United States of Leland, The (2003) Movie Script

When I say I don't remember that day,
I'm not lying.
I wish I did,
but I just don't.
Sometimes the most
important stuff goes away.
It goes away so bad,
it's like it was never there to begin with.
It's funny,
the stuff that sticks in your head.
I could tell you forward and backward
about some day when I was five,
and my dad bought me
a stupid ice-cream cone.
I could tell you the
flavour of the ice cream...
Was... pink bubble gum.
...and even stuff about
the girl who scooped it out.
Her hair was fire red.
All that stuff is there like
it was happening right now, but...
I don't remember that day.
At least, not the stuff
that they want me to.
I remember it was the
first really hot day of spring.
I remember how the sun felt
on the back of my neck.
That's about it.
Here's another one
of those things that sticks.
This one is something
a friend of mine said to me.
"You have to believe that life is more
than the sum of its parts, kiddo. "
I remember it right
down to that "kiddo" part.
But when I think about what she said,
the same thing always comes into my head...
What if you can't put the pieces
together in the first place?
# And this I know,
his teeth as white as snow
# What a gas it was to see him
# Walk her every day,
into a shady place
# With lips, she said...
Just hold on one sec.
# Hey, Paul, hey, Paul, hey, Paul
Let's have a ball...
Come in.
- How are you, Beck?
- Good.
Yeah, you know, I'm pretty good.
I'm good.
Daddy, how are you?
Where's Ryan?
I was telling her the same thing
five minutes ago, Mrs Pollard.
I swear, it's like she doesn't
wanna listen to us.
I just don't think I sounded
as good as the other girls.
I think it's a good experience for you.
You've never done one of the musicals.
Yeah, well,
this is the first and the last.
I love your voice.
You'd say that if I sounded like
a harpy with throat cancer.
- You think it's bad?
- No.
Of course not.
# Stuck here out of gas
# Out here on the Gaza Strip...
Julie Pollard, Tim Wallace from the Drama
Department at Iowa. Just checking up on you.
Wondered if we can expect
to see you in the fall.
Give me a call here at the office.
I'll be in tomorrow.
You should call him,
let him know you settled on ASU.
- You did send your confirmation?
- I think I still have a few days.
Oh, Mom, the shop called.
They say you can pick up your car.
What's the damage?
- They didn't say on the machine.
- Oh, that's a great sign!
Slow down, Harry,
I can't understand you.
What happened?
No, I'll... I'll be right there.
Hi, Mommy.
Are you all right?
I think I made a mistake.
I can't imagine too many details
have been released...
...suspect's here.
Do they have any leads?
- Yeah?
- Are you watching the news, chief?
Er, yeah, you know I gotta stay
on top of the topical shit.
The TV boys say the
suspect is 16.
Ten bucks says the SFK winds
up here in your class tomorrow.
- Why would he be Special Handling? - You
can get by with a lot of shit in this world
but you can't stab a retarded
kid and not be Special Handling.
S.F.K. chief.
Sick Fucking Kid.
# Another one we
all walk away
# Never a dream your eyes,
wont you play
# Rhythm alone won't
hold me in mind
# Ooh want to set it all on fire
# Bury my feet in the
cold of a meadow
# Into the unknown
northern wind
# Dreams to ignite through
northern fields we'll fly
# Fly
# Don't tell me its all the
same in the middle
# So memory lie
outside your meadow
# Tow me around
outside the middle
# Turn me around
all I can be here
Sorry, ma'am, visiting days are
every second Sunday of the month.
- Noon to four.
- He didn't do this, ok?
He didn't do this...
horrible things they say he did.
- There's nothing I can do, all right?
- Please, please. One minute.
One minute.
Right, there's nothing I can do,
so I need you to turn around.
...apprehended the alleged suspect
at an area hospital earlier this evening.
Leland! Leland Fitzgerald!
Did you do it?
Do you have anything to say?
We'll be right back.
The Jiffy Lube signature service oil change,
every 3000 month.
- Briefcase?
- Briefcase.
Hi. Good morning.
- I was wondering if I could borrow
a stamp? - Let me see.
I'm kinda new here, so I'm not
really sure where they keep stuff.
I blanked on a phone bill.
I'm gonna be in debtor's prison
if I don't get it in the mail.
Get the bills.
I understand.
Here we are.
Oh, by the way, I'm Pearl.
- Good morning.
- Hey.
What did I tell you, chief?
Newest addition to SH and your very own
pop sheet, Mr Leland P. Fitzgerald,
- killer of retarded kids.
- Kid.
Ben, retarded kid, singular.
You'll never guess
who his daddy is.
I'll put 50 bucks on Satan.
Albert Fitzgerald.
- No shit?
- Hey, I was close.
- What's wrong with Fitzgerald?
- Let me see...
He's a drunk, a misogynist...
- Cat can write.
- He's despicable.
Despicable? He's a bastard. So what?
You don't judge a writer by his life.
You judge him by his work.
A different moral standard going on here.
Excuse me, ma'am.
Could I look at your paper?
Oh, yes, certainly, erm...
Business or Life?
Oh, no, I'll wait for the
front page, thank you.
Excuse me.
I'm sorry if I'm
bothering you, but...
- aren't you an actor?
- Aren't we all, dear?
No, no.
I mean, a famous actor.
I know your face.
I was in Stanley Kubrick's musical,
the one about the alcoholic pirates.
I played Captain Morgan.
Whenever you're done
with the front page, dear.
How about hooking us up with a
table right by the kitchen, dog?
What you in for, dog?
Hey, I'm not asking you cos I'm gonna kick
your ass if you did some fucked-up shit,
cos I already know you
did some fucked-up shit.
Hey, a guy like me,
you know he's an SH cos he ratted
out some bitch from State Street.
Now half the pop wants to stick
a fucking pencil to his eye.
Hey, but white boys ain't about
that gang shit though, huh?
Especially not white boys like you
who don't look like no Slim Shady.
White boys like you the ones
who did some fucked-up shit, huh?
That's cool, dog.
OK, everybody,
take your seats, please.
You'll have to forgive Mr Madison today.
He's moving kinda slow.
His head's beating like it's
the end of the world.
You been drinking that cheap
ass burgundy again, ain't you?
Hey, three bucks, two litres.
I couldn't pass it up.
You, sir, are new to my class.
- What's your name?
- Fitzgerald. Leland P. Fitzgerald.
Well, Mr Leland P. Fitzgerald,
my name is Pearl Madison.
And I'm gonna be your history teacher,
your science teacher, your math teacher,
your anything else
teacher all rolled into one
for however many days, weeks,
months you'll be here with us.
Hey, Pearly,
when are you bringing
your dancer up here, dog?
As soon as the lovely
Miranda returns from LA,
- I'm sure she would be delighted
to meet you hoodlums. - Liar.
Hey, Mrs Pollard.
- Have you been up all night?
- Yes, I suppose I have.
Need a light there?
I... don't feel so bad.
I thought you quit, too.
How could he have been
that much to someone?
How could he mean enough
for that boy to hurt him?
He was barely there.
Mrs Pollard, I really
don't know what to say.
But I just want you to know...
that if there's anything
that I can do, just tell me.
It's all right, sweetheart.
And as you look out over Venice today,
you see the city...
- Hey. - Hey, in Venice,
there's no streets, right?
There's just rivers and shit?
Er, canals and shit, yeah.
They don't even allow
cars on the island.
- You can hear footsteps.
- What's that?
Since they don't allow cars,
when you're walking around,
all you can hear is footsteps.
Hey, Pearly,
help me out here, bro.
I'm developing this theory, right,
that the suicide rate of Venice is real low.
Cos if you jump off a building,
all your ass is gonna do is splash
in a canal and shit, right?
OK, well, why don't we expand
on that theory tomorrow?
Class dismissed, you guys. Go ahead
and bring your books up to the front.
Hey, where were you, B?
I was kinda wondering...
Maybe I could keep this
and do some writing in my room?
Unfortunately, I can't allow you
to take anything out of a class.
But I'll keep it up
here safe for you.
Hey, um... I'm jealous.
- When did you go to Italy?
- My dad lives in Paris.
So sometimes,
we travel together.
I guess I'll see you tomorrow.
You're the one that killed
that retarded kid, huh?
Was it some kind of
devil worship thing?
What did you do to your hand?
I stabbed myself.
If you're going for suicide,
I'd say try the stomach or somethin'.
I just wanted to know
what it felt like.
I bet it hurt.
Should've just asked me, devil boy,
I would have saved you some trouble.
The journal goes down the front of your
pants, the pencil goes in your sock.
I'm just glad to see
somebody's writing.
Er, Pearl?
Can I ask you a question?
It's about your name.
You're wondering, why Pearl?
- You like basketball?
- Sure.
Well, in the '70s, there was this guy
who played for the Knicks.
His name was Earl Monroe.
His nickname was The Pearl.
- Earl the Pearl?
- Earl the Pearl, right.
Well, my parents
were in Queens then.
My mom was a dancer.
She hated sports.
But somehow my dad talked her into going
to check out a game at the Garden.
It just turns out that it's
Earl the Pearl's night.
Cat went off,
dropped 33 points on the Celtics.
After the game, all my mom could do
was talk about how watching him play
was like watching a dance recital,
because he moved like poetry...
- Hey! Hey! Break it up!
- Outta my way, man!
Anyway, when I was a kid,
that was pretty much
all the story I got.
But a couple of Christmases ago,
I'm knocking a few back with my dad.
And he embellishes.
So, after the game,
they went back to Queens.
Well, thankfully,
my dad spared me the details here.
But um... the condom broke.
And nine months later, whoops.
- Here comes Pearl.
- Here comes Pearl.
Trust me, the sock.
I know what they
want from me.
They want a reason, something to tie up
with a little Bow and bury in the back yard.
Bury it down so deep,
it's like it never happened.
They want me to
say how I'm so sorry
and it was my mom's fault,
or maybe it was
my dad's fault,
or it happened because
of TV or movies or...
some junk like that.
Or maybe I blame some girl.
Not even when you
were a little kid?
You never thought about
whether there was angels or not?
Maybe when I was a little kid.
My grandmother died
when I was real little.
And after that, every time...
I stole candy or fought
with my mom or...
...played with myself
or something,
I'd get this real bad feeling.
I'd picture her from up high with this big
frown on her face, looking down on me.
I don't think that
they frown on us.
I think that...
they look after us.
You know, like guardian angels.
They take care of us,
make sure...
...make sure nothing bad happens,
make sure everything's OK.
Well, how come everything's not OK
most of the time?
Well, maybe they're lazy.
No, it's just kind of funny,
lazy angels.
It makes me think of these big, fat guys
with wings, drinking beer and playing darts.
I want you to be my
guardian angel, Lee.
I want you to float over me,
make sure that...
...everything's gonna be OK.
Your hair smells like...
It's my shampoo,
dodo, it's not my hair.
- Well, I still like it.
- Look at me.
I'm serious, OK?
I want you to say that
you're always gonna be there.
Sometimes I'm somewhere else.
Just tell me that everything's...
gonna be OK.
Well, I can't really make
sure everything's OK.
I know, but...
Sometimes you say
things that aren't...
totally true.
But you say them
anyways because...
...you want it to be true, you know,
maybe... maybe that's good enough.
Just tell me everything's
gonna be OK.
Why don't you whisper
it in my ear, soft?
Everything's gonna be OK.
Yeah, well...
if they extend the run,
you gotta stay, right?
Course you gotta stay.
I recognise that.
I'm not thrilled about it,
but you know...
I recognise it.
It's water, Miranda.
No, it is, it's water.
Ah! Sweet H20.
No, it's fine.
The writing's going fine.
The truth? OK.
The truth is,
whenever I sit down to write,
I think I'm coming out of the gate
with something fresh and just...
it winds up being a different
spin on Boneyard.
Yeah, I've basically been rewriting
the same story for three years
and I still can't get the
damn thing published.
Thanks, honey.
No, I appreciate it, but you're not really a
writer unless people are reading your shit.
So, Miranda, look... um.
I'm excited for you, really.
I am.
I'm fired up about all this.
I love that it's going so well for you.
This might be that big break
you've been looking for.
When that comes along, you've gotta
tear into that shit like a rabid dog.
I recognise that.
It'd just be a lot easier
if you were here.
...Fitzgerald's arrest.
Right now, any connection between
the two teens is unclear.
We'll have more
news right after this.
Nobody enjoys shopping
for auto insurance.
but try and do it when you've
had three speeding tickets.
Or an accident.
I recall when our lives
were unusual and electric,
when we burned with
something close to fire.
But now, we sway
to a different rhythm.
Lives lived without meaning
or even directed hope.
The passage of time
measured only by loss.
Loss of a job,
loss of a minivan...
...a son.
Hi, Beth.
Are you OK?
Sorry, what did you say?
I asked if you were OK.
Yeah. Am I...
Am I OK about that guy, right?
Kinda seemed like he
was bothering you.
That's OK. Er...
it happens all the time.
I think it's the uniform.
I have to wear it
at this school that I go to.
And it's supposed
to be really plain.
The whole point of wearing
it is so you don't stand out.
I think all it really does
is turn on horny old guys.
Is it a Catholic school?
No, it's pretty much the opposite.
For people who messed up.
Messed up in what way?
All kinds of ways, different ways.
Well, what way
did you mess up?
Did you really come over here to
ask me about my screwed-up life?
No, I came over here cos...
I thought that guy
was bothering you.
And because I think
you're really pretty.
People don't really
say pretty any more.
They say stuff...
You know, girls or whatever,
they say...
...stuff is beautiful or cute but...
...I like pretty,
I like the way it sounds.
It's a cool word.
Thanks for calling me pretty.
I'm Leland.
Leland P. Fitzgerald.
Becky Pollard.
I don't blame Becky.
I guess I'm supposed to be upset
about what happened with her.
I'm supposed to
cry and all that junk.
But I'm pretty sure I've cried all
the tears I had out of me by now.
The last time I cried
was Grandma's funeral.
Here's another one of
those things that sticks.
I remember this other kid.
Some cousin of
mine or something.
Seem there real polite with
his hands folded up in his lap.
I figured that was the
way you were supposed to be.
I didn't want that
kid to see me crying.
But the tears came, anyway.
That's when I figured
out that tears couldn't
make someone who
was dead alive again.
# We were given some time...
There's another thing
to learn about tears.
They can't make somebody who doesn't
love you any more love you again.
- It's me, it's Beck.
It's the same
thing with prayers.
I wonder how much of their lives people
waste, crying and praying to God.
If you ask me, the devil makes
more sense than God does.
I can at least see why
people would want him around.
It's good to have somebody to
blame for the bad stuff they do.
- What's wrong?
- Nothing. I sh...
It's just that this is
going kinda fast.
I'm not saying that's bad...
or anything.
- This just isn't normally
how I operate. - Oh.
Particularly not with
somebody from work.
Well, how long does it normally take you
to seduce one of your co-workers?
- I didn't seduce you.
- No? - No.
Oh, come on.
You're beautiful.
You're beyond that.
You have no idea
how beautiful you are.
You're deadly.
You're deadly.
I'm powerless before you.
- So, you hanging out for a while?
- I'm staying.
That's cool, you know.
That makes me happy.
I kinda wanted to kiss you.
# I had no light to follow...
I wanna kiss you real bad,
to say it right.
So can I kiss you?
# I tell you how,
three days I tried
# To wake me up,
oh, but no
# My flesh had turned to snow
# And I thought I had died...
I missed you.
- I always miss you.
# I have seen the face of God
# And I was not afraid
# I have seen the face of God
- So you're a writer?
- Mmm...
You're not really a writer
unless people are reading your shit.
I'm an aspiring writer.
What do you write about?
Did you hear about that kid?
The one who stabbed
that retarded kid?
I'm gonna write about him.
I'm gonna write a book
about Leland P. Fitzgerald.
Maybe God's there because people
get scared of all the bad stuff they do.
They figure that God
and the Devil are always
playing this tug-of-war
game with them.
And they never know which
side they're gonna wind up on.
You know, you're a
real goofball sometimes.
Hey, speaking of goofballs...
- Um, this is my little brother, Ryan.
- Sing a song.
- Bye-bye, Ryan. See you tomorrow.
- Thanks.
It's nice... nice to meet you.
Sing a song!
It's about all he says, but watch.
- # I-I-I-Itsy-bitsy spider
- No, no!
As soon as you start singing,
he gets all mad at you.
You don't really know what you want,
do you, goofy?
I guess that tug-of-war
idea explains how sometimes...
I mean, when people
try to do something good,
it still turns out bad.
Don't use that "young lives"
BS on me, Madison.
Why does this minor deserve
special consideration?
I recognise you're wanting to preserve
the whole "treat everybody equal" thing.
But this kid is different.
You can't deny that.
We've never seen a case like
this before. Nobody has.
The answer is, and will
remain in perpetuity, no.
I will not have you meeting with
any minor outside the classroom.
Am I clear?
Very clear.
So your lawyer, Charlie...
It's Charlie, right?
So he explained how
all this works?
You don't have to enter
a plea or say a word here.
- I'm not gonna enter a plea.
- Good.
I'm just gonna tell
them that I did it.
Well, if you do that, then you're gonna get
shuttled out of here in a heartbeat.
I don't wanna lose you yet, man.
I wanna get a chance to know
what the US of L is all about.
I thought you said your
girlfriend was in Los Angeles?
- She is. - Well, how do you
explain the smell?
- What smell?
- The smell of a girl.
Will you at least think
about what I said?
Yeah, I think about a lot of things.
Hi, Mr Pollard.
I'm Leland, Becky's friend.
What happened?
- He rode his bike through some branches.
I told him to cut it out
but he just kept going.
Hey, buddy,
let me just have a look...
If we don't leave in the next ten minutes...
Oh, hi. Where's Becky?
- What did he do?
- It's nothing. It's just a torn sleeve.
- Sing a song.
- I'll get him changed.
I don't think he was trying
to screw up anything.
It just kinda seemed
like something he had to do.
Well, thanks for making
sure he got home.
Oh, well, we've been walking home
together for a while now, so...
Did you speak Becky today? Did she
mention anything about something coming up?
I guess she just didn't
wanna see me today.
But it's really no big deal for me
to take Ryan home.
Kinda get a bang out of him.
You need a ride home?
Allen's about ready to head out
for baseball practice.
Well, thanks, Mr Pollard.
Are you going to work?
No, I mean...
...just for a minute, a couple of things.
Why did you do it?
I got it.
Check the door.
- Stop here.
- Is that all, counsel?
- Yes, your Honour.
The minor's lack of a criminal record
and the exemplary school performance
are irrelevant matters here
due to the severity of the charges.
And I am denying your request that the minor
be remanded into the custody of his mother.
Is there something you'd like to add,
young man?
No, Your Honour.
So, do you live at the Pollards'?
Yeah, I know what you're thinking.
- It's a little strange?
- No.
- You don't think it's strange?
- No, it's just not what I was thinking.
I think it's kinda strange sometimes.
My mom died last summer.
A car accident.
My dad's a lot closer with Tanya.
That's my older sister.
He's a lot closer
with her than me, so,
it really wasn't a big deal
for him when I moved.
I turn on Goldencrest, right?
Oh, you can just drop
me off at school.
Oh, I'm not going another way or anything.
It's really no big deal to take you home.
Mr Pollard said you had
a baseball practice or something.
- I quit last week.
- Why did you quit?
I was playing terrible.
I couldn't get my head in the game.
And it's been a rough year
with my mom and all, so...
But Julie and I are
going to ASU next year.
Maybe I'll walk on there. You know,
things'll be a lot more settled, then.
- Briefcase?
- Briefcase.
Thanks. Appreciate it.
I'm the one going home
with play-off tickets.
Game three, down 0-2 to the Spurs?
That ain't much, man.
The Suns never get out of the first round.
I don't know, man, Marbury's
hitting his shots, we play up tempo?
- Damn fine ball club.
- Your lips.
- I see this kid got to you, too, huh?
- What do you mean?
C'mon man, it's always hard for
me to picture these pimply
little mama's boys doing
what you know they did.
But this one even more so than the others.
I can't see this kid hurting a fly.
He's definitely fascinating.
Yeah, well, you're the writer.
You give it a word.
That's precisely what I plan to do.
Oh, have you ever read Proust?
I know what you
want from me.
I just... I just want you
to have somebody to talk to.
It's the same thing they
want from the trial.
What's that?
You want a why.
Well, maybe there
isn't one. Maybe...
Maybe this is just
something that happened.
Excuse me.
- Isn't the game on?
- What game?
- Could you please just change
the channel? - Yeah.
It's depressing me, too.
I like that title.
It's not supposed to mean
I'm the President or anything.
Mostly it's just a joke.
Well, what do you write about?
I guess, how I see the world.
- How do you see the world, Pearl?
- Full of possibilities.
I think that good things abound,
positive things. What about you?
There's two ways to see it.
One is like what you said,
where life is OK.
Where maybe stuff's wrong
but you just don't see it.
What's the other way?
When you see
what's really there.
He didn't give you any idea
what that might have meant?
He didn't say much.
When I got home,
all he said was that he'd made a mistake.
I saw his hand and I drove
him to the hospital.
He didn't make a
sound on the drive.
It's always there.
Even when stuff looks good.
When kids are playing,
couples are kissing and junk.
It's in all of that stuff. But mostly,
people just look right through it.
What's the "it"?
I mean, what don't they see?
Just how everything's
always slipping away.
How everyone's always
kind of dying inside.
How sad everybody really is.
And seeing things this
way makes you feel sad?
It doesn't make me
feel much of anything.
Did you notice anything
different about him?
When he visited.
Nothing unusual.
Ever since he
got back this time,
from the moment I
picked him up at the airport...
...something wasn't
right with him.
I figured maybe the
two of you had a fight.
Perhaps he was just
upset about that girl.
Sometimes, things don't
work out between people.
And it's nobody's fault.
- That's a very mature approach.
- I don't know.
Well, you tell me.
How's your girl?
- Miranda? Oh, Miranda's great.
- I meant the other girl.
Oh, that's just something
that happened.
Would it hurt Miranda if she found out
about this something that happened?
So, why did you do it?
She's not gonna find out.
Does that make it OK?
Look, Miranda's been gone
for a long time now, OK?
I'm not even really
sure where we stand.
And I'm only human, man.
It's funny how people only say
that after they do something bad.
You never hear someone say,
"I'm only human" after they
rescue a kid from a burning building.
- Thanks for the ride.
- You bet.
Hey, Leland.
There's something
I wanted to tell you...
about Becky.
You know the reason she's
in that probation school, right?
She told me she messed up.
You didn't ask how?
I figured she'd tell me
if it was important.
It was drug stuff.
Listen, I don't wanna tell you
anything you don't wanna hear.
No, you can tell me.
You can tell me.
She kind of fell in
with this guy,
this older guy, Kevin.
I don't know, he's, like, 20.
He's a drug dealer.
She ran away with him
for a while last year.
It got really, really messy.
Mrs Pollard had to go
pull her out of there.
- But...
- What?
Kevin got out of jail today.
Mrs Pollard.
The receipt will take a minute so
I'll go ahead and bring her round.
What's the damage?
I didn't even look.
I just signed.
- What's today? The date today?
- It's the 24th.
Julie is running up against
the ASU deadline.
- You sent yours in, didn't you?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I don't know, erm...
Maybe she's still
not sure, you know.
I don't know.
Maybe she just wants to make sure
it's the best place for her.
I saw you the other night,
the way you were holding her,
the way you look at her
even when she's asleep.
Take care of Julie for me.
I can't lose her, too.
She's all I have left.
Look at that sunshine.
I don't even remember what it feels like.
What did you do to get in here?
Wrong place, wrong time.
That's against the law?
If you're a 17-year-old black dude
with an old-school Dr J'fro, it is.
See you in class, devil boy.
Long live Satan.
Hey, pick up.
I know you're sitting there with
a bottle of wine watching basketball.
I can see you.
Er, OK, fine.
I miss you and I wanna
see you again already.
I was thinking, you know,
since I'm stuck here,
maybe you could
come up and visit.
I know it wasn't part
of the plan but...
All right, could you check
on the name Martin Angle?
OK, er... one second.
Could you check David Stith?
S - T - I - T - H.
I'm sorry, there's just one more.
Edgar Pinkerton.
You do? OK, could you tell me
the room number that Mr...
No, OK, that's fine.
That's fine.
Is there a bar in the hotel?
Er, excuse me?
They won't let me get
a pitcher if I'm alone
so I was wondering if I could say
that I'm drinking with you?
Fiction or non?
Yeah, you can sit down if you want, but
you should have checked at the bar first.
- They don't have anything
on tap here. - Ah.
- Drink?
- Please, thank you.
I'm sorry to be
intruding like this.
Its just, I'm a big fan.
I've read everything you've ever written.
Evidently, Edgar Falling included.
And now that you've read my work, you know
I'm not a fag so I don't wanna fuck you,
and you've probably heard
that I'm an asshole, so...
I'm not going to read your passionate
semi-autobiographical first novel
and pass it on to my agent.
I work at the juvenile hall
where Leland's being detained.
- How's he holding up?
- He's fine.
Well, no, he's in Special Handling,
so he's isolated now.
Can you get me in to see him?
Oh, I don't have that kinda juice.
I'm just a teacher there.
Visiting day's next
Sunday if you wanna...
You don't think
I'm aware of that?
Did he do it?
I'm not really allowed to talk about
that outside the facility.
Perhaps he told
you something?
Yeah, he says he did it.
But I don't know why.
I don't think he knows why, either.
You know your son,
he's very detached.
Most of the time, he seems
completely disinterested in his own fate.
Uninterested in his own fate?
Look, if you think I'm
gonna be able to provide
some insight into Leland,
you're wrong.
There are no private spaces
in my son's heart reserved for me.
- There never have been.
- You moved to Paris...
America's Too Loud,
that was what? '94, '95?
So Leland was...?
Chronologies have never
been my strong suit.
Well, was he angry with you for leaving,
for moving away?
I'm not really that adept at gauging
people's emotional reactions to events.
I disagree.
I've read your books.
Mmm, so have I.
They haven't helped.
Well, he still visits
you out there, right?
He said he gets out there
a couple of times a year, so...
What are your visits like?
Chapter Two, right?
I'm sorry?
You're not here out
of some selfless devotion
to my son or your
admiration for my work.
You're here because you smell
a good book. And I'm Chapter Two.
I wanna write about your son.
But I don't wanna exploit him.
There's no distinction.
Good luck with your novel.
Maybe I'll pick it up in the supermarket
checkout line one of these days.
Well, the truth is, I haven't actually
seen my dad since I was six.
I don't understand,
I thought you travelled with him?
He's sent me plane tickets,
one in the spring, one in the winter,
every year since I was 12.
But you never went to Paris?
I never really talked to
my dad after he left.
Sometimes he'd send me money
for my birthday, junk like that.
One year, he just decided he wanted me
to come visit him for Christmas.
But I had to fly to New York first,
then catch a plane to Paris.
Once I got there, though,
I just kinda decided
to stay in New York.
I told my dad about how there was
this sort of electricity in the air there
and how I wanted to stay.
He was OK with it.
He even said something like
I was a real neat kid for doing it.
Once I got there,
I couldn't find a hotel.
No-one would give me a room. They
were all so worried to give a kid a room.
But it didn't seem
to bother them to send
that same kid onto the
street with no place to go.
So I decided to hide
out for a while.
And I found this
movie theatre.
And after the first movie,
this family came and sat down next to me.
And the dad, I guess he noticed the
two big duffel bags that I had next to me.
He made some corny joke about
whether I was staying for a while.
I told him how I
came to be in New York.
That got the
Mom's attention.
Her name's Angela.
But I called her
Mrs Calderon then.
She was worried about me. She said I
could come stay with them for the holidays.
I said it sounded pretty good.
You could tell her
place cost a fortune.
And her daughter...
She was kind of snobby, but OK.
She just kept trying to kiss me,
and I wasn't into it then.
They were all really nice to me,
but particularly Mrs Calderon.
I just loved looking
into her eyes.
It was like they reflected
the electricity of the whole city.
I didn't feel lonely at all
when I was around her.
She kinda made me feel like...
everything was OK.
Or like stuff was wrong
but you couldn't see it?
When my dad sent me
another ticket that spring,
I kinda figured maybe I'd just
go back to New York instead.
But this ticket was for Italy.
And my dad said I should fly to a new place
each time, see the world that way.
- It could be our little secret.
- Where did you go the last time?
Well, my dad said I should
see New York in the spring.
Did you see the Calderons?
Did something happen?
Well, it's a big city.
Something's always happening in New York.
- What the fuck, dude?
- Where is she?
Where's who? And who are you?
- Come on, let's go.
- Where are we going? Go where?
Here, get dressed.
I'm gonna take you home. Come on.
Look, man...
Hey, listen, OK,
I'm not gonna beat you.
But this isn't fucking right.
This is my place.
I don't know who the fuck you are.
I just wanna know...
who the fuck you are, OK?
Do you have any idea
what you're doing to her family?
Do you care?
- Stop!
- Do you even fucking care?
- Stop kicking him! Stop!
- You're destroying her family!
You fucking junkie!
Stupid junkie fuck.
I don't think I know
what the definition of love is.
You know in your heart
if you love somebody.
But it's not in your heart.
Love's on your tongue.
It's a word, that's all.
OK, did you tell Becky you loved her?
She said she loved you?
But she still broke
up with you, right?
I'm not angry with her.
I was never angry with her.
It's OK to be angry.
I mean, you're practically entitled to it.
You're only human.
I mean, you are human, aren't you?
Well, if you say so, Pearl.
Thank you for what you did today.
I think we should talk.
I know that this doesn't seem
like the best time, but...
Julie, I found that letter.
I found the letter to Iowa.
And er...
If you've changed your mind, I understand.
But... why didn't you tell me?
Or ask me or something, you know?
It's OK.
It's OK, because I can go out
there with you and I'll...
I'll apply to school
there next semester.
This isn't about where I go to school,
it's about us.
Well, you know what I think.
If you have something to say, you should
say it. Because I don't have anything.
Maybe we shouldn't plan
like we're gonna move off together.
Does that mean what? Does that
mean we're... not going to or...?
I love you, Allen, but...
- But... - But we've been
together for a really long time,
really close,
like we're married
since you moved in.
And everything's so set...
Sorry to interrupt, but er...
I wanted us all to
talk about tomorrow.
OK, we'll be right there.
I don't know, it just doesn't really
feel right to me any more, and...
Maybe it was just...
too much too soon, you know?
Or that we both changed.
No, I haven't changed.
I haven't changed.
Then I've changed.
And what I want has changed.
I don't want you to go
out with me to Iowa.
I'm really sorry.
No, wait, Julie!
Hey, Julie.
OK, here's the definition.
Love is when you can't get
somebody out of your mind.
When they're your first thought in the
morning and your last thought at night.
Maybe it's not in your heart,
but it is in your head.
So, do you think about Becky?
All the time.
You don't have anything to
worry about, I promise.
If you have to wake me up
in the middle of the night
to tell me that I don't have
anything to worry about,
it kinda makes it seem like
I do have something to worry about.
I just wanted to
see a familiar face.
I just wanted someone to talk to.
Talk to at two o'clock
in the morning?
Look, I'm really sorry, OK,
I didn't show up today, but...
it just sort of came up,
you know, I didn't...
Look, you're my
guardian angel, right?
I can count on you.
- Do you love this guy?
- No.
You don't have to be
afraid to tell me the truth.
I don't know.
You don't know?
No. I...
Look, I'm sorry, OK?
I just...
I'm confused and I don't...
I don't really mean...
Maybe we shouldn't talk.
We should talk tomorrow, you know?
It's just I really wanted to see you
because you're so good to me.
But that's not enough.
No, it's not like that.
I need you, OK?
I need you really badly.
You don't have anything to worry about, OK?
Just... trust me.
I'm sorry, honey.
Is everything OK?
I didn't hear the phone ring.
Oh, yeah, erm...
No, he's in the shower.
Can I...?
Calm down.
If you calm down, I can explain it.
But I can't explain it if...
No, I'm not gonna lie to you.
I'm not gonna lie to you,
I wanna talk.
But I wanna talk like, you know,
two normal, rational...
You know, you've been gone
for three fucking months, OK?
If you'd just let
me fucking explain.
- Did you fuck her?
- Come on, Leland, come on.
I just wanna know if
you fucked her.
That's not relevant to
what we're doing here.
- Well, what are we doing here?
- We're talking.
- Mostly, I'm talking.
- I'm trying to help you.
Maybe I'm trying to help you.
I'm not the one who did
something wrong to get here.
Just because what I did is wrong
doesn't make what you're doing right.
No, I never said right.
I never made that distinction.
You only said you were human.
- That explains it.
- OK, I'm a bastard. Does that do it?
- I did it cos I'm a bastard, OK?
- And you wanted to.
I mean, you wanted
to fuck that other girl.
Yeah, I wanted to.
I wanted to.
I don't see what's wrong
with me asking you that.
Just talking, right?
We went to my place.
And er...
There was a message on
the machine from Miranda.
There was just this
earthquake in LA.
And she woke up scared,
just terrified.
And instead of calling her back,
instead of calling
my girlfriend back,
I fucked some other chick.
I knew it was wrong but...
...I did it anyway.
You know what the funny thing
about earthquakes is?
After an earthquake, you see people pulling
other people out of broken-down buildings,
people hugging and junk,
they saw a little girl's shoe in
the road and no little girl around.
Then, a couple of days later,
they forget all about it.
It still shows you that
there's goodness in people.
Well, during earthquakes, at least.
People make mistakes.
People are fallible.
We are fallible, Leland.
Even with the best intentions,
most people don't have the inner strength
it takes to do good all the time.
I guess.
Look, what happened with Becky?
I don't blame Becky.
I know you think that's why, but it isn't.
It's not about why.
Look, I just hurt somebody.
I feel terrible, I fucked up.
I'd feel better knowing that I'm sitting
with somebody who fucks up, too.
Well, you know what happened.
She broke up with me for that other guy.
I don't wanna hurt you, OK?
So, don't.
Sometimes, things don't work out.
It's nobody's fault.
That's bullshit.
That's bullshit!
It's her fault.
She lied to you.
- I don't see it that way.
- But, at some point, you did.
I'm sorry, I get...
confused, you know?
I'm not like you.
You say it's hurting you, but it doesn't
seem like it matters one way or another.
- It matters.
- At some point, you got angry.
- Prove it to me. Show it to me.
- How do I show it?
You said things and you did things that
it didn't make any sense to say and do.
It didn't change anything,
but you did them anyway.
Yell at you?
Should I scream at you?
Hit you?
Is that how I show you it matters?
If I hit you, it matters?
I love you.
What else can I say?
Nothing I say is gonna
change anything.
Cos you love somebody else.
I didn't like being the kind
of person that did that.
What kind of person?
Like everybody else?
I didn't like the way it felt.
But you liked how it felt when
you were in love with her, right?
It's all part of the trade-off, man.
Love's only...
such a great thing because you know
what it feels like to get your heart broken,
what it feels like to be alone.
There was...
...something I said before,
something that was kind of a lie.
About what?
It's about how it doesn't make me
feel much of anything.
Mostly, I keep it out, but...
When you can't?
I don't know.
It covers my eyes.
It's just all I can see.
Say, there's some
kids playing baseball.
All I see is the one kid they won't let
play because he tells corny jokes.
No-one thinks they're funny.
Or I see a boy and a girl in love,
and kissing, you know...
I just see that they're gonna be one
of those sad, old couples one day,
who just cheat on each other and
can't even look each other in the eye.
And I feel it.
I feel all of their sadness.
I feel it probably even worse
than that sad old couple or that...
corny kid will ever feel it.
Do you feel like that now?
Well, mostly, I keep it out.
Did you feel like that
after you fought with Becky?
I don't know, maybe.
After you got back from New York?
It doesn't matter.
Cos telling you about it
and getting you all sad and junk...
...well, it never changes anything.
Cos nothing can make
what happened unhappen.
Excuse me, Mr Pollard, sir?
Oh, please, this isn't the time.
We were hoping
that you might just...
I'm asking you aa
a favour, please...
- Sir, I respect your situation.
- Well, thank you for that.
- But we were hoping that you might...
- Hoping I might what?
Hoping I might what?
We're in grief here.
- How is that a story?
- Harry...
How is my daughter
crying a story?
We didn't do anything
wrong, all right?
We just...
We lost a child.
And we wanna be left alone.
How difficult is that to understand?
I apologise.
If you want a fucking story,
you go talk to that kid's parents.
Harass them! Ask them
how they raised a monster!
They're the ones who did
something wrong, not us.
I'm sorry..
I want it to be over.
I know.
But it's never gonna be over!
It's never gonna be over.
You ever think the whole
thing doesn't make sense?
I mean, they take all this
stuff away from you.
Freedom, girls and sunshine.
Because it's supposed to make it
so when you get back on the outs,
you never wanna
screw up again.
All it really does is get you to thinking
that you're so small, you know.
Like you're this small thing
that doesn't matter for anything.
By the time you do get out,
you don't even feel like
a human person any more.
Damn, devil boy,
they can't even make a lay-up out there.
It's important to me
that she knows that I didn't know.
Promise me you'll
tell her I didn't know.
I promise.
When you get a moment,
Elden wants to see you.
...I know I'm the
bastard here, OK?
That's as close to an apology
as I'm gonna get, isn't it?
Excuse me.
Hey, that 2002 finally give
up the ghost on you?
Empty it out.
Empty out the cash register.
- Empty it the fuck out, come on!
- Right, OK. Don't, OK?
It takes a minute, OK?
It's computer stuff, not me.
- Hold on.
- Hey, hey!
Don't move, OK?
- Cool, man, cool. I ain't moving.
- OK, just don't move.
- I don't have a bag.
- Hand it to me.
Give it to me, come on!
Thank you.
What the fuck was that?
This is bullshit, Elden.
This is red-tape bullshit and you know it.
No, Madison, this is about you
running your own programme.
You asked me about this kid,
I told you no. Then you, in effect, say,
"Fuck you, I do whatever I want.
Elden Gilmore be damned. "
- Look, this is about a kid who's so
screwed up... - No, this is about a book.
And you wanna talk
about red-tape bullshit?
Let's talk about how fast
I could have you fired
for turning your classroom over
to non-certified personnel
while you went off
to play your 20/20 bit with this kid.
- Man, I am pulling you from SH.
- Wait a minute...
After lunch, report to A Wing.
You're taking over Bellsey's class.
Hey, Pearl, I was wondering
if you could do us a favour.
I'm not really in a position where I
can be doing any favours right now.
Cos I was just wondering if we
could get some time on the field,
- to play basketball or something.
- They're pulling me from here.
They're sending me
to another room.
- But you'll be back tomorrow.
- No.
I'm gonna miss our talks.
You know, I'm gonna try
and get back in here if I can.
I don't know if it'll
happen or not.
- It's not my decision. It's not like...
- Let's go. Clean it up. Break's over.
I'm not bailing on
you or anything.
I didn't get to tell you everything
I wanted to tell you.
I talk about New York at the end.
You've finished writing?
I don't know.
I want you to read it.
Maybe there's a why
in there somewhere.
Maybe it'll make sense to you.
Whether or not it makes sense to me,
it doesn't matter.
Whatever happened, whatever you were
thinking, that's not the important thing.
The most important thing right now
is what happens to you, Leland.
Because you do control that,
to some extent.
Listen to Charlie.
Listen to your lawyer. Do whatever he tells
you to do. He does know what's best for you.
What you did was wrong.
And I know you know that.
I mean, you might not show it in the
right way, but I know you recognise it.
You can't make it unhappen, but...
...nobody ever can.
Just because what you did was wrong doesn'
mean that giving up on your life is right.
Turn around!
- Turn around!
- Stop right there!
Go down to the Ground!
- What's going on?
- What is this? What is happening?
- We're placing your son under arrest.
- He's not my son.
- Allen...
- Allen, what is this?
I'm sorry, Mrs Pollard.
I just wanted to get out of town.
I made a mistake.
Don't say anything.
Don't say another word.
We'll get you a lawyer,
You ratted me out.
You told my boss I was
writing a book about Leland.
I said you were attempting
to write a book about Leland.
Did you think I was gonna
allow you to exploit my son?
No, I guess not.
That's your job, isn't it?
Excuse me?
The only reason you're here
is because you smell a book.
Look, I don't need to prey on
a family tragedy for my material,
you vulturous little hack.
I could write 12 novels on the
light and shadow in this bar.
That's what you're compiling your notes
about? The light and shadows in the bar?
I was trying to help him.
I'm the one here who actually
gives a fuck about your son.
You've got no right to accuse me
of not caring for my son.
If you cared about your son,
you'd have actually
attempted to see him
over the past ten years,
instead of paying to fly him
everywhere that you aren't.
My relationship with Leland
is none of your concern.
Apparently, it's none
of your concern, either.
Look, I'm aware that I have made
mistakes in my life, Mr Madison.
I am fully aware of that fact.
But I sure the fuck know
how to write my books.
You're pathetic.
- That's why you'll never be a writer.
- No, that's why I'm not a bastard.
Hey, can I come in?
I just wanted to
see if you were OK.
But I guess you're mad at me.
But I didn't do anything wrong.
I didn't...
I didn't do anything wrong,
except make a lot of mistakes.
I know that.
And I'm sorry.
But I'm done.
I'm done with all the mistakes.
I'm going back to rehab.
I'm gonna get clean this time,
because I wanna be clean.
And I swear...
I swear I didn't know
that Leland was gonna...
...do anything.
Just please tell me you don't...
think that I knew because...
...if you felt that, I would...
I'd wanna die.
I'd wanna die if you
could even think that.
You know how much I loved Ryan.
You know how much I loved Ryan.
Got it.
- Hey.
- Hi.
One main canal known
as the Grand Canal...
For centuries, there was no bridge
over the Grand Canal...
How are you doing?
- How are you doing?
- All right.
So, did you escape the wrath?
Gilmore owes me a couple still.
You er... got any desire
to burn those up?
Goddamn you, man!
- Hey, shoot, man!
- Shoot it, shoot it!
When a guy hits three in a row,
you might wanna start guarding him.
I'm sorry. I'm not gonna
try and explain what I did.
I know what I did was wrong and I'm
not gonna make excuses about it. I just...
I just want you to know
that I'm really, really sorry.
I wanna make this up to you.
I do, I wanna make this up to
you so badly, I swear.
I'm gonna get on the
plane and come out there.
Because I wanna make
this right, you know.
I wanna make this right
between us. Cos I...
I love you.
I love you very much.
It's all for you.
Hey, Allen.
I think there are two ways
you can see the world.
You either see the sadness
that's behind everything
or you choose
to keep it all out.
I wasn't lying when I said,
"I don't blame her. "
It was a couple of days
after all that stuff with Becky
that I got the plane ticket
to New York from my dad.
I was excited to
be back in the city,
around Mrs Calderon, too.
But as soon as I saw her.
I could tell something was different.
She was divorced.
It turns out Mr Calderon cheated on her
for almost the whole time they were married.
That night, I told her
about what happened with Becky.
It happens at different
times for different people,
but it happens to everybody.
The worst part about growing up...
it's a part of life.
It seems like a pretty big part.
That's why you have to believe that life
is more than the sum of its parts, kiddo.
I kind of felt my heart breaking for her,
but I knew that was no good.
I wanted to do something for her,
but there wasn't anything.
There wasn't one thing
I could really do.
# Open the box
# What is in there?
# There are no tears
to be wasted
# How can I climb
# On a shoulder to cry?
# If only this night
# Could just take us away...
The electricity wasn't
in her eyes, any more.
Her eyes were still reflecting what
was there, but now it was the sadness.
I started to
see it everywhere.
Every face was different,
but the same.
I saw in Ryan
worse than anybody.
All the words they were teaching him
were things to stay away from.
There weren't any words
like "strawberry, or "kiss".
You could tell he really liked
this girl who worked there,
but she just smiled at him.
I started to think that he knew.
He knew that nobody looked
at him like a normal kid.
People either laughed at him
or felt sorry for him.
He couldn't do
anything about it.
He was trapped.
I couldn't sleep.
I hadn't slept since New York.
I was lying there and I'd think about
Mrs Calderon and I'd think about Ryan
and I felt things
tight in my chest.
I felt like I was drowning.
There's all this sadness and
there's nothing you can do about it
and all I wanted
was for it to go away.
When I say, "I don't remember that day",
I'm not lying.
I wish I could remember,
but I don't.
At least, not the
stuff they want me to.
- Christ Jesus.
Oh. God.
It's over.
It's over now.
Maybe it makes sense now.
Maybe somewhere in all of this,
there is a reason.
Maybe somewhere in all of this,
there is a why.
Maybe somewhere
there's that thing
that lets you tie it all up with a neat
bow and bury it in the back yard.
But nothing.
Not getting angry,
not prayers and not tears.
Nothing can make something
that happened unhappen.
- You know I'm sorry, don't you, Pearl?
- I do. I know you are.
It doesn't change anything.
I'm sorry.
The worst part is knowing
that there is goodness in people.
Mostly, it stays deep
down and buried.
And we don't have God because
we're scared of the bad stuff.
Maybe we're really
scared of the good stuff.
'Cos, if there's no God,
that means it's inside of us and we
could be good all the time, if we wanted.
So, when we do bad things,
it'd Be because we want to
or because we have to.
Or maybe we just need
the bad stuff to remind us
what the good stuff is
in the first place.
What are you doing,
you goofball?
Just go around.
Come here.
Come here.
Come here.
Everything's OK.
Everything's gonna be OK.
I promise.
# Don't go racing
# When you're on your own
# Feet down and raining
# See the jewel flow
# Now that the years
# Seem like memories
# Broken dreams
# How can I turn back around
# Slip back and
join in the crowd?
# If I could love
# you... now
# Don't go racing
# With the world in your head
# There's no generation
# Who
# Now let the fear
# Be memories
# Broken dreams
# How can you turn
back around
# Slip back and join
in the crowd?
# Forces keep pushing me down
# Yet I would love you
# If you could love
everyone around
# If I could love you
# Ballroom lips
# On the way home
# You made up my mind
# And I
# Well, I remained sort of sick
# Now that I know
# What was written in stone
# Dooh dooh-dooh dah
# Dooh-dooh dooh-dooh dah
# Dooh dooh
# Ballroom lips
# Fell on the floor
# You made up my mind
# But I didn't die
# Well, I remained sort of sick
# Now that I know
# What was written in stone
# We used to talk about
# If everything was right
# The way we spent our time
# It's hard to believe
# Gloat on the design
# Glory and laughter
# Hold my entire world
# Believe
# Tumbling
# Out in the yard
# We were given some time...
Subtitle for BluRay releases: titler