genitals.


A six-year-old child spontaneously requests to fondle a grown man.

She was curious. And you said, as anyone would, "yes.

Sure. Great. Go ahead."

I said y... Ahem. I said yes.


Mr. Cutter, let's talk about something else.

On occasion, did you and Ms. Dunlap take Molly to bed with you?

Yes. You would be naked, and the child would be in bed with you.

Neither of US wore pajamas. Molly was in bed with US occasionally, but we never took her to bed with US naked.

Thank you, Mr. Cutter, for that explanation.

So when it happened to end up...

Two naked adults and a six-year-old child in the same bed, on any of these occasions, were you and Mrs. Dunlap actually having intercourse?

Once. So you were making love while the child was in bed with you.

She was asleep. How did you determine that she was asleep?

I could see she was sleeping. Ah. I see.

No further questions, your honor.

Mr. Muth? I have no questions, your honor.

You may step down, Mr. Cutter.

Ohh. I know. I...

You could have told me, you know?

He implied I'd get a chance to tell the story my way, so I was a good little boy...

For the cross-examination, and then he pretends not to fuckin' know me!

He was just trying to help me, Leo. Anna, you know I'll do anything to help you.

To help him help you. I told you that.

If he doesn't want to talk to me in court, great, but just tell me.

Well, I think he just thought maybe you'd perform better or something like...

I don't give a shit what he thought.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Now, Dr. Payne, in your examination of Molly, did she show signs of being traumatized...

By the events mentioned here?

No, I think not.

I don't think she perceived it as frightening or threatening in any way at all.

In fact, uh, I might say that my most relevant observation about Molly...

Actually had nothing to do with these sexual issues at all.

And, uh, what was that observation?

Molly's relationship with her mother is a strong one.

It gives her a certain kind of inner strength...

Which she can take with her wherever she goes.

It actually allows her to move towards the independence which all of US desire for our kids.

Now, what I'm suggesting is that we not compromise that at this point, that we not say to her, "okay, because you've, you've taken all this so well, now we're gonna take the one person with whom you feel some sense of strength away."

That would be putting her at risk, in my book.

Thank you, doctor.

Now, Mrs. Dunlap, would you tell US, please, how Molly reacted to Leo?

Well, she adored him. Um, he worked very hard to get her affection.

He was steady with her, and she enjoyed being with him.

And, um, what was your response...

When you learned of this incident between them?

I was shocked.

Did you express that opinion to Mr. Cutter?

Yes. Do you recall the words you used?

No. Just that I thought it was bad, and I couldn't understand how he could have thought that it was all right.

Now, uh, Mrs. Dunlap, I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to consider it carefully.

If this court gives you custody of Molly...

But it makes a condition of that custody...

That you give up your relationship with Mr. Cutter, what would your response be?

I would be willing not to see Mr. Cutter again.

Okay. Thank you.

That's all.

Mrs. Dunlap, do you disapprove of what Mr. Cutter did?


And yet you allowed your little girl to be in bed with you while you were having intercourse.

Isn't that so? Well, sh-she was very sleepy...

Just yes or no, Mrs. Dunlap.


Do you disapprove of what you did...

In letting the girl watch you have intercourse?

She didn't watch.

Do you disapprove of your own actions? Yes, I do.

And you wouldn't do it again. No, I wouldn't.

Tell me, Mrs. Dunlap. You changed your mind about your behavior.

Isn't that the case? No, I didn't.

No, I did not. But once it was fine and dandy. Now, apparently...

I did not feel that it was "fine and dandy."

But you did it. Yes, I did.

Without feeling it was all right?


She wa... she was asleep.

That's all, your honor.

This hearing is adjourned.

Whatever happened with that?

Well, I took the car down, and I told the guy...

"Look, I want the tires done, and I want..."

So, um, if you get Molly, what... What, am I to be...

What's the word? Dismissed? Is that how you say it?

He doesn't think they're gonna make that a condition, so... uh-huh. I see.

Well, why would they ask the question, Anna?

It's what they all wanted to hear, Leo. I was rehearsed.

I knew the question was coming. There's not a damn bit of truth in the whole thing, is there?

It's all a charade, isn't it? Leo, i...

So what do we do now?

We wait.

How long, do you think?

Maybe Monday.

Well, do I come with you? What? Do I come with you?

No, i... I want to, Anna.

I love you.

Yeah. Well...

Mrs. Dunlap? Mm-hmm?

You can go in. Okay. Oh.

Let me just put this here. Oh, yeah. Good. Good.

Hello, Anna.

Hi. Sit down.


Uh-oh. Huh.

Yeah. Anna, i'm very sorry.

We did everything we could.

Another judge and, uh, the decision might have come out the other way.

Well... is it final?

I'm afraid it is. Yeah.

Well, can we appeal?

They never reverse the trial judge in issues like this.

Later, perhaps, uh, new evidence, we could reopen the case.

Oh! Oh, no! Now, Anna.

Anna, we've got to focus on the positive. Oh!

They're being generous about visitation. You're gonna get a lot of time with Molly.

Now, you just have to make the best of a bad deal. No!


Oh. Oh, Leo.

I'll come in with you, yeah? Huh?

All right, do you want to come round to my place?

You wanna be on your own, huh?

Will you call me? Will you call me?

Anna, call me.

Oh, my...


Anna. I've been calling and calling.

Ursula's been trying to get in touch with you. Are you all right?

I'm fine.

Why didn't you answer the phone?

Talk to me. I don't know what you want.

I would just like to know what the hell's going on here.

My life is ruined, and I'm just, you know...

I'm just trying to find a way to put it back together. So does that mean without me?

It means whatever it has to mean. There is nothing about me...

That has to be, Anna. Oh.

It's all up to you. It's all your choice now. Isn't that true?

No one's made me part of any condition here. Why don't you leave me alone?

Okay, Leo? Just leave me alone, all right? Sure, I can leave you alone.

I can leave you alone and do nothing!

Because I feel guilty... responsible! Because I respect your grief.

I can leave you alone and lose you for sure, or I can struggle with you...

And impose on you and maybe not lose you.

What are you trying to do? Are you trying to argue me into loving you?

Do you think that's going to make it all go away? What do you want me to do?

I don't know. Do you want me to roll over and play dead?

Well, I already did that. I played dead for you and that asshole lawyer of yours.

I agreed. I'm the pervert! I'm the criminal!

I took the rap while you stood up there and pretended I was...

Just some accident that happened to you.

You think that makes up for everything? No!

No, but I didn't do everything. We just pretended I did, and that was fine with me.

All I ever wanted was to make it right if I could.

But you and I know the truth, you know. Some of the responsibility falls on you.

I'll take the rap everywhere else, but here with you, I want the truth.

Don't you think I'm taking the rap too? Huh? How about for the rest of my life?

I did everything I could to make that not happen. What? Leave me alone!

Leave me alone! Get away from me! Stop it, will you?

Just get away! Just get away from me!

Leave me alone! Leave me alone!

Go! Go!


I don't know how long I sat there, but I had a sense of returning to myself...

From a great distance.

Molly took the outcome of the custody hearing real hard.

Occasionally on her visits, she'd cry.

She wanted to know...

Why she couldn't come and live with me.

But slowly, she began to seem better.

My lawyer called, and he told me to watch her.

See if I notice signs...

Of her being unhappy with the situation...

And then we might try and reverse the decision, but I never called him because what I wanted most...

Wasn't to make use of Molly's misery...

But to see it end.

I take heart in knowing that Molly's in a family of her own, and sometimes, I long to be in a family too.

I tell myself I will.

How does she seem to you? Oh, I think she's gonna be fine.

And you, Anna?

I guess, um... I guess i'm starting over, huh?

I have to finish packing. Okay.

Every now and then, Leo calls or... or I call him.

Sometimes late at night.

His voice always lifts my heart, but then...

Somehow we bump up against the impossibility.

Good. You brought the life jackets. Very good.

Here. Get in. Come on. Over here. That's a girl. Good.

All right, ready?


I see Molly...

Every second weekend...

And during school vacations...

And we try to make the most of our time together.

Sometimes I'm all right, but...

Other times, the pain of the loss is terrible.

And then i... I think of something that gram said to me...

When my losing Molly seemed unthinkable...

Something that could never come to pass.

She said...

"Everybody knows you're a good mother, Anna."