Confession of a Child of the Century (2012) Movie Script

It was in circumstances such as these
that I was stricken by the disease of
the century.
The man I had caught in my mistress'
arms was one of my closest friends.
It was the first time I had seen a
Back to back!
A moment of distraction, I...
I was never his, I swear! I...
I made a mistake, not committed a crime!
If you leave me, it will kill me!
Cock your pistols!
It's the arm, he's alright!
What was I going to do with myself?
I had no situation, no occupation.
I had studied a little law, a little
medicine, but I had given up.
I was writing a little.
Are you sure you won't come?
I would rather stay here.
You don't go out anymore. You don't
see anyone!
I'm trying to think.
You think too much!
- Hmm?
- You think too much!
I gave up long ago.
Thinking is out of fashion!
These days one has to mock!
Ask me the question, 'What do
you believe in?'
What do you believe in?
In nothing!
Forget that woman!
If she's such a great loss, I mean, take
the first woman that comes along!
What are you talking about?
You may show me trees, houses...
birds, blue sky...
Men who talk, and drink... women
who dance!
Horses that gallop!
That's not life!
It's not life! It's... it's the sound
of life!
Go.. go now.
Let me rest!
Then rest in peace, my friend.
Your life is a funeral!
I know what happened Octave, Elise told
me everything.
I'm her closest friend, and yet...
Tell her, Madame...
Tell her that I'm sad.
So this whole business is beyond repair?
There really is no solution?
Nothing is beyond repair...
except for the pain that is killing
me every day!
My story is quite simple to tell.
I can neither love her,
nor love another,
nor go on, without love.
I have been in love too.
He left me too.
Excuse me, Madame...
I'll get out here, Madame.
I feel dizzy.
But it's about to rain!
The great reason that was preventing me
from recovering was my youth.
I thought only of women.
Possessing a woman meant loving,
and I no longer believed in the
possibility of loving.
You should kill me!
I have lied to you.
I am loathsome and pitiful.
But I love you.
I can't live without you.
Is that you, Frederic?
We're going to be late!
I had lived only through that woman.
To doubt her was to doubt all.
To curse her, to renounce all.
To lose her... to destroy all.
I belong to a generation of youth born
in war, for war.
Sons of the Empire, grandsons of the
We left our schools, and no longer
seeing sabres, nor cuirasses,
asked where our fathers were.
We were told that the war was over.
An anxious youth then sat on this
world in ruins.
That's a true story!
I think she said, there's a relation...
That's Anna Morel, actually...
Then we can't...
Two sides had lined up.
On the one hand, exalted minds lowered
their heads and wept.
On the other, the men of flesh remained
standing amid the rebels.
And their sole concern was to count
the money they had.
Let's drink to the idiocy of this
which gives us such power over idiots!
Liberty has given birth to anarchy,
and anarchy leads to tyranny, and
tyranny restores liberty!
But think of all the millions of men who
have died
trying to make one of these systems
triumph. And they've all failed!
Our century is laughing amid ruins!
And the moral world goes round this
vicious circle!
Men try and make things better,
they're just moving things around!
Ah, politic bores me!
From now on the world belongs to the
Let us drink to the power of gold!
The rich man is in power, he's the
king, he can do anything!
He's above everything! He doesn't obey
the laws, the law will obey him!
There is no guillotine, no executioner
for millionnaires!
Oh shut up you sceptic! You have
ridiculed every power there is!
It is as vulgar as to deny God!
Hope for heaven! There is a commercial
Deus Ignotus! To gods unknown!
A feeling of inexpressible discomfort
began to ferment in all young hearts.
Sentenced to rest by the world sovereign
Sentenced to idleness and boredom,
the anxiety of death wormed its way
into their soul.
If it was tantamount to a negation of
all things,
then one can call it disenchantment or
desperation, if one prefers.
The disease of the century.
- Take me now...
- ... stay together!
I am the cat!
I am the cat, I tell you!
- I am the cat!
- I am the cat!
Come here!
I am the cat, I am the cat!
The discovery of debauchery is like
At first we feel a sort of terror,
mingled with voluptuousness.
The first movement is surprise.
The second, horror.
And the third... pity.
From that day on, I changed my life
One may hesitate for twenty years
before taking this step,
but cannot back away, once one
has taken it.
It was not long before the whole of
had declared that I was the greatest
Desgenais was delighted with me.
But while my vanity occupied itself
in this manner,
my heart was suffering.
Virtually all the time, there was
within me one man who was laughing
and another who was crying.
Once however, I was on the verge of
falling in love.
Old boy! How are you?
Have you been loved?
Do you want to be loved?
Are you a queen? Are you good or evil?
What are you doing there?
Will you come?
Of course.
You're so beautiful!
Will you come?
Yes, I'm... I'm coming!
Just coming.
Take along with you the first man,
and say to him,
these are people who spend their lives
wallowing in all forms of pleasure.
Women, as many as they want!
They are rich, every day is a holiday
for them!
What do you think?
Unless he's sternly and deeply religious
he would reply that he
could not conceive of greater happiness
Now, say to the same man: 'Look, this
is your life!'
You are the happiest of men!
All your desires are realities.
Only be careful you don't read too much,
or find your body, no longer able to
enjoy pleasure.
That'd be a great misfortune!
Beware of disgust.
It's an enduring disease.
A dead man is better than a living one
who is disgusted of life.
Do you have a heart?
Beware of life.
What's worse than the disease of
debauchery, is ridicule.
Do you have a conscience?
Beware sleep.
Do you have a body?
Beware suffering!
Do you have a soul? Beware despair!
Each woman that you kiss takes a spark
of your happiness
without ever giving you one of hers.
You keep exhausting yourself with
You must die!
You're the enemy of everything that
But do not wait for old age.
Do not leave a child on the earth,
do not fertilise a corrupt blood!
Erase yourself.
Like smoke.
This is what you taught me!
You've come too late, I'm afraid.
Your father would have liked to have
seen you one last time.
Farewell my son.
I love you.
I am done.
Whatever suffering passion may cause,
one must not compare life's sorrows,
with those of death.
Every day I visited his tomb,
the rest of the time I lived alone.
I lived the life my father had left
and for the first time in my life, I was
Grief was teaching me virtue.
I was beginning to understand the age we
live in.
Behind us, the past destroyed for good,
still caught up in its ruins.
Ahead of us, the first glow of the
And between these two worlds,
the present century, where one
doesn't know.
with each step taken, whether one is
walking on the sea, to a rubble.
I knew your father a little. He was
a good man.
Yes, he was.
My aunt used to play cards with him
in the afternoon.
You should come and visit her. That
would make her happy.
Wait. I have to stop.
I feel tired.
What are you thinking?
I was wondering why God created you.
I mean, I was telling myself it was to
heal all those who are suffering.
My my, such words!
Coming from you, one... one can only
take them as a compliment.
Because you seem very young to me.
Well, at times one can be older than
one's face.
One can also be younger than one's
Don't you believe in experience?
Ah I know, that's the name most men
give to their...
their extravagances and sorrows.
What could someone your age know
of that?
Madame, a man of my age can live more
fully than a woman of thirty!
The freedom that men enjoy...
it leads them more quickly to the depth
of all things!
You see?
I was tired earlier, but I'm not
any more!
Treat your experience the way I
treat my tiredness!
We've had quite a race,
and we shall dine with all the more
appetite for it!
The very next day, I was at her house.
She was a widow, and lived alone
with her aunt.
Peace. Oblivion.
Do you want to come and see my
Oh, I'd love to.
You don't want to?
Well, God be praised!
You're still young!
You can live.
You can love!
Blessed are they who sleep little.
God be praised. You're still young.
You can live. You can love
God be praised, you're still young.
You can live, you can love.
God be praised, you're still young!
You can live. You can love.
Let me see your hand?
I've got horrible hands!
- Let me see!
It's very interesting!
You guessing, my teacher?
No, no guesswork. It's all there!
52-card pickup.
- You know that one?
- No!
More than three months had passed,
during which I'd seen her nearly
every day.
And more than once, I'd been tempted
to confess that I loved her
What's wrong?
Nothing... I...
What is it? What's wrong?
I'll go home. Excuse me.
Don't! Don't!
Now listen to me, I know!
But if it's that way, Octave...
then you have to leave.
You come here every day, and you're
You've won my friendship
I wish you had the strength to keep
yours for me just a little longer.
Come in.
A letter.
I have been seeing you for three
months now,
and one month ago, I noticed that
you had feelings for me,
that at your age, I called love.
I believed that I detected within you
the determination to hide it from me,
and to overcome it.
I already felt esteem for you, that gave
me even more.
I cannot reproach you with anything
that has happened,
nor for the fact that your will failed
What you believe is love, is merely
I'm older than you by a few years, and
I ask you not to see me again.
You would attempt in vain to forget
a moment of weakness.
What happened between us can neither
occur a second time,
nor be forgotten completely.
I'd like to talk to you.
Madame,you wrote to me that what happened
between us could not be forgotten,
and that's true.
But you say that because of this we
cannot see each other again,
and you're mistaken.
I love you.
I've done nothing to offend you.
But nothing has changed for you, since
you do not love me.
What had prevented me declare my
love for you?
My fear of losing you.
sets a condition, that the very first
word I say about it,
the door will be closed to me.
As I have remained silent until now, I
I shall remain silent in the future.
- I don't.. - You believe that I've
loved you for a moment now, but
I have done so... from the very first
When you realised how I felt about you,
You didn't stop seeing me, did you?
What have I done to you?
I have knelt before you... and never
said a word!
What have you learned from me?
Something you already knew.
Put me to the test.
Give to me a month or two of the only
I shall ever know.
Listen to me.
I'm going to send you on an errand, for
a friend of my family.
Whatever you might say, a brief journey
will... calm you.
In a month... in two months, you
will come back,
I shall see you then, and I shall answer
you better.
Why finally, father!
How was that jeweller, I heard you had
a bit of bother...
...the last five years, I've been let
His glorious birth!
I've left my father, and the estate has
been left...
to me, I have to go and take care
and just, I don't know, take a little
time out from this, this life.
- Flowers in your hair...
- Yeah, it's all fresh...
Let's drink some wine...
- Yes, some wine... - Where's the
music, actually? Come on!
Damn it!
Three weeks later my errand was complete
and I returned.
My decision was made to remain silent
about my love for her.
Yes, it's me.
Did you have a good journey?
Are you unwell, Brigitte?
No, I have been...
I'm better now.
It's nothing.
How are your flowers?
They're very well
Shall we see them?
No, I'm a little tired.
I'm going to rest a while. Some
other time, Octave?
Some other time.
I'll be back...
You needn't have waited for me.
I've been back for a month and I've
hardly seen you!
Away from you, there's no life for me.
Can I go with you?
You've got no idea what my life was
like before.
Did I ever tell you about my
You used to gamble?
There was a time when I gambled
every night!
And courtesans...
When I first met courtesans,
I think I was expecting,
resourceful, insolent women.
Also, gay...
lively, something like the sparkle
of champagne!
Instead I found... gaping mouths,
vacant stares.
clawlike hands.
Had I not met you, I could have fallen
back into my old ways.
Here we are.
Shall I see you tomorrow?
Oh, tomorrow... I'm not there. Don't
I don't know...
come anyway!
Forgive me for intruding.
I realise we don't know each other very
well. But, ummm...
What's this about?
Madame Pierson is ill.
And she's asked me to inform you that
she won't be able to receive you today.
It was fairly late when I left her
She was well then!
I don't believe you!
Goodbye, Monsieur.
Monsieur, I beg you to tell me that
that isn't true!
- Listen, I - And there isn't something
else you're not telling me about!
I've told you everything I know!
- Now Monsieur... - Madame Pierson
is not ill!
I know that. I'm sure of it!
I'm not afraid of anyone!
I've said what I came to say!
Pierre! Wait for me! I need to talk
to you!
- Good morning
- Good morning, sir.
- Would you tell Madame that I'm here?
- Madame is not here.
Please do me the honour of telling her
I'm here.
I'm sorry, she's... she's not
Melody, don't take me for a fool...
I beg you to make your visits less
Your assiduity is the talk of the
Blessed are they that sleep forever...
- Don't!
- Oh, don't worry.
I know you love me.
Brigitte displayed more trust after
confessing that she loved me.
More trust than she ever showed me
The respect that I had for her
inspired a gentle joy in her breast.
- Beg your pardon
- You said what?
- You said three
- You said none!
He said none, so he's really
I don't know what to do.
Just go for it!
Too bad!
Well done, my dear. I may go.
- You what?
- Drive a man to drink!
- I'll leave you now anyway
- Alright!
Perhaps I...
Perhaps I should...
I promise I'll be a better man.
It was horrible to see you suffer!
I was suffering too.
A thousand times, I... I wanted to go
abroad, to run away from you.
I'd sworn to myself I'd rather die
than give in
Society's chatter no longer reaches me.
I won't listen any more.
I'm already old.
I don't have long to be loved by you.
- Will you love me for long?
- All my life!
Did you mean those fine words you said?
I'm not beautiful
I wish I were a hundred times
more so.
Shall I play you that air by Stradella
you love? - Yes.
Actually, the air's mine.
I made you believe it was by Stradella.
- It's yours?
- Yes!
I told you it was by Stradella because
I wanted to...
to know what you thought.
I never play my own music.
But I wanted to try, and, as you
see, you liked it.
What's wrong?
Play it again, dear.
You lie so well!
You lie so well.
How is it possible?
How is it possible?
If you love me...
swear that you'll never lie to me.
Even about the tiniest thing.
It fills me with horror.
I swear.
I cannot bear it.
Misfortunes have their symptoms, just
like illnesses,
and there is nothing so dreaded at sea,
as a small, black spot on the horizon.
Stop it!
What have we here?
- Your journal?
- Yes.
Who do you think this is? "He is
irresistible. "
"And yet, I resist. It...
" I would... " You write us all!
" I would have liked to take him in my
arms, and ease his suffering"
That's, that's quite sweet.
"I knew, that if he took a step towards
I wouldn't have the strength to resist!
But he has left.
I was relieved and sad. "
You could have been a doctor, your
Can't even tell which side it's supposed
to be on!
- Monsieur de...
- Don't! Don't! Don't read that!
You're right. I don't know what I'm
doing anyway.
Take the book. I want you to read it.
No, let's... let's forget about it.
Let's not mention it.
Your secret's your own, my dear.
Oh, why did I have to read that opening?
Do you believe I have secrets?
I don't believe... I don't believe
Except that you're beautiful.
I want to die loving you!
- Monsieur.
- Father.
The other day, you expressed
an anger that
a man of my position can only understand
and forgive.
I'm truly sorry, Monsieur,
that I took upon myself to convey such
an inappropriate errand.
It is I who should be apologising to you
I was confused.
Do you know Monsieur Delans?
A little.
He's a friend of Madame Pierson's
What kind of man is he?
How is it, Monsieur,
that you know Madame Pierson so well and
that you can be so intimate with her,
Haven't you met Monsieur Delans there?
My aunt says...
I don't know what to think,
except that you no longer love me.
Having to...
Having to watch you court ladies like
like a complacent fool.
Your billing and cooing was...
- was ridiculous.
- You know very well...
She's nothing.
If you're tired of this life,
- It is for you to put an end to it.
- Fine!
Since I became yours, I no longer
recognise you.
You no doubt played a role to convince
me that you love me.
And now the charade bores you...
You suspect me of being unfaithful at
the first word you hear,
and I don't have the right to suffer
when... when you insult me!
You're no longer the man I loved!
You accuse me of tyranny, so I'll
become your slave!
Since I disturb your life,
rest in peace.
I will bear anything from him, as long
as he loves me.
but I want to die when he leaves me.
I shall end this life with poison.
Can't you go and shut those girls up?
And stop that singing!
Just throw yourself headlong into the
Help yourself to the courtesans, the
dancing girls,
the Comtesses.
If you're a weak man, then make
yourself an armour,
that can withstand everything.
But if you have a passionate soul,
I'll tell you straight off,
love doesn't exist.
Just throw yourself headlong into
the world.
Help yourself to the courtesans, the
dancing girls,
the Comtesses,
If you're a weak man, then make
yourself an armour,
that can withstand everything.
But, if you have a passionate soul,
I'll tell you straight off,
love doesn't exist.
Love doesn't exist.
All the scornful ideas about women,
all the lines that I had repeated as
a lesson,
as a rule during my dissolute days,
Strange thing!
while in the past I did not believe
them while boasting about them,
it now seems to me that they were truly
Well, what does it matter?
Do you not have a pretty mistress?
and has she not given herself to
a libertine?
So let her take me as I am.
You're very late.
I didn't notice the time.
I didn't do anything interesting.
Just got bored.
In fact I'm still bored.
By this time,
in Paris, I'd be at the Opera.
luxuriating in the music, and the
women's laughter.
If there are two such different men
within you,
can you forget the good one, when
the bad one rises?
Do you like opera?
I remember one evening, at
a singer friend, of Desgenais', she
was singing,
her voice was magnificent.
and for the first time, I saw my friend
It was a beautiful sight.
After that,
in shame no doubt,
he was overcome by a fit of madness,
he smashed everything around him.
Chairs, tables...
the lot.
The woman had been able to bring him
out of himself.
It left him beside himself.
Amusing to see, isn't it?
You're too devout. You don't know what
it's like!
There's nothing quite like people who
live without a care,
or who make love without believing it.
Well then,
teach me!
teach me to please you always!
I'm happy to learn.
Pretend you don't love me.
Just let me love you, and not say a word
about it.
What do I have to do for you
to believe it?
Am I to your liking?
Which one of your mistresses do I
Am I beautiful enough?
Am I beautiful enough?
For you to forget that one can still
believe in love?
Stop it.
Stop it.
Now, stop it.
You don't know how much you resemble
that which you seek to mock,
and I am vile enough to recall before
Look at me!
Look at me!
It's all my fault!
My aunt dead,
I'm leaving.
Down to a single colour,
that of mourning.
for a long time.
I won't change it any more.
- I have to leave
- Well, leave then!
But if I don't kill myself, I'll follow
I can't...
These people talking... about you.
About me...
I'm here
Don't... don't leave.
My love will console you.
I swear.
I love you so much
Let's live!
Come on!
Come on, stand up!
How sorry to see you... You know
it's Carnival in Paris now!
C'mon, let's dress up!
You'll no longer have to suffer,
for my pride,
or my madness.
I can be the man that I am.
I can be better.
No! Don't!
I'm your poison.
You'll forget me,
and you'll live.
I'll leave here tonight.
Determined to make a long journey,
we had at last come to Paris, to make
the necessary preparations.
so easily...
How is your mother?
Dutifully fine.
She can't wait to see you!
I hope so!
And don't forget to give your
mother my best regards...
I'll come and see you as soon as I can
- And thank you for your kind words!
- Thank you!
It was very nice to see you again.
this is Monsieur Smith.
Very nice to meet you.
Monsieur Smith?
He's a friend of my family.
You probably saw him at my aunt's
My family is trying to persuade me
to go back home.
Take.. take me away!
Let's leave the country!
Let's leave the past behind!
We have to be happy!
We were ready to leave
Brigitte became... listless
more and more every day
She locks herself away to weep.
When I tell her that... that nothing is
set in stone,
that she can still renounce her plans,
she barely answers me.
I don't know what to tell you.
three weeks ago,
I had the tickets for our trip. She
suddenly became ill! Confined to her bed
Was this young man...
Monsieur Smith. A country friend of hers
settled in Paris now.
He comes to visit her fairly often.
He and I are so different...
I wonder which is really in the real
Leave as quickly as possible.
Take Brigitte far away from these
If she loves me, why is she so
That's her secret. Respect her, don't
ask her too many questions.
And don't ask yourself too many either!
Wait for her to feel better, and leave!
Brigitte is feeling better.
My heart cries out.
Telling me to leave but.. I linger still
A secret and bitter lust roots me to
the spot.
If she goes with me, will she be happy?
Octave, go!
Go and try to be happy!
Before it's too late!
You still can be happy!
Do I deserve happiness?
Do I deserve to be happier?
Do I deserve...
Do I deserve to be happy?
You were here?
Yes, I was just here.
Carry on.
I love to hear you sing.
Go on.
Are you ready to leave?
Well, at dinner you seemed so set on
leaving that
I immediately called for the horses.
Is it real?
You want to leave tonight?
Well why not Brigitte? Since we both
agree we have to leave Paris.
But now? At this very instant?
Of course!
You're in a travelling mood tonight!
If you want to leave, let's leave.
It's only up to you.
May I come in?
I'm ready. Here I am.
Are we leaving?
- We're leaving
- We're going to leave.
We're going to leave.
I can't... I can't find...
my key to my writing desk.
I don't know where it... I had it only
an hour ago!
I'm ready, Octave.
We can go down.
Well I... wish you a good journey,
my friends.
You will write to us, won't you Henry?
And you won't forget my family?
- You'll do whatever you can for me?
- Of course I will!
You can count on me, I'm...
I'm your devoted servant.
Well, I'll go and see that everything's
in order.
When will I see you again?
Farewell, Henry
If you don't want to leave with me any
more, just tell me.
Let's go.
Be honest!
One moment more, I...
I have a few papers to burn.
However hard it is for me, if I'm
to lose you,
I'm to lose you, don't give me any hope
I trust you more than ever. It's true!
I promise you the most charming journey.
Geneva! Geneva!
What are you doing Brigitte, if you love
me, what is this horrible
comedy you are playing?
I think I like misery better than our
You are deceiving me.
You love another man.
- Who?
- Smith.
Oh, be silent.
If you do not speak now,
I'll leave you for good.
What do you expect me to tell you?
All that's in your heart.
I'm a madwoman, hoping to be believed.
You want to know my secret?
My secret is that I love you.
But you're looking for another one.
I'm a fool.
I'm a fool.
You say I must justify myself?
For what?
For loving?
For dying?
And if I affect false gaiety then, that
gaiety itself offends you!
Always, whatever I do!
abuse and anger
In so doing, you deprive yourself of the
sole joy that exists in the world!
Loving with abandon!
You kill all feelings in the heart of
those who love you.
- Brigitte, you...
- No, no you let me!
Let me speak. I too must speak!
You have to... you have to decide.
You have to decide, either love is a
good thing,
or it is evil.
If it is good, you...
you must believe in it.
If it is evil...
you must recover from it.
Who am I then?
Who am I that one should doubt me?
Look at this face of mine!
Look! Look at these...
these thin cheeks,
these poor weary arms,
that are under suspicion.
You wanted dinner,
Why? Why did...
Why did you love me if it all had
to end like this?
I'm leaving you.
I'm losing you.
I cannot love you as you deserve
to be loved.
Will I see you again?
You will recover from all the pain
I've caused you.
Will you forget me?
I'm leaving you.
I'm losing you.
I cannot love you as you deserve to
be loved.
I'm leaving you.
I'm leaving you.
I'll die an honest man.
You're a child who thought he was a man.
It's too late today. We won't be leaving
We are often deceived in love,
often hurt,
and often unhappy.
But we love.
We say to ourselves, "I've suffered
" I've been mistaken at times, but I've
"It is I who has lived,
and not some artificial being created by
my arrogance,
by my boredom. "
I have loved.
I will still have the courage...
I will still have the courage to believe
Blessed is he who escapes his times.