The Sense of an Ending (2017) Script

I'm not very interested in my school days and feel no special nostalgia for them.

But I remember Sixth Form.

Good morning.

And welcome to you all as we begin the new term.

In those days, we imagined ourselves as being in a holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives.

From summer to autumn.

So, too, do we think ahead...

Rather him than us.

And when that moment would come, we would be at university.

How were we to know that our lives had already begun, and our release would only be into a larger holding pen?

And in time, a larger holding pen.

When you are young, you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books.

You want them to overturn your life and create a new reality.

But as that second hand insists on speeding up and time delivers us all too quickly into middle age, and then old age, that's when you want something a little milder, don't you?

You want your emotions to support your life as it has become.

You want them to tell you that everything is going to be okay.

And is there anything wrong with that?

"Sir, according to your recent survey, 95% of British motorists describe themselves as 'above average' drivers.

But by the law of averages, we are, most of us, bound to be average.

Are we not?

Anthony Webster, London."

Good timing. Sorry?

Oh, uh, sign there, thanks.

Lovely morning, isn't it? Hmm.

Thank you.


Can I help you? Just looking.

By all means. Oh! Wow.

These are beautiful.

How much is this one?

£2,399.

£2,000?

Extremely rare model.

Still works, huh? Of course.

How do you source them on the Internet?

I've been in the Leica business for some time, so we have our own exclusive sources.

"We"? It's just you, isn't it?

If there's anything you're particularly interested in, I may be able to help you.

Do you have anything cheaper?

Some Leica Ills, 500.

500?

Wow.

These are the finest cameras ever made.

People buy them because they love them.

Well, as they say, I'd be rich if I didn't have kids.

You got kids?

Excuse me? I've got two baby girls.

I have a daughter. Oh.

Fathers and daughters, eh? Very special.

Okay.

Well, I'll look you up when the kids have left home.

Tony Webster.

Have a lovely day, Tony Webster. Okay.

Hello, Margaret. I'm calling to remind you that this evening you're duty bound to attend the NCT with your beloved daughter.

Tonight?

Uh, oh, no, no, no, sorry. No can do.

Oh, for God's sake. This should be in your diary.

Susie's relying on you.

You know I can't do it with this thing on my leg.

I'm winding you up.

Somebody's in a playful mood.

Always.

Well, don't forget to dig out something loose-fitting.

Lycra. All-in-one.

Very attractive.

What are you doing this evening?

Working. What else?

Really?

So I'm expecting a full report in the morning.

How's the foot, by the way? Bye, Tony.

Hmm, charming.


Hi. It's me.

You're not Mum.

Indeed, I'm not. Your mother sent me.

I'm your geriatric knight in shining armor.

Can you give me a minute? Can I come in?

Thank you.

The Prime Minister has insisted Britain will be safer and economically stronger if it remains in the European Union.

He said a vote to leave would cause such instability on the financial markets that the UK could be tipped back into recession.

All right, Dad, let's do this. Have you seen this?

I know, I know.

It's the bollocking upstairs neighbor.

What happened? I don't know.

Overflowing bath or something.

That's ridiculous. I know.

Come on.

I'll write to them.

Dad, no one writes letters anymore.

So, I should probably warn you, tonight will likely feature lesbians.

I've known quite a number of lesbians in my time, thank you very much.

Artificially inseminated lesbians.

I once knew a pasteurized lesbian.

Just try not to say anything too mental, will you?

The woman who runs the group takes the whole thing pretty seriously.

I'm sure she does.

Hi, I'm Tony. I'm this evening's stand-in mother.

Standing in for the mother of the mother.

You just rock with it. And you will get a rhythm.

But, uh, not to worry. I have been effectively sterilized.

But the voice of experience tonight.

Now the contraction comes.

So... sit up.

Your contraction's coming.

Hi, I'm Susie. Uh, this is my first.

Um, I'm expecting a boy in October.

You're in the arms of your protector and your baby, it is going to be fine.

And I think I'm gonna name him Joshua.

Oh! Really?

Yeah.

We've got another surge that has started.

So...

You okay there, Dad?

So maybe if you come further down.

That's it.

See, this is the other thing.

Depends if your partner's agile or not agile, you know, or to get into positions.

It's taking them into consideration as well and make whatever's comfortable for the both of you.

Me, as well. Yes.

It was amazing. And so much fun.

Wait here a sec. I wanna give you something.

Oh, all right.

There has, and continues to be criticism of the government's approach to rebuilding Britain's economy.

And we're better placed to withstand an ideological drive to shrink the state, with some of the most vulnerable people in society paying the price.

A charge that the ministers would of course, reject?

Yeah, sure, they'd insist the tough measures they're taking will ensure Britain's finances get back onto an even keel.

And we're better placed to withstand any economic shocks that may come our way in the future.

Economic shocks such as, for instance...

Whoops.

Here. What's this?

Time to join the 21st century.

Not least because I'm about to burst and Mum's an invalid.

You're my only hope.

Bye, Dad. Bye.


Oh, good morning.

Just about.

Um... right. Let me get that...

82...

Uh, and then you need to...

No. Oh, sorry. There.

Right. Thanks.

All right. Have a nice...

"Dear, Tony, I think it right that you should have the attached.

Adrian always spoke warmly of you, and perhaps you'll find it an interesting, if painful, memento of long ago.

I am also leaving you some money.

You may find this a bit strange, and, to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure what my own motives are, but I wish you well, even from beyond the grave.

Yours, Sarah Ford.

P.S., it may sound a little odd, but I think the last months of his life were happy."

Mr. Webster?

"Dear, Tony, I think it right you should have the attached.

Adrian always spoke warmly of you, and perhaps you will find it an interesting, if painful, memento of long ago." We do not currently...

So it is this attached item referred to, which is the missing item.

We do not currently have the second item in our possession.

Excuse me?

I said, we do not currently have the second item in our possession.

Well, where on earth is it?

The item is currently with Mrs. Ford's executor.

Mrs. Ford's daughter.

Veronica? Mm.

You've asked for it, I assume? That's correct.

Has she given any reason for withholding it?

I'm afraid I don't know.

Forgive me, but what do you know?

What is it? Have you actually seen it?

No, I haven't. Um...

I can look it up for you, if you wish.

Please do.

So, Mrs. Ford's will describes the second item...

as a diary. A diary?

Belonging to Mrs. Ford?

I'm afraid that's not clear.

Can you let me have Veronica's address, please?

I'm sorry, we can't give out clients' addresses without their permission.

Veronica and I know one another.

Well, did know one another, albeit rather a long time ago.

I'm afraid I would need her authority to do that.

Well, will you kindly request that authority, please?

Very well.

Thank you. Thank you.

It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Webster.

Good-bye.

And you should know that my ex-wife is a QC.

Yeah, this all seems fine.

So, she has it, the diary. That much at least we do know.

Sorry, who has it?

You know, those things are really bad for you.

They just build up excess mucus.

I'm sorry, Dr. Webster, didn't think we were here to discuss my breadstick intake.

All right, sorry, sorry, sorry.

Feel better once we've eaten.

Once we've ordered. Ah.

Thank God.

Sir, Madam? I'd like the carbonara, please.

Mm, penne con salsa di pomodoro e basilico.

Thank you.

What? Tell me, tell me.

# I feel depressed, I feel so bad #

# 'Cause you're the best girl that I've ever had #

# I can't get your love, I can't get affection #

# Oh, little girl, psychotic reaction #

# And it feels like this... #

Not enjoying the party?

It's not really my cup of tea.

I'm a manic depressive, you see.

Not another one.

Clifton Suspension Bridge. My mind's made up.

Done.

Mm.

Well... it was nice to meet you.

Tony. Tony.

# Oh, little girl, would you like to take a ride now? #

# I can't get your love, I can't get satisfaction #

# Oh, little girl, psychotic reaction #

I wonder how far it is.

It's 245 feet.

So not very far, then.

Why is your watch on the inside of your wrist?

Is it? I don't know.

So what's your subject, then?

Le français. Oh. Oui.

Parlez-vous français? Oui.

Magnifique.

# There was a time I thought of mine only... #

Cheers.

Cheers.

# I was noble personage #

# Born to beautify the page #

# If I used time to set it down #

# There was a time I thought of mine... #

You still haven't told me your name.

I tend to find it inadvisable to give out my name to strange men I've only just met.

Sounds like a fruitcake, this Sarah.

Veronica. Her name's Veronica.

What? I thought you said the diary belonged to Sarah?

Apparently, yes, the diary, yes, left to me by Sarah Ford.

Who is? Veronica's mother.

So, you... you slept with Veronica or you slept with Sarah?

Strictly speaking, neither. Sadly.

Veronica and I were together.

Boyfriend and girlfriend.

Exactly, yes. Kind-kind of an item, yes.

But that... And that's how you know Sarah.

Yes. Right.

So we're getting somewhere.

Looks like he's planning to move in.

You look nervous.

Tony, this is my father.

Tony. David.

We've heard all about you, Tony. Come on.

Let's get you two lovebirds home.


Ta-da!

Oh, um... you can pee into the basin at night, if you wish.


Not bad, eh?

Jack.

I'm the big brother.

Tony.

We've heard all about you, Tony. Oh?

How do you like your lamb, Tony?

Sorry?

We're having lamb this evening.

Oh. I see.

Excellent.

I'm, uh, I'm partial to a bit of rare meat myself.

I'll let you get settled.


Here, Tony, have some roast potatoes.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mrs. Ford, it all looks lovely.

Hear, hear. Motion seconded.

And me, please, Mother.

Thank you.

How many? One more, please.

Pass it down.

Do start.

Uh, a friend of mine's at Cambridge, as it happens.

Uh, Adrian Finn?

Should I know him? Uh, he's studying philosophy.

My deepest sympathies.

And what about you, Tony? You haven't told us what your subject is.

English literature.

And what do you hope to do with an undergraduate degree in English literature?

Well, um...

I-I hope to write.

Write? Yes.

Um, poems. Poetry.

A poet?

And who's your favorite poet?

Mum.

Dylan Thomas. Ah, yes, yes.

The gloomy Welshman.

"And the winds did bloom, and the brides in the wooed field did sew the coming summer frost."

Ah, bravo, Jack.

See what I have to put up with, Tony?

I'm partial to a little Larkin myself.

Oh, yes.

He's wonderful, also.

"I work all day, and get half drunk at night.

Waking at four to soundless dark...

I stare.

In time, the curtain-edges will go bright."

Hear, hear.


So...

Good night, then.

Wait, I didn't say anything embarrassing at dinner, did I?

Why are you whispering?

I don't know.

Sorry.

I hope you sleep the sleep of the wicked.


It's important you understand the scale of sexual frustration of my younger self.

For God's sake. You poor thing.

You sure there isn't some un-doused fire in your breast, Mr. Webster?

Quite sure.

So if... let's presume, still unmarried fruitcake walked into this restaurant now and sat in that table... how would the long-divorced Mr. Anthony Webster react?

I don't think I'd be especially pleased to see her.

So you wouldn't start rolling up your sleeves and turning over your watch?

God. I wish I'd never told you that.

Can we have another... More coffee?

Come on, let's hear the rest of it.

Morning.

You looking for something? No, I was just looking.

The others have gone for a walk.

Veronica said you'd prefer a lie-in, so we opted not to disturb you.

You hungry?

Uh, yes.

Have a seat.


You won't let Veronica get away with too much, will you?

Sorry?

Don't let her get away with too much.

Sorry, I'm not quite sure I follow your meaning.

Oh! Damn it!

Whoops.

Sorry.

I'm normally very good at eggs.

Tony, let me give you a hand. Thank you.

Well, Jack.

He'll do, I suppose.

Thanks for staying the weekend, Tony.

Thank you, Mrs. Ford.


I like your mum.

Sounds like you've got a rival, Vron.

Come to think of it, sounds like you're not the only one.

Excuse me, I'm still speaking.

You don't say.

Something is clearly going on.

Someone you knew long ago has left you something or other.

Exactly. Which has been unduly withheld from me and to which I am legally entitled.

Well, you could fight it, or you can just let it go.

Cash the check, take me on a budget holiday.

250 each, get us to the Channel lslands.

Listen, the point I... Something is certainly going on.

So just call me when you really want to talk about it.

Oh, and the foot's much better, thanks for asking.

How is it, the foot?


So, I passed on your letters, all 13 of them, to Miss Ford.

And? While Miss Ford is still not ready to part with the diary.

I can tell you that the diary, it seems, belonged to a Mr. Adrian Finn.

I see.

Now, I've raised your concern in terms of if or when you might be able to receive Mr. Finn's diary.

Let me get this straight.

She should have handed the diary over to you.

She hasn't.

You've asked for it, but she's refusing to give it up.

Yes, that's-that's certainly how things stand at present.

In my experience, Mr. Webster, people often like to take some time out following a bereavement.

Don't you think?

That's as may be.

But I want to be quite sure that you are clear that that diary belongs to me.

Hello.

Andrew, this is Tony, my ex-husband.

Ah.

How are you doing, Tony? All right?

Hi. We work together.

Can we talk? It's important.

Well, I'll leave you to it, then.

Good to meet you, Tony.

I'll see you Monday.

This is not on, Tony, coming around without being asked, sorry.

You told me to call when I was ready to tell you what was going on.

You gonna let me in?

...from summer to autumn.

So, too, do we think ahead...

Rather him than us.

...to what we may achieve together.

Good morning, gentlemen.

I trust that you had good holidays, but time and tide tarry for no man, so...

Henry VIII.

Which of you bright young things can give me a characterization of the age, hmm?

Hmm?

Simpson.

Any thoughts?

There was unrest, sir.

No, no, insightful, as always.

But might you perhaps care to elaborate?

There was great unrest, sir.

Oh, dear.

Anyone?

Finn?

Now, I'm conscious it's your first day with us, but, um, any thoughts?

I don't know. What don't you know?

Well, I cannot know what I don't know, sir, that's philosophically self-evident.

What we do know is that something happened, sir.

Come again?

Well, something happened.

All one can ever truly say of any particular period of history, sir, is that something happened.

Hey, um, great line to Hunt, earlier.

About something happened?

Oh, yes.

I was disappointed he didn't take that up.

Well, I thought you made an extremely valid point.

I'm, uh, Tony Webster.

I'm Adrian Finn.

It's cheery.

Are you familiar with Dylan Thomas?

Hmm, yes.

I find him to be one of the most humane poets of the 20th century.

...but then he did say it, it was ridiculous.

Parents, what a load of effing bastards.

Adrian Finn, Colin Simpson. Colin Simpson, Adrian Finn.

Hello, Adrian Finn. And, uh, this is Alex Stuart.

Oh, really great line to Hunt, really great.

Is there an issue with your parents?

Ugh, "issue" is putting it mildly.

Just when you think you can trust them...

Effing bastards. Just when you think you can trust them, they go and behave like... Henry VIII?

Like Henry the fucking VIII, exactly.

Why are all your watches turned inside?

Ah, because... That is a very good question.

We're taking a stand against... Hierarchically imposed...

...intrinsically flawed... ...notions of time.

It also looks quite cool.

So, Dylan Thomas, interesting.

Yes.

Any good? Do you know him?

Not really. Not personally.

Really sick of staring at wood paneling.


I'm sorry to report... that I have some rather sad news which I wish to share with you all this morning.

Joseph Dobson, of the Science Sixth... has been found dead.

He was a gifted pupil with a natural aptitude for both science and modern languages.

He was sadly cut down in the flower of his youth...

"Flower"? Dobson is more vegetable material.

Was.

Must have killed himself.

...his brother, sister...

What? Shit.

Finn, you're unusually quiet this afternoon.

I'm not sure I can add anything to the debate, sir.

Will wonders never cease?

I don't find the historian's need to ascribe responsibility a particularly fruitful arena, sir.

Care to elaborate?

Historians yearn for an answer to the question of who's to blame for this event or for that atrocity, but... I don't know, sir.

Sometimes it seems to me it is impossible to know.

Go on.

Well, Patrick Lagrange, sir, said that, "History is the certainty produced at the point when the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."

It's the lies of victors, sir.

As long as you understand that it is also the delusions of the defeated.

Take Dobson's suicide, sir.

Okay.

We are told Dobson came to take his own life, perhaps when he understood his girlfriend was pregnant.

Finn...

Dobson's death is a private matter.

No... it's also a historical matter.

The point I'm trying to make, sir, is that nothing can now be known in the absence of Dobson's own testimony.

We... we may never know the truth.

And... no amount of intellectual posturing can alter that.

Do you see the problem, sir?

Finn, I see the problem, thank you.

Camus says that suicide is the only true philosophical question.

Apart from ethics, politics, aesthetics, and all that other stuff.

All that other stuff we're learning about in school.

About the beauty and wisdom... The only true one.

The essential one on which all the others depend.

When we left school and went our separate ways, out of everyone, Adrian was the only one I desperately wanted to stay in touch with.

Lovely. Thank you.

Cheers. Cheers.

Mm!

That is good.

I dare say it's almost as good as sex.

Couldn't possibly comment.

Maybe I need to improve my taste in wine.

Or your taste in sex.

Speaking of which, are we going to address the fact that almost everything you've told me in the last few days, you've told me for the very first time?

I've never told you about all this stuff because it wasn't important.

In all the years that we were together, Mr. Webster, it has never occurred to you that it might be important to tell me about your former love?

Your first love, no doubt.

I'm not talking about Adrian Finn.

I see.

Well, Mrs. Webster, I think you're very much barking up the wrong tree.

Indeed, on the wrong patch of land altogether.

Veronica and I were never in love, I can assure you.

She gave you your first camera, didn't she?


Mm, Tony, it doesn't feel right.


Do you ever think about where our relationship is heading?

Is this a thinly-veiled attempt to bring up our sex life?

No.

I'm positively laidback about the fact that we haven't had sex yet.

Does it have to?

Does it have to what?

Head somewhere? Our relationship.

At the time I thought, at least nobody died.

Nobody got pregnant.

You sound positively crestfallen.

Mm.

Oh, please, no. I'll be all over the place.

Stop.

But how did your friend's diary end up with fruitcake's mother?

I think Adrian's stuff ended up with Veronica.

And that's how the diary found its way to Sarah Ford.

Yeah, but how did Adrian's stuff end up with fruitcake?

Veronica. I was just coming to that.

Dear, Tony, I wanted to write to you as in recent months, Veronica and I have grown very close.

Indeed, we have now embarked upon a relationship together.

This would no doubt come to your attention, and we thought it best you heard it from us.

Your friendship is deeply important to us, Tony.


When did you last see him, then?

About three months ago.

Right where you're sitting. That's why I suggested it.

He was going down to Chislehurst.

How did he seem? Cheerful.

Happy, like himself.

Only more so.

As we said good-bye, he told me he was in love.

How did he do it? Wrists in the bath.

Jesus Christ.

He knew how to do it.

Diagonally.

If you, uh, cut straight across, you lose consciousness and the wound heals up.

You botched it.

Well, perhaps you drown yourself.

No, still second place.

Adrian would have wanted first.

Sort of Greek, isn't it?

No, it's, um, hemlock.

More the exemplary Roman, I'd say.

Opening the vein.

It's effing impressive. Yeah.

Or a miserable waste.

So what do you think you'll find in the diary?

I've no idea. It's just mine.

I think it's quite touching that you're so stubborn.

Probably a way of not losing the plot at your age.

I don't think I'd reacted any differently when we were younger.

Do you remember that au pair we had?

The...

Swedish one? Mm.

I found her diary once.

And I...

I was tidying up, and I read it.

Do you know what I found?

She'd written, "I'm working for a real cow."

"Husband's all right, just keeps looking at my arse."

Uh, you should have said, we'd have got rid of her.

That's not the point of my story.

It's getting late. Is it?

Surely you're not insisting your inebriated ex risks his life on the open road?

Collateral damage.

Think about my fellow drivers, then.

You're not staying.


Good night, then.

Wait, wait, wait. I've got a question.

Got a question.

Why did you leave me?

Be honest.

Tony...

No, be honest. No, tell me.

Did you leave because of me?

Are you angry about Veronica?

I'm not anything about Veronica.

Wasn't that bad, was it?

Good night, Tony. Good night.


Tony Webster. Colin Simpson.

How the devil are you? Wonderful to see you.

Alex... Good to see you.

Great to see you.

You go and get in, sit in there.

Are you sure? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Go on, go, go, go, go.

Do you want a tea?

Boys, you haven't changed. I will have a tea.

Excuse me, love, could we have another tea?

Blimey.

What a nut job.

What ever did you see in her?

You and Adrian both.

Well, you know, she was very mysterious.

You know, the great irony, of course, was that it was you that introduced them.

Introduced who?

Adrian and Veronica.

No, Adrian met Veronica through her brother Jack.

Oh, wishful thinking, my old friend.

No.

Yeah, Adrian and Jack were at Cambridge together.

But that's not how they met.

No, it was your fault that they got together.

Hole-in-one. No, no, no.

You came up to town from Bristol with your ladylove and you met all of us.

Yeah, chomping at the bit to introduce the love of your life.

Oh, I could've sworn they met through Jack.

Afraid not.

I'm surprised you haven't had a good rummage through the Webster albums.

If memory serves, you were always snapping away.

Hmm. They must have been deemed surplus to requirements.

Mm, that's a pity, old bean.

So have you... have you tried contacting her directly? How?

She's not there. Try Jack. Okay.

Oh, right.

Loads of them.

What about...

What that... This one?

Oh, it's him.

Yeah? Yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

Wow.

God. Where on earth is he?

Cricket.

Tennis, no? Tennis.

Oh, look.

Who's that? I don't know.

This is very nice.

He looks as self-satisfied as he ever did.

Do you want to send him a message?

Isn't that a bit much? No, it'd be rude not to.

Do people really communicate this way?

Yours truly communicates this way.

Really? Yeah.

I-I got in touch with a woman I'd been at university with.

Hadn't seen her for the best part of 40 years.

We met up, got on like a house on fire.

Oh, great. You see, it's a boon for us widowers.

Mm. Hmm.

There you go.

Sent.

Oh, done.

What? You're in now.

Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. Webster.

Oh, blimey.

Ta-ra.

Tell us how it all turns out. Certainly will.

Don't let it get to you, old bean.

Insightful as always.

Henry VIII.

"Now, which one of you young bright things can offer a characterization of the age?

Simpson?"

I'd say there was unrest, sir.

I'd even say there was great unrest, sir.

# I feel so sad, I feel depressed #

# 'Cause you're the best girl that I've ever had #

# I can't get your love, I can't get affection #

# Oh, little girl, psychotic reaction #

# And it feels like this #

Not enjoying the party?

Oh, shit.

Hello, you have reached telephone of Anthony Webster. Bollocks!

I'm unable to take your call now.

Please leave me a message after the beep, and I will return your call at my earliest convenience.

Thank you.

Hello.

This is Veronica Ford.

I am in receipt of all your correspondence, and I also understand from my brother that you wish to meet to discuss my mother's estate.

I will be in town this morning.

I will see you at the wobbly bridge at 9:00 a.m.

Shit.


# Time has told me #

# You're a rare, rare find #

# Trouble cure #

Could I get a glass of red wine, please?

# For a troubled mind #

# And time has told me #

# Not to ask for more #

# For some day our ocean #

# Will find its shore... #

Are you... are you sure?

Really, Anthony.

You said it didn't feel right when we were going out.

No, it didn't... then.

But it does now?

I don't know.

You're quite cowardly, aren't you?

# Time has told me #

# You came with the dawn #

# A soul with no footprint... #

Veronica?

Hello, Anthony. You look well.

You're bald.

Well, at least it proves I'm not an alcoholic.

Do people think you're an alcoholic?

No. No, they don't.

I read somewhere that if you're a very heavy drinker, there's something in the booze that stops your hair from falling out.

Shall we find somewhere to sit down?

Where?

Anywhere? I'm easy, as you may recall.

Ready to order?

Um... I'll have a fresh mint tea, please.

Um, what sort of coffee do you serve?

We serve our own blend.

Roasted in our roastery in Herne Hill.

Oh, blimey. Uh...

We don't mess around.

Uh, in that case, I'll have a macchiato, please.

Single or double? Single, thank you.

Thank you.

Their own blend.

Impressive stuff.

I was sorry to hear about your mother, Veronica.

Yes.

As, uh, as you're no doubt aware, it appears that your mother left something to me in her will.

And when I spoke with your mother's solicitor...

I was told that the item that has been left to me was... um, a diary written by Adrian.

I don't have the diary. Excuse me?

I burnt it.

But it belongs to me.

It doesn't belong to anyone. Vroom, vroom, vroom!

Look!

I think you'll find that the zoo is north of the river.

Unbelievable.

Uh... I at least have, uh, the right to know what is in it.

Legally, yes.

Morally, no.

Have you any idea how unsettling it was for me after, however many years it's been, to receive a letter from your mother?

I can't be held accountable for my mother's actions.

Actually, as executor of her will, I rather suggest that you can.


What's this?

Because you seem to need something to read.

Bye, Anthony. I'm-I'm sorry I raised my voice.


Hi.

Sorry. That wasn't five minutes.

No, I know, it's...

Oh, quick. Right.

Traffic was dreadful. I'm really sorry.

So this is it, is it?

No, it's a spectacularly elaborate wind-up, Dad.

Yeah, sorry. Sorry, point taken.

Have you heard from Mum?

Uh, no, no, but I phoned her and she's in a meeting, but I left a message.

Right. Okay.

Off we go.

Dad, I think I'm gonna be sick. You're gonna be sick?

Oh, this whole thing's such a load of shit.

I mean, our gene pool alone is bad enough.

Workaholic meets curmudgeon meets deranged 30-something. You're not a curmudgeon.

I was talking about you. I know, darling.

The best thing you can do is just relax, calm down. Look, don't tell me to relax.

Jesus. Just call Mum.

Afternoon, I'm Emma.

Hi, Emma. I'm Tony. This is Susie.

How we doing? We're having a bit of a wobble.

Oh, for Christ's sake, Dad.

All right, I'll leave you two to it, okay?

Where are you going? Isn't that what you want?

Do you want me to stay? Do you want me to go? Call Mum?

Yes.

Right, right.


Good night, Harry.

Flying Doctor calling Wollumboola base.

"Dear, Adrian and Veronica.

Hello, bitch, and welcome to this letter.

A letter to you both to wish you much joy.

You certainly deserve one another.

Indeed, I hope you get so involved that the mutual damage will be permanent.

Part of me hopes you'll have a child because I'm a great believer in time's revenge.

Yay unto the next generation, and all that.

But in fairness, it would perhaps be somewhat unjust to inflict such ill will on the fruit of your poisonous loins.

Adrian, if she hasn't let you go all the way yet, I suggest you break up with her.

And no doubt she'll be round your place as quick as a flash with sodden knickers and a three-pack, eager to give it away.

Certainly, it worked for yours truly.

Veronica is undoubtedly someone who will manipulate you.

Even her own mother warned me against her.

In fact, if I were you, I'd check things out with Mum."

Tony?

Where is she? It's all right.

She's all right. She's fine.

She's through here.


So what was the problem?

It's fine. It's a false alarm.

I don't understand.

No one's expecting you to. Give me some credit.

Stop the car.

Stop the car. All right.

She's feeling sick. Okay.

Stop the car.

Good girl. Good girl.

Get it all out.

How is she? She's fine.

Do you need a lift home?

I think I'm gonna stay.

Do you think I should stay, too? That's completely up to you.

I met Veronica.

Well, congratulations.

Would you believe it, she's hardly changed.

Still has the same extraordinary coldness.

Here. What?

To mop up the drool.

Ah.

I want to show you something. What?

What's that? Open it.

This is horrible.

Did you write this?

She gave it to me, and then she left.

But I followed her. You did what?

I don't mean followed followed, but she set off before... This her car license number?

Yes, but, wait, listen.

All I wanted to do was establish...

Following someone home and casually jotting down their car license number is tantamount to stalking.

Oh, Margaret, come on. No, I'm perfectly serious.

Seems to me you're a hair's breadth away from a restraining order.

I wanted to apologize. No, you didn't.

You wanted to hear her say how wonderful you are and how you haven't changed.

And how she's thought of you all these years, and looked up at the stars and wondered...

I'm sorry, it's all a bit pathetic.

Don't hold back, will you?

Do you know what really strikes me is... your total inability to see what's right under your nose.

Such as?

Such as your daughter, who happens to be lying next door going out of her mind.

You said she was fine.

You're on your own now.

# Just remember I'll still be around #

# And I know, I know #

# Like I told you so many times before #

# You're gonna come back #

# Yes, you're gonna come back a-knocking #

# Knocking on my door, yeah, yeah, yeah #

# Time #

# Is on my side, yes, it is #

Oh, my God, no.

# Time... #

Come on. No.

Come on. Tony, I don't dance.

# Yes, it is... #

It's good for the soul.

# Kind that you need #

# That's why I know #

# There's gonna be the same feeling #

# I'm not gonna have to worry no more #

# All of my worries will be over #


Might rain later.

Mm, there's always a later.


Hey, hey, that's enough.

I said that's enough. Friday's pub night.

Take me to the pub! Hey, Graham, I'm watching you.

All right.

Come on, let's all make it across.

We'll make the pub in one piece.

Here we are, guys. Do a little headcount.

Are you all looking forward to your beers?

Okay. Well, I'm gonna be leaving you.

Are you going? And I'll see you next week.

All right? Bye.

See you next week. See ya.

Bye-bye, Veronica.

Lovely to see you.

Bye-bye.


What are you doing? Oh, hi.

I saw you and, uh...

Saw me and what? I was... I was passing through, and I saw you, and I thought, well, now's the chance to...

I don't want you following me. I wasn't following you.

You were running after me.

Jogging, maybe.

What'd you want? When I read that letter...

It wasn't intended as a start to a conversation.

Nonetheless, let me at least buy you a drink.

Let me buy you a drink, and you'll never have to see me again, ever.

What is this?

Those are my details, uh, email... No, I have your details.

What is it that you do? I have a shop, albeit a very, very, very small shop, selling cameras.

Rare, second-hand cameras. Leicas.

Make a living?

Yes, well, depends what you call a living.

I'm retired, so...

So, coffee or drink?

Is this about "closing the circle"?

Don't know about that. But it can't hurt, can it?

I'm not available at the moment to go and have a drink with you.

Okay.

But perhaps at some point.

Great.

Fantastic. Eh, whenever suits.


Okay, who loves "The Simpsons"?

Me, me.

"Downton's Abbey"?

I've never... I don't watch "Downton's Abbey."

I'm going to go to the toilet. Okay.

She works on... she works... I don't know.

No, she's not.

What was her name again? I don't know.

Yes, you do. No, I don't.

You do know her name.

Like your badges.

Yeah.

Amazing array. Can I have a look?

Ah, they're brilliant.

I'm a Stones fan myself.

Do you wanna tell him where you get them from?

Yeah, where do you get them?

Do you have a favorite in particular?

This one? Yeah?

It is... I think.

Yeah, it was very expensive, wasn't it? Brilliant.

You bought that one the other day, didn't you, Adrian?

Nice meeting you, Adrian.

They're brilliant. Really brilliant.

Have a good day. And you.

Come on.

Take Dobson's suicide, sir.

We are told Dobson came to take his own life, perhaps when he understood his girlfriend was pregnant.

"Indeed, I hope you get so involved that the mutual damage will be permanent.

Part of me hopes you'll have a child because I'm a great believer in time's revenge."


What are you reading?

Zweig.

So you've worked your way right through the alphabet, have you?

Can't be anyone left after him.

Are you, uh, married, I take it?

Not married. Never?

Mysterious to a fault.

I'm divorced, by the way. In case you were wondering.

I wasn't, but...

I'm sorry to hear that. On the contrary.

Very happily so.

Best decision we ever undertook.

In fact, she...

Margaret recently accused me of having built a shrine to you no less.

The shop.

When I told her that it was you who gave me my first Leica.

And what did you say?

Ah!

Hi, Tony.

Those two are... in my daughter's NCT group.

Lesbians, pregnant lesbians.

Good God.

Whatever will they all think of next?

My daughter's 36, by the way.

Apart from coming off the rails somewhat and deciding to have a child all on her very own, she works in PR.

Whatever that may mean.

Thanks for the tea, Tony.

I... I have to leave, I have an appointment.

Are you... Did I say... No, finish your cake.

Is this because I've been banging on about myself?

'Cause I don't mean to. No.

Uh, the other day... after we met, I went to that pub.

I met Adrian.

Both Adrian and you are very important to me.

And all I can say is that abhorrent letter of mine was the expression of a moment.

And it was deeply shocking for me to read after all these years.

Do we really need to do this? If I may, though.

I'm not expecting you to hand over Adrian's diary anymore.

If you've burnt it, that's the end of it.

And if not, as it was written by the father of your son, it belongs to you.

Enough. I can only imagine how difficult it's been for you.

No, you cannot imagine.

No. Right. Yes.


Whoops.


Is that everyone?

Adrian, are you okay?

It's that man.

Yeah, that one I saw, yeah.

Over there? Yes.

The one with the bad beard?

I'll be right back.

Hello.

Is there something I can help you with?

Do you want a chip? No, no, I'm fine.

On the menu it says they're fat cut, hand cut.

But what it really means is they're fat cut.

They've not actually been cut by hand at all.

Uh, look, don't take this the wrong way, but...

I'll do my best.

I think, for whatever reason, one of the people I look after is a little uncomfortable with you being here.

Again. Oh, I'm sorry.

I didn't mean to upset anyone. I'll leave.

If you don't mind, can I ask who you are?

Tony Webster. Uh, Ben.

Do you mind if I sit down, Tony? Of course.

Cheers.

I was an old friend of Adrian's father, and I've recently become reacquainted with his mother.

Oh, you'll understand, then.

She and I were at university together.

Really? You don't look old enough to have been at uni with Adrian's mum. You're too kind.

I was rather hoping to bump into her here, but, uh...

Wait, wait, sorry. Uh, bump into who?

Veronica. Adrian's mother.

Um... you understand I can't discuss our clients' histories, it's a matter of confidentiality.

Yeah, of course. Um...

Now, if you are a friend of the family, what you're saying, Tony, doesn't make any sense.

Veronica is Adrian's sister.

Um, their mother, Sarah, passed away six months ago.

How did he seem? Cheerful.

Happy. Like himself.

Only more so.

As we said good-bye, he told me he was in love.

You won't let Veronica get away with too much, will you?

Sorry?

Don't let her get away with too much.

Are we okay?

They seem very happy, the five of them.

You obviously do a good job. We try our best.

Good luck to you all.

I'm gonna head back to the group.


Please leave me a message after the beep.

Margaret, it's me again.

Yeah, uh, this is it.

I think this is definitely it. Where are you?


Tell me about your day.

My day?

Yeah. What you did.

Oh. Okay. I went to Highgate.

To see a woman who I'd had a relationship with when I was an undergraduate.

We've recently become reacquainted, but she wasn't there.

Wasn't where? At home.

So what were you doing there?

I went to see her.

But she wasn't there. No.

I waited around a bit, outside... at the station.

So you're stalking her? You're her stalker.

No. Yes, you are.

No. Not at all, no.

No, moving on.

We broke up is the point.

While we were still at university.

And not long after, she formed a relationship with my best friend.

And I wrote them both a very nasty letter.

And recently, I've been working under the assumption that they'd had a child together shortly before my best friend committed suicide.

But now it appears that the mother of that child wasn't my ex-girlfriend, but it was her mother.

And I can only assume that it was my... horrible letter that in some way pushed the... friend...

Hello again, Tony.

Emma. Oh, hi, Emma.

How we doing?

I'd say holding up, just about.

I'll just check baby's head.

No, no, no. Dad, stay.

Just for a bit.

You can hold my hand.

What's going on?

I don't know what's going on. Everything's fine.

Dad, why isn't anyone saying anything?

Everything's absolutely fine.

We're nearly there, I promise you.

Susie, you have a baby.

Congratulations.

Why isn't he crying?

He's not crying.

Can you see anything? He's fine. He's fine.

Why isn't he crying?

Excuse me, my daughter's asking, why isn't her son crying?

So proud of you.

I wanna see him. Yeah.

Baby. Ah, look.

Say hello to your mummy.

There he is.

It's very hot. Thank you.

You don't have to stay here, you know.

I want to.

Susie said you dealt with everything very impressively.

I'm not an entirely redundant member of this family, yet.

I've never said you were. Haven't you?

Where are you going?

I'm gonna give you some space.

Fine. But, uh... you may be interested to know, you probably won't, but I was planning on making an apology to you.

For being insensitive, being a bore, for being a monumental pain in the arse.

Maybe it's too little too late, but I hope not.

I know, technically, we're not supposed to make pronouncements of this nature anymore, but... you and Susie are the two most important people in my life.

Divorced, married, makes no difference.

Well, there you are.

Despite what you might think...

I assure you, I'm trying.

What's wrong with your watch?

It's stopped.


Come on, baby.

Get you home.

Leaving.

Leaving hospital.

How often do we tell our own life story?

How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts?

And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to tell us our life is not our life.

It is just a story we've told about our lives.

A story about our lives told to others, but mainly to ourselves.

Oh, hello. How are you?

Uh, what? Are you well?

I'm fine. Want a coffee?

Yeah.

Thank you.

Could you, um... could you sign here, please? I just got...

Thank you.

Great, thank you.

Thank you. Thank you.

"I've been turning over in my mind the question of nostalgia, and whether I suffer from it.

I suppose I am nostalgic.

I think of my time with Margaret and Susie's birth and her first years.

A bunch of kids in school.

A girl dancing for once in her life.

A secret horizontal gesture beneath a sunlit wisteria.

I think of Adrian's definition of history.

I think of everything that has happened in my life... and how little I have allowed to happen.

I, who neither won nor lost.

Who avoided being hurt and called it a capacity for survival.

I think of how our lives got entwined and went along together for a time.

And when I look back, now, on that time, however brief...

I am moved more than I thought possible.

Indeed, I'm sorry that I have known nothing of your life in the years since.

No doubt you could have taught this old fool a thing or two.

Perhaps, in a way, you have."

Hello. Surprise!

Lovely surprise.

Hello, Joshua.

Say hello to "The Mudge." Hello, Mudge.

No, you are The Mudge. Mum and I decided.

On account of your being a curmudgeon.

How are you?

Good.

The NCT group send their love to you.

Oh, that's nice.

We had a lovely lunch comparing the damage done to our bodies.

Vaginas and all. Oh, Joshua, cover your ears.

Cover your ears.

Very good.

You're a special young man.