The Photograph (2020) Script

Billy, why are we doing this?

Oh, it's just a couple of questions for posterity's sake.

And you know how much work I got to do.

Just play along, Christina.

Well... Fine. Go ahead.

Now, are you glad you came to New York?

Yes.

Do you miss Louisiana?

Parts of it. Hmm.

What parts? The good parts.

And what do you like about New York?

I like my work.

I like being a mother.

What are you thinking?

That I wish I was as good at love as I am at working.

I wish I didn't leave people behind so often.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah, ah Darling, I have to be moved from afar The truth is the only thing Worth holding on to anymore Anymore Untie me Let me loose from the cord I'm so gone, so far I deserve more More, I deserve more Yeah I'm begging you I beg I'm begging you Please come home No one even begs anymore

I'm begging you I beg I'm begging you, please come home...

Hello? Hey.

Uh, Isaac? You the reporter?

Yeah, Michael Block from The Republic.

Come straight back to the kitchen. All right.

Hey. Thank you, again.

Yeah, sit down.

All right. Mmm-hmm.

This will likely be the best boiled crab you ever eaten.

Oh, no, I'm all right. I ate on the plane.

I just offered you crab. That's not the correct response.

Hey, um, do you mind if I record?

Your story's about BP?

Pointe à la Hache.

Uh, Katrina, the oil spill, how it kind of affected things there.

So, did you always fish?

Well, I'm third generation, but I was in the military.

Before that, I was working on an oil refinery for Gulf Oil.

What was it like working for Gulf Oil?

They fired me. Why?

I refused to pump dirty water into the river.

It took us generations to go from sharecropping to independent.

They destroyed us with the oil spill.

This was my wife.

Whoa.

You married?

Uh, I... just got out of something.

She, um... She called while I was flying, man.

She... She told me, "Don't even bother stopping by."

Well...

She probably doesn't mean that.

Ah, she's probably right.

Who's this?

Christina Eames.

She took these other photos.

That was me in '84.

She's great. Yeah.

She from here? Yeah.

She moved to New York. She's a photographer.

Hmm. That was... Does she have more like this?

Um, I'm sure she does.

We lost contact, uh, after she took off, or...

I let her leave.

Thirty years later, still trying to figure that out.

Why don't you just look her up?

Too much time done passed.

Hmm. I don't recommend getting older.

Less people to talk to, more time to go over every regret.


My Mae, There are two letters.

Please read yours first before sharing the second with your father.

Love, Mom.


My Mae, Cancer is a creature lurching through my body.

I waited far too long to face it squarely.

I need to write my way out of the mess I've made.

I hope you won't judge me too harshly.

Sometimes the heart can be so full of love, it's like a weight on your chest making it impossible to move.

That's how I felt when I was with him.


I don't want to write this down I want to tell you how I feel right now I don't want to take no time to write this down I want to tell you how I feel right now Hey...

What's up? Get those photos I sent you?

Yeah, I got 'em. All right.

For you or me, life is not promised Tomorrow may never appear You better hold this very moment Very close to you Right now Very close to you, so close to you...

Oh. How was Louisiana? Good.

And how is the girl?

Huh. It didn't work out. Don't... No.

Shine your light for the world to see...

Oh, coffee for me. Look at you sucking up.

Hey, have you ever noticed how ugly this place actually is?

Mmm-mmm.

It's bleak and confining and it's claustrophobic.

It don't look that bad to me.

Actually, it's fine, it's a really nice building, but look, they won't give me anything to write.

Yeah.

Why don't you do me a favor and, uh, look up this photographer named Christina Eames.

Cool? Oh, all right.

Yeah. Yeah.

Mae?

Yeah. Hey.

Michael Block from The Republic.

Hey.

Uh, after you called, I pulled all my mother's photos from Pointe à la Hache.

Oh, thanks.

Yeah, since she died, I've been going through all her things.

We weren't expecting it. She didn't tell anyone she was sick.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I saw some of Christina's work in New Orleans.

Um, the guy I was profiling showed me a picture of her.

She hated when people took photos of her. Oh.

He said the relationship ended after she left Louisiana.

Well, she wasn't good at staying anywhere.

Or with anyone. Just ask my father. Mmm.

Um, maybe we shouldn't be good at staying places.

That sounds very mobile.

Well, maybe.

So I take it you're not walking down any aisles anytime soon?

Nope. Uh, what about you?

Me? I broke up with my last boyfriend after he proposed.

You got commitment issues?

Wow.

Tact.

You from the City?

Yeah. Oh, okay.

And how long have you been at Queens Museum?

I've been assistant curator for two years.

What about you? How long have you been at The Republic?

Uh, too long, probably. Like, four years.

Oh, wait a minute. This is, uh, Isaac.

You know him?

I don't know. I...

I went to Louisiana once as a child, but...

Yeah.

You know, uh...

Uh, maybe we should talk more.

You know, I mean... maybe you could talk, tell me more about Christina and, uh, Pointe à la Hache.

Uh, I could call you.

On your one day off, why would you choose to come back here?

This was supposed to be a date.

We should go to New Orleans this weekend.

Why?

You question anything that's fun.

What's so fun about New Orleans?

The people are different. And we could dance.

Until I had them memorized...

We could dance right here.

If you don't want to go, I'll just go with Denise and Peter.

You can stay here with Ashley Prentiss.

Why are you bringing up Ashley?

Because she is always hanging around the harbor for no reason, trying to get your attention.

That's not true.

I'm sure she'd be happy to stay home.

How much I do Do love you...

When do you want to go to New Orleans?


Christina.

Why are you slamming my door? Sorry. I... I didn't mean to.

You look pretty. Thank you.

You should wear more dresses.

Where'd you go?

To the harbor, with Isaac.

Isn't that exciting?

I told him he needs to do better.

He's just like his father.

What's wrong with his father?

He ain't got nothing.

Ain't never gonna have nothing. How many times I got to tell you that?

We're just friends.

"Just friends."

"Just friends."

Aren't you sick of telling that sad story?

What's so sad about being friends?

You being rude to your mama? No, ma'am.

Violet.

I'm not gonna sit out here by myself all night.

I'm talking to my daughter.

Trying to teach her something.

Night, baby.

You know, it's so hard being in her apartment right now, Dad.

I just remember being there, desperate for her attention, not getting it.

Thank God that you were there to make my lunches, 'cause she didn't even notice when I started smoking weed.

Well, I noticed.

You did? Yeah.

You never said anything. How could I say anything?

You were stealing it from your mother.

What if I'm just like her?

You're not.

Did you read the letter?

I couldn't at first.

I just don't understand why she couldn't tell me about her life when she was still alive.

Maybe to help you look at her in another way.

What other way?

She wasn't just your mother.

At some point, you're going to have to forgive her and realize she was just a woman... with flaws.

A lot of flaws.

Yeah.

I'll get it. I'll get it.

Uncle Michael! Whoa. Hey.

Look, we'll be just fine.

Yeah, Harlem won't get that much landfall from the hurricane.

Uh, I did that job interview.

Feel like it went well. I might get it.

Wait, what job?

Man, do you listen to anything we ever talk about?

Brother, I'll be trying to, but you know I got two kids under 10. Come on, now.

Associated Press in London.

Oh.

You guys know how it is in the City. It's... I'm feeling caught up, you know?

Sometimes it feels like an accomplishment just to get to the subway.

Plus, Tessa is saying I'm incapable of any kind of change.

Wait, I'm sorry. So you want to move because of Tessa?

I'm not saying that.

I mean, it kind of sound like that.

You hungry? Why would you ask him that?

Don't give him no food. We don't need to feed him.

Why not? What you mean, "Why not?"

First of all, he a grown man, okay? And groceries are expensive.

Mike, let me ask you this. All right? And I'm serious.

Are you actually done with Tessa? Are y'all finished?

Oh, we're finished. Yes, finished-finished.

Good.

Kyle. What? Okay, he was wasting her time.

I wasn't wasting her time, was I?

Definitely. You was definitely wasting her time.

Mom! Dad! Mom, she took my book!

Sandrine and Sofia.

Okay, look, look, how's the story coming?

I interviewed this man named Isaac. He reminds me of Dad.

Uh, he kind of introduced me to this woman.

Kind of? Yeah.

She, um... She's the daughter of somebody that he knew.

Um, she's a curator at the Queens Museum.

Come on, now. Already? "Already" what, man?

You know what I'm talking about, man. Already? You, like, like her already?

You trying to date somebody again?

It ain't my fault I meet people while I work.

And, uh, she's interesting, you know?

Oh, so she's interesting. Yeah.

She's got a lot to unpack. Her mom just died.

So, you're attracted to her 'cause her mama died?

Look... No, I...

Beside the point. Turn around. Let me talk to you.

Why don't you do me a favor, okay? Take some time to yourself, okay?

Figure out what you really want to do instead of jumping into something again.

I don't know. I'd like to see her again.

Oh, those girls are gonna drive me crazy.

I didn't know much about photography when she started taking pictures, but I knew I liked the way she saw me.

Better than I really was.


Hi. Hi, baby.

My ego probably held me back the most, why I couldn't make it work with Christina.

I didn't know how to be with a woman that I had to keep up with.

What would you have done differently?

I would've gone after her.

Yo. What's up, man?

Uh, you want to see a movie?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you.

All right.

Let's do it.

Thinking ahead of time Why don't you spend the night?

I know you love me

Pick up and roll the dice Reading between the lines I know you love me

We can book a flight Wake up in paradise Sun up above us

Tell me you down to ride And you can bet your life No one above you

Said hold on Can't stop love...

Oh, I see what you're here for.

Nah, you don't see nothing.

What you talking about?

What's he doing here?

Who?

Well, now, hold on. Be right back.

Yeah, I'm gonna go talk to her.

I'll meet you upstairs. All right.

Hey, Mae.

Can't stop love

And as long as you're with me I'm definitely...


I was blown away. Are you being sarcastic?

Oh, he's got some follow-up questions.

You gonna help me out?

Uh, as long as I don't have to talk to his friend.

So, you're not gonna help me out?

Fine.

He's cute in an innocent-looking way. He's kind of dewy. It's refreshing.

What is wrong with you?

I'd rather be here.

Yep. Oh.

I need a drink. Are you coming?

Yeah.

I didn't know you were coming.

Well, you were supposed to invite me, right?

I'm sorry. Next time.

Uh-huh.

How's your article coming?

It's all right, you know. It's kind of moving slowly.

How come? 'Cause, uh, well, you know, sometimes good things take time to develop.

How do you know Michael? We work together.

Are you a writer? Kind of.

Why "kind of"?

I'm an intern.

An intern.

Yeah, for now.

How old are you?

Why does it matter?

Of course it matters legally.

I'm a solid 25... in a few months.

How old are you?

That's none of your business.

What did you think about the movie?

Uh, to be honest, I was a little distracted.

What? I...

So I kept running back in my mind how you might respond, uh, to me asking you for a drink after.

So, that was you asking me?

That was elaborate.

In my mind, it wasn't that forward.

You know what I mean? It was more... smoother than that.

I was supposed to call you, I thought.

Yeah, you were supposed to.

But you didn't.

Well, I can't leave my girl Rachel behind, so...

Ah.

Oh, it look like Rachel already left.

Wow.

She's a great friend. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

She just disappear when you need her to. Just... Yeah.

I like Kanye. Yeah?

But I'm just concerned that he don't care about music no more.

He does not. He don't care about us.

That's a valid...

He does not care about us anymore. Uh-huh, uh-huh.

He cares about interior design.

Like, when did he get into that?

Like, I'm not trying to buy Kanye pillows, you know?

That would be fine, actually. That would be. I actually wouldn't mind.

Yeah. Oh, okay, what about Drake?

Drake, okay. See, Drake, for me...

Drake is like the homey. Yeah.

Like, you know, he's like a friend at school who you know.

And who knows us. That's what... Who knows us.

That's what I like about him. He's just in tune.

Yeah. You know, he's, like, in tune with his feelings and my feelings, your feelings...

Oh, no, you didn't.

Sorry. I... No, you didn't.

I'm just bored by the sentimentality, all that.

Okay, who do you like? But, uh...

Kendrick. Oh, no.

Kendrick is my dude, for sure. I'm so sorry.

What? You're telling me you don't like Kendrick?

No, I love... No, I think he's great. I just...

Man, I'm about to flip this table over.

No, hear me out. I just... He makes me feel guilty.

Wait, how so? 'Cause I can't...

I just feel like, uh, everybody can't be a change in the world.

Everybody can't do that. Oh, okay.

It's too ambitious. All right. Mmm-hmm.

You know? You know what?

Now that I think about it, that is kind of ambitious.

Right? We gonna be all right.

It's unfair. Yeah.

What if I don't want to be all right? Right.

Who knows if we're gonna be all right? Who knows that?

Mmm. Wow.

Uh, see, I'm trying to think of how to...

Trying to say something that, you know...

Uh, just trying to be honest and...

Oh, uh, being honest is hard for you?

Mmm-mmm.

I don't want to say the same thing that I've said to another woman.

You know? Are there a lot of other women?

No, there's a lot of first dates.

Yeah, I'm terrible at first dates. I just...

Huh.

No, I just don't know whether to be vulnerable, aloof, funny.

Why don't you just be yourself?

I don't know who that is.

No, maybe I'm just a collection... Fair enough.

...of wrap dresses and Kehinde Wiley prints.

I don't think so.

You ever wonder if we're just...

If we're just who we're around in the moment?

I would think that it's important that we pay attention to who we surround ourselves with, then.

True.

Yeah.

What?

I'm wondering if it's not too early in the night to kiss you.


It wasn't too early.

Ah. I see.

What was it like?

I don't know. It felt like we... kissed before.

Yeah, and he called me right after.

To say what?

To say that he thought that I was...

Thought that you were what?

Special.

See? This is why I can't tell you anything.

I knew I shouldn't have told you.

Why do you keep doing this? Doing what?

You know. You act like you all in, right?

And it don't even last longer than what, 12 weeks?

All right, well, what about Tessa?

What do you mean, "What about Tessa?" Come on, bro.

That only lasted 'cause you didn't have to see her every day.

Here you go. Thank you.

And by the way, thank you so much for bailing on me after the movie.

Oh, Andy and I were just pawns last night.

We ditched you, and then I ditched him.

Okay.

Where are you going?

New Orleans.

With who?

Denise and Peter.

Who else?

Who else is going?

Isaac.

I'm spending the night.

What are you planning to do?

In New Orleans? No.

Christina, I'm asking what you planning to do with your life.

You can't just walk around town taking pictures.

How you plan to make money?

Isaac can't take care of you.

I don't want him to take care of me.

You expect me to keep taking care of you? No.

You're getting too old to live with me.

Are you telling me I need to leave?

I'm saying you'll probably be more comfortable living alone.

You should start looking for a place that's yours.


Come on, Christina.

Why are you yelling at me, Denise?

'Cause you late.

Nice to see you too, Peter.

But it's making me weak I'm not your superwoman

You okay?

I'm not the kind of girl that you can let down And think that everything's okay Boy, I am only human...

What's up with you, baby?


Ain't nobody Nobody Loves me better Loves me better Makes me happy, makes me feel...

Marry me.

We've had this conversation. We're having it again.

Here? Yes.

It's time.

I told you I'm not ready.

If you're not gonna marry me, then I have other demands.

What kind of demands?

You've had too much to drink. I'm just getting started.

I feel like no one could feel...

If this world were mine I would place at your feet All that I own You've been so good to me If this world were mine I'd give you the flowers The birds and the bees And with your love beside me That would be all I need If this world were Mine I'd give you Anything

Oh...

Every sky would be blue As long as you're Loving me Baby Baby Ooh, ooh It would be yours If you'll believe

We are in the financial district and this storm is promising to be a major event.

This is a transitional storm system, which means it's guaranteed to be an absolutely perfect storm.

A tropical depression that morphs into a severe storm...

Whoa.

Yeah. All right.

What? Nothing.

Then why you just look like you pulled out a win in overtime?

Where you going?

Downtown. Mary's about to make landfall.

Yeah, I don't think it's as bad as people are saying.

You know, it's probably closer to, like, Hurricane Irene.

Yeah.

What?

Rachel wants me to come over later.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

See, there's something about these hurricane, I think they just cause people to make rash decisions.

I hope so.

Thirsty.

You are thirsty. Hey, somebody get him some water.

I'm good.

I've been here all day.

You know they closed the museum, told us to stay home until the storm clears tonight.

Huh.

"Al Green, I'm Still in Love with You."

Oh, I love that album. Yeah.

All right, we should bust a move, so that way we don't end up being stuck.

Trains might stop running.

I thought you were brave.

We're in an evacuation zone, so...

Yeah, so why'd you come?

'Cause you're in an evacuation zone.

I'm gonna grab some things.

Let's go.

What, you, um, you need a little help with that?

Getting it into your spot?

Oh, so you're actually trying to help?

You know, I can do a little bit of something.

Okay, do a little bit of this.

Here. It's nothing. It's nothing.

Oh, it's...

Oh.

We cannot forget the essentials.

I like the way you think. Now you already know.

Thanks.

Wow. This is a nice place.

I'll take that. Oh, thank you.

You know, uh, Andy and Rachel got together.

No, they didn't. Yes, they did.

She's a liar.

Do you want something to drink?

Yeah. Whiskey, please.

You want ice? Put them rocks on that.

Thank you. Sure.

Oh, this is cool.

Oh, I never use it.

Then why do you have it?

Uh, my dad gave it to me.

Mmm.

Does it work? It should.

Okay.

Let's see what I can do.

Yeah.

Al Green, my guy.

Oh.

That's a bad boy right there.

Mmm-hmm.

Lay your head Lay your head...

Oh, yes. Good idea.

You too? Yeah.

Hit me with a little... Da-da-da-da.

Ah. Right there. Yeah.

Hold your warm...

Have you ever cheated on anyone?

No.

But I did date a woman that was in a relationship once.

Not with you. No.

Well, so it's not as bad as cheating, but dishonest.

Hmm.

Yeah. She was much older.

How much older? Yeah, she was 42.

How old were you? Twenty-three.

Oh, yeah. Don't do that.

'Cause she pursued me, all right?

Oh, so that's the sole reason?

Well, and she could cook, you know.

Cook? Mmm-hmm.

Cooking what? What was she cooking?

Anything I wanted.

And... sex, too.

I mean, she wanted it all the time, no matter where we were.

Anytime, anyplace.

But one time, I had to fight her off in an alleyway.

'Cause I don't do outdoors like that.

Oh. I'm not...

Whatever.

Yeah, she couldn't get enough of my youth.

Shut up. I'm serious.

Okay.

Ooh.

Oh.

Okay.

Yeah.

Baby...

Come over here and dance with me.

Mmm. Nah.

Really?

Nah, you come back over here.

Please come back over here.

Whoa, baby

Why did it take so long?

Whoa, baby Only made my love grow strong Baby Yeah, yeah I'm so glad you're mine Hey, hey, hey, hey When darkness gather round me...

Why you got your head down like you praying?

'Cause I might need to.

What would you pray for?

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey...

Willpower.

Why don't we just blame it on the storm?


Whoa, oh, whoa, whoa

Needed some Ricolas Stepped in CVS Saw you in the corner I was looking a mess You didn't notice Jason was instigating I wanna bring you closer Tired of waiting

Tired... Tired of waiting

Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh


What?


Excuse me. Excuse me.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Hey.

Going uptown.

Good? Get in.


Ooh. Ah.

Come on, come on. Hey.

Oh.

What's up, boy? Hey.

Hi. Hi.

This is Mae.

Hi, Mae. Nice to meet you.

Hey, baby. Hi.

Let me take your jackets.

Hi. Yeah, yeah, come on, y'all.

Give me your coats.

Stay on the stairs.

Go get a towel, baby. They're very wet.

Okay. Yeah, get a towel.

It's right here. Thank you.

You're welcome.

How about some wine?

Oh. Yes, please.

I am talking to Miss Mae, thank you.

I would love some. Thank you. Okay.

What is that? A flying pig.

Hey, man, look what happened. Man, you were supposed to be here earlier.

Yeah, I got stuck at her place.

I'm sure.

She's so nice.

Why do you look like that? Look like what?

Like you have a concussion. Or, like, she's Yoruba and knows voodoo.

Okay.

Mmm-hmm. Look at him, baby. He's in love.

I... I never said that, all right?

Brother, you ain't got to say it.

I can see it all over your face with that sappy-ass look.

It's embarrassing. Leave him alone.

Yeah, leave me alone.

What? What? Baby, you're the one that said that she's Ya-rooba, uh, Yor-ooba...

Yoruba. Yoruba.

First of all, uh, she's not Yoruba.

And what's that got to do with anything? I just meant that she was really nice.

Yeah. Okay. And you seem smitten.

Look at her with the babies. All right.

Don't gas him up, 'cause he's probably gonna fuck it up.

Ah, maybe I won't. You don't know that.

I'm pretty sure about that.

You guys are so pretty. Tell me your names again.

Sandrine. Sofia.

Well, I'm Mae. Great to meet you.

I thought your name was Tessa.

You did? Uh, who's Tessa?

Uncle Michael's girlfriend. She lives in New Orleans.

It's not his girlfriend anymore, Sofia.

I forgot. I thought they were gonna get married.

What makes you say that?

Because that's what Uncle Michael said.

You do look like her though.

So he has a type?

What does that mean?

Uh, when's the last time you saw Tessa?

Sandrine, go read to your sister until she falls asleep.

Okay.

But I can read, too.

Okay, well, y'all can read to each other.

Thank you.

I don't want to hear anything up there except reading.

Okay.

That deep sigh, little girl.

So, we're at the reception, and everybody is looking for Michael.

Like, where is he? He's supposed to do the toast, and...

So, who... Did he do the speech?

No! No, he didn't do the speech.

Our cousin Larry did it, and he stutters a lot.

He was real nervous 'cause he didn't know he was gonna be talking anyways, so now he extra stuttering. I got stage fright.

There's so many good things to say about you.

Then you put Larry up there? I didn't know, you know...

We had to edit it out the wedding video. Wasn't even that hard to find.

It was terrible. I had a top hat on, like...

A top hat? Oh, gosh, the top hat.

A top hat. What was the theme of the...

It wasn't no theme. There was no theme, Mae.

There was no theme. He wore a top hat.

Like, the wedding photos look crazy. Oh, God.

Everybody else got a regular fade, but he got on a Monopoly hat.

And I was trying to be nice. I just thought it was cool.

It looked cool. No, it didn't look cool.

The kids kept asking you to take a rabbit out of it.

You know what I mean? It made you look stupid.

Okay. Oh, God.

People started playing... Hi-de, hi-de, hi-de, ho That's what he looked like he was supposed to be singing.

Oh, gosh. Oh, goodness.

I can laugh now, but it was...

It was not very funny on the day of. She was really upset.

I mean, I laughed at the day, 'cause I know you, and this is how... It's our dynamic.

Yeah, he does stuff like that.

He's very smart, but he do dumb stuff.

So, how about you tell me what you do to keep, you know, whatever you got going on, going. I mean, listen.

We talk about other people.

That makes us happy, actually. Clearly.

We go people watching. That's what we do. He keeps me laughing.

And really, if it weren't for streaming, divorce would be right around the corner.

Wait, you would leave me if we couldn't stream movies?

Baby, I'm joking. I'm joking. I'm joking, I'm joking.

All right, I was, like, damn.

I'm an interesting guy, you know what I mean?

Baby, you are interesting.

That's right. I was only joking. I didn't mean that.

You know, don't worry. Wow.

Y'all came in that storm?

That storm is crazy.

Look, what did y'all do when the power went out today?

Um...

Uh... Oh.

Okay, well, next topic. Okay.

What is all those sounds about?

Yeah, I mean, you know...

You know, she did the little sip-and-smile thing, like...

Leave her alone.

But we're all grown. Look, if y'all did it, y'all did it.

It ain't a big thing. Stop.

People do it all the time.

Mae... Ooh! This is the best do-it weather.

Mommy? Yes?

Can we sleep in your bed?

Daddy?

Yeah, we'll be up there in a second to tuck y'all in.

Stop listening to the grown-up conversations.

Do not turn that TV on. Do not turn the TV on.

That's also marriage... I just repeat what she says.

I don't even know what to say half the time.

All right, we're going. Know what I mean?

Good night, guys. Bye. Good night.

If you need anything... Good night.

Good night. No, I don't want y'all...

Don't be angry. Come on, sir.

I'm just saying, they already did... Let's go.

Good night. Don't be doing that in here, okay?

Sandrine! There's children here, okay?

All right. All right.

See y'all tomorrow, okay? See you in the morning.


It's open.

Smell good in here. What you cooking?

Red beans and rice.

Put that down.

You are always taking pictures of me. I want to have one of you.

Don't you want more than this?

What you mean?

More... than what we have.

No. I want you.

I want to be married to you. I'm not ready to get married.

What more do you want?

I want people to know who I am, admire my photographs.

I love you, but my greatest accomplishment each day cannot be cooking your dinner.

I have never understood how to make you happy.

What if we moved?

Where? New York.

I can't see myself there.

I can't stay here anymore.

And where does that leave us?


Hey.

Hey.

I think it stopped raining. Yeah?

You want to go outside?

Do you want to go outside?

Yeah.

We survived. Yeah.

Now we got the whole street to ourselves, too.

Who's Tessa?

Your nieces had a lot to say.

Yes, she's a girl that I used to date.

When?

Uh, a few months ago.

A few months ago?

Uh, few... few weeks ago, actually.

Which is it?

See, now I sound like I'm lying.

Are you? No.

So...

So, I... We broke up before I met you.

She lives in a different city, so...

Why didn't you tell me?

Because we're not together.

And because I'm here with you right now.

So, what about you?

What about me?

Who are you talking to?

Nobody, really.

"Nobody, really." What does that mean?

Nobody anymore.

Hmm.

Listen, I, um...

Maybe this doesn't matter, but...

What? What is it?

I applied for a job... in London.

Oh.

And, you know...

It may not mean anything because we just met.

Right.

But I think it matters.

Why London?

Well, I felt like I needed a change.

And you want a change right now?

Well, not tonight, but...

See, my brother got me scared to say anything of consequence to you, but...

I want to continue getting to know you.

I want to get to know you, too.

Mommy. Come on! Sandrine!

All right, Kyle. Okay.

Guys. What do you want to eat?

I love you. I'm gonna bring it back in two pieces for you, bro.

What do you mean, "two pieces"? Don't play with me like that, all right?

Put some gas in there if you get a ch...

Wait, what? You want what?

Pancakes!

Why are y'all yelling at me?

You in the kitchen with your mama. Pancake!

When we met Always knew I would feel...

I've been in New York for three months.

On my mind constantly...

Why would I hire some girl who just got off the bus as my assistant?

Because I'm talented.

Did I say that?

No. Uh, no, sir.

Here by me, baby You let my love fly freely I want you in my life...

Because I'll work harder than any of those silver-spoon, Upper East Side debutantes waiting in line outside...

whose daddies got them this interview and will quit as soon as they husband arrives.

Nothing else can compare...

Hmm.

Pack it up.

I'm...

Caught up in the rapture of love I'm...

Hello? Denise.

Christina?

Why haven't you called?

I just got a phone at home.

I wish you was here. Christina, you have to come home.

I know. He must be furious at me.

But I needed some time.

I'm gonna talk to him, and he'll understand.

Hell, he might even move here with me.

How is he?

Your mother.

What about my mama?

Denise?

Is she okay?

She died.

I think she asked me to leave because she knew she was sick.

She didn't want me to see her weak.

I'm sorry, Christina.

I thought he'd be here.

He's angrier than I thought.

I'm gonna go see him.

There's something you should know.

What?

He got married.

Married to who?

Ashley Prentiss.

That's not funny.

That's impossible.

I've been gone three months.

You should've said something before you left.

After the second month, he was hung up on the idea that you weren't coming back.


Let's do one more of those.

All right.

Good job. Move this way.

Yeah, let me get you right here.

Look off out into the window for me.

Yeah, right there.


Come here, Mae.


Peter said you were here.

I sold Violet's house.

It only took you four years to come back.

Hi, Isaac.

How's New York?

I like it.

Who's this?

My name's Mae.

You look exactly like your mother.

She's beautiful.

Thank you.

Heard you got married.

Congratulations.

Thank you.

Why...

What?

Why don't you come over for dinner?

Ashley would be more than happy to cook.

No. That's kind.

No, really.

No, we have a bus to catch.

Can I drive you to the station?

I didn't get a chance to take you last time.

Okay.


Please don't get out.


Can I help you?

Hi. I'm Mae Morton.

I'm Christina Eames' daughter.

Is she here?

She passed away.

I'm sorry to hear that.

When?

About a month ago.

She, um...

left this for you.

She asked me to give it to you.

Do you know what it says?

No, I didn't read it.

I wasn't sure she'd remember me.

She did.

She left me a letter, too.

Yeah? Yeah.

It said I was your daughter.


I was too afraid to ask.

Ask what?

When she brought you home, I wanted to ask if you were mine.

Why didn't you?

I was married.

She had a life in New York.

I don't know, I had to believe if you were my daughter...

she would've told me.

She thought it would be easier for you...

not knowing.

It would've been easier if I just would've asked.

Can you stay for some boiled crab?

Yeah.

Hey.

I need to talk to you.

You're making me nervous.

When are you ever nervous?

When someone's like, "I need to talk to you."

What is it?

I just found out I got the job.

Oh, I can't believe you.

I think the words you're looking for are, "Congratulations. Good job."

Congratulations.

There you are. Thank you.

I hope it doesn't work out.

When do you start?

Uh, a couple weeks.

You still owe me a story... before you go.

Yeah.

You sure you don't want me to find you something else?

You know what you could do?

Hmm?

You could promote Andy.

Right? I'm not... I won't do that.

Maybe. Maybe.

Yeah. Unlikely.

Maybe I moved on because I was scared I couldn't make Christina happy.

What happened?

I was afraid of failing her, that she'd resent me eventually.


Okay, look, man, you sure you want to do this?

Yes. Yes.

Yeah. London, Michael? Huh?

Like, for real, you want to move to London?

You understand there's a five-hour time difference, right?

Of course I know that. Yes, I know that.

If you know that, then have some respect for me, okay?

Want me to change my schedule around for you?

Waking up in the middle of the night, answering your phone calls?

I don't want to be doing all that.

What's this look I'm see...

Is this... Oh, you're gonna miss me, huh?

Nope. You're gonna miss me.

I ain't gonna miss... No, I'm not. I'm not gonna miss you.

Stop playing with me. Okay, yes. Maybe a little bit.

Oh, there it is, see. All right?

Man, I don't know, I just... I have to do this.

I need this.

You're not gonna talk to this girl before you leave?

I don't know. I think you should do that.

I mean, she called, but I didn't call her back.

Wait, you ain't called her back?

That's not like Michael.

I just didn't know what to say.

And that's your plan, right? Just gonna act funny?

Why you doing this? What...

You're the one who told me not to get involved, remember?

You said... "Don't get involved."

Okay, I didn't... First of all, I don't sound like a mad scientist.

That's not how I talk.

And look, I know what I said.

I said don't get involved too quickly.

All right. Okay. Semantics. 'Cause that's what you usually do.

You always move into stuff fast. I was just being honest with you.

Okay. Yeah.

Text her or something. Whatever. All right.

DM her on Instagram. I don't know.

I mean, look, you're a grown man, and you got to do what's best for you.

Yeah.

When do you leave?

Uh, I'll go back to Louisiana a couple days, finish up work.

Then I'm packing.

And don't make this all dramatic. Come on, give me some toast, huh?

Come on, meet me over here. Get over here.

Boom. There we go.

Please don't push me, I'm on the edge I don't care too much, but you want it, baby

Let's go through it together Maybe it's for the better

'Cause you'll let me be Oh, babe, I let you go there To roll up and then go back Meet me at the corner, baby, you know where Is it cruel of me To pretend I can't see...

Hey. Hey.

What you doing here?

Another interview.

You almost done?

Almost.

I wasn't expecting that at all.

I tried to call you to tell you. You didn't call me back.

Right.

"Hi, Mae. Hello. It's Michael. I'm calling you back."

I could've said that.

"Things were awkward the morning after the storm, "but that doesn't change what happened between us."

Oh, you're good. No, I like that one.

Thank you.

Getting to know each other was good.

Yeah, well, I liked getting to know each other.

Yeah.

So, what, you just leaving New York and trading in the Kerry James Marshall for the Bywater?

Do you see me living here?

Ah, I don't know. I like this casual you.

So, you're saying I'm uptight in New York?

Nah, I mean, you just seem relaxed.

I'm going to Christina's house at Pointe à la Hache later.

Mmm.

Do you want to come with me?

Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to come.

What you trying to listen to?

Drake.

I... I cannot stand Drake.

You know I don't want to hear no Drake. All right, put some Kendrick on.

Not in my car. Come on.

I'm not putting on Kendrick. That is a fact.

Depressing car ride.

We're gonna get pulled over by the police listening to Kendrick.

It's...

Did you say your ex-girlfriend lived in New Orleans?

I never said that.

You didn't? No.

Okay, you know what, you're right. It wasn't you. It was... Sandrine.

Oh, my God. Or Sofia. Was it...

Sandrine and Sofia again.

Could you just tell me everything they said?

You just tell me now, word for word. Why would I violate the sister code?

Wow. No. Just answer my question.

Did you... Did you happen to see her while you were here?

See who? Your ex-girl.

No.

I have not seen her.

Okay, you don't have to get all defensive.

I'm not defensive. I'm just asking a question.

I feel good. Do I look defensive to you? Defenses are down.


I guess no one's home.

Uh, didn't you say, uh, Christina had a darkroom?

Yeah, in the back, but I doubt it's there now.

You want to check?


Two champagnes, please.

Two? Okay, coming right up.

For you, ma'am. Thank you.


We should move here.

Or at least come back.

When are you going back to New York? 'Cause I have a show next Tuesday.

I've been meaning to tell you...

What?

I'm moving to London.

What? Yeah, I...

I got the job.

When?

Could we just...

I just... I just found out.

Well, we were together all day. Why didn't you say something?

I know. I just... We were having a good time.

You know, I didn't want to, uh, mess it up.

So, what do we do now?

I don't know. Figure it out.

How? Well, I can go to...

I can come to New York, and you can come to London, and we could go back and forth and we figure it out.

It's not practical.

I know. I'm not trying to be practical right now.

I want to be with you.

Long distance never works.

What? It never works.

Well, be optimistic. Come on.

I don't want to get together just to break up.

I'm being honest. Honest?

Yeah. I forgot, you have trouble being honest.

Okay, uh, so what... What is that supposed to mean?

Aren't you always searching for something honest to say to a woman?

That's what I'm doing right now. All right?

I'm being honest, and I'm saying I want to try to be together.

Maybe we should just enjoy being here.


Michael still in town?

No, he left last night.

Why you didn't leave with him?

'Cause I wanted to stay longer.

I feel like that's not the whole story.

It's most of it.

I guess you more than look like your mother.

Yeah, I'm... probably more like her than I'd like to be.

That's not a bad thing.

She was unwavering in everything she wanted.

How could you say that, after everything?

I don't blame her for leaving.

What did she say?

What did the letter say?

She apologized.

She kept you from me for so long, she didn't know how to go back...

how to tell me.

She asked me to take care of you.

I keep rereading mine.

She wrote over and over again, "My Mae."

I keep reading those two words...

like they're evidence that she loved me.

She did.

Very much.


"y Mae, I didn't know how to love you except by showing you the arc of a woman, by being a good provider.

I put my love into work, my photographs.

Pictures took space in my heart instead of people.

It was the only way I could love.

I was stumbling through my own life, trying not to break apart.

I wish I had put as much courage into being your mother as I was able to put in my work.


Evening, Mr. Morton.

I told her to tell you about Isaac.

What did she say?

She made me promise never to tell you.

She thought it would just confuse you and make his life harder, so I agreed.

Maybe I was wrong for that. And if I am, I'm sorry.

When I first met her, she was three months pregnant.

And that didn't bother you? No.

I couldn't look away from her.

But she...

She turned me down at first.

Why? She thought I felt sorry for her.

And she told me she didn't feel the need to be an "honest woman."

But I know she was just hung up on him.

So, why would she tell me now?

Maybe it was her way of explaining...

Explaining what?

Why she was the way she was.

And why she was never very good at... being your mother.

Do you remember when you were leaving for Chicago, for school?

Yeah. Mom didn't come to the airport 'cause she said she had to meet somebody.

Like I wasn't moving across the country. Like I wasn't more important.

She didn't have to meet anyone.

When I came home, she was sitting in the back of the house, crying.

Your mother wasn't very good at goodbyes.

I'm not a sentimental person, as many of you know.

I don't like getting attached to people. It makes it harder to fire them.

And it makes it that much more annoying when they abandon you.

I'm not abandoning you.

He's leaving, and he thinks he's better than us.

Well, let's all pretend to wish him luck.

Good luck, Michael. Good luck, Michael.

Thank you.

We got more negatives from Billy Wasko's archives for Christina's retrospective.

Thanks.

Are you heading out?

Yeah. Dinner with Andy.

I'm uncomfortable with how happy you are.

How do you think I feel?

Being unhappy and jaded, it's comfortable, but...

But?

I like him, and, maybe I'm not who I thought I was.

Maybe I'm different with him.

So, you're choosing to be a different person?

I don't know. I'm just choosing to be with him.

What about you?

I think I messed that up.

It's like I said the opposite of everything that I wanted to say to him.

Well, what did you want to say?

That I wanted him to stay.

Can you still tell him that?

I don't know. I...

He looked at me like he was so disappointed.

I don't know, I felt like I couldn't ask him to rearrange his life for me.

It's too late. It's... Whatever.

Have you selected the final photos?

Uh, almost.

I'm just gonna go through the rest of her archives and see if there's anything else I want to show.

Okay.

Bye.


Yo. Yo.

What's up?

So, uh, did Sara tell you?

What?

I'm not an intern anymore. I'm a paid employee.

Boom. Boom.

Oh, congratulations. Wow.

Did you tell her to promote me?

No. Hmm.

Thank you.

Whatever, man.

Um, I'm gonna miss you, man.

Oh, man, don't miss me.

Oh, all right.

All right.

I read your, um, article on Pointe à la Hache.

What'd you think? It was personal.

I know.

Probably too personal. It became all about me and my stuff.

It's not often you meet someone like that.

Yeah, I know. Christina and Isaac, man, that's an anomaly.

I'm talking about Mae.

The office is gonna be bleak without you, man.


Do you miss Louisiana?

Parts of it.

Hmm. What parts? The good parts.

And what do you like about New York?

I like my work.

What are you thinking?

That I wish I was as good at love as I am at working.

I wish I didn't leave people behind so often.


Mr. Williams.

Michael Block?

Yeah.


Sorry, bro.

Want tickets to Kendrick Lamar, anyone?

Hey. Hey.

I just really felt like seeing Kendrick.

No, you didn't.

I guess I'm lucky that, you know, he was performing here tonight.

And I really wanted to see you.

I've been wanting to see you, too.

I'm sorry for not knowing what to say before you left.

I just didn't know how to tell you how I felt.

And I think I'm not used to needing anyone.

Yeah. I get that.

But I need you.

And I don't care where you live.

I just want to be close to you as much as possible.

I don't want to be practical. I want to figure it out.

And I don't want so much time to pass that we can't come back.

Yeah. And I... I don't want...

You know, we will always come back.

Really?

You know that.

How's London?

Uh, I've just been out here being pathetic, thinking about you.

That's good.

You want to go hear some music?

Yeah. Come on.

We have a show to see!


Set the tone When it's just me And you alone, never lonely In the room, breathing slowly Oh, you know me, yeah Meditate, you can take me To a place Where we can be all alone I let you hold me

'Cause you know me Me, yeah

Lay your head on my pillow Say ooh-ooh

Touch is making me feel a way, ooh-ooh

Whenever I get around you I lose it Lose it

'Cause I feel So comfortable with you

You make me Comfortable with you Hmm You make me Wanna get Wanna get Wanna go deep Go Intimate Intimate Let you in me Inside Inside You deserve it On my mind My mind, yeah Yeah Lay your head on my pillow Say ooh-ooh Touching Way you're touching, know it's okay with Ooh-ooh

When I get around you I just lose it Lose it

'Cause I feel so comfortable with you You make me comfortable with you With you Mmm You make me Baby Lay your head on my pillow Say ooh-ooh

Way you're touching my body Say ooh-ooh-ooh I ain't loving nobody but you You You make me 'Cause I feel so Comfortable with you Mmm I feel so comfortable with you With you You make me You make me, baby You make me Yeah You make me You make me, mmm You make me Ooh...