The Flower of My Secret (1995) Movie Script

The Flower of My Secret
We've done everything possible,
but your son Juan is dead.
But I just saw him,
and he was breathing.
You might have made a mistake.
- Not this time.
- I want to see him.
You will, but first
we must warn you
not to have false hopes.
It'll look like he's breathing,
but he's not.
It's the artificial-respiration machine.
If you don't mind,
I'll take him somewhere else.
I'll get the money somewhere.
If there's hope--
There isn't.
It's hard to grasp cerebral death.
We have him on an artificial
respirator. That's why
he seems to be breathing.
But his brain is dead.
But my Juan is so strong.
He's only 16 years old.
If you say he's breathing,
maybe he really is breathing.
Like we told you,
it's the respirator.
Sorry, I don't trust--
Unfortunately, we have
unequivocal proof.
Juan's last brain scan
was completely flat.
That means cerebral death.
I don't mind him being a little
retarded as long as he survives.
Madam, your son is dead.
He's dead.
Shall we notify your relatives?
I'm alone.
My husband died two years ago.
I don't want you
to call my mother-in-law.
Why did she buy him
that motorcycle?
That goddamn motorcycle.
I warned him about it
"Remember, you'll ruin my life
if something happens on that bike!"
These things happen every day.
Every day?
I don't lose a son every day.
Swear it.
Swear that my Juan is dead.
No one has ever
asked us to do that.
Don't judge her.
Yes, ma'am, we swear it.
Your son is dead.
--defenseless against
the lurking madness.
Every day I wear something
of yours.
Today I'm wearing
the boots you gave me.
Remember how you had
to take them off
because I couldn't do it alone?
Seeing them reminded me of you,
and I put them on in your honor.
Now they're too tight.
Sometimes the memory of you
like these boots,
oppresses my heart.
I can't get them off.
Can you spare 1000 pesetas?
- I don't have--
- Five hundred?
- Please, I need it.
- I don't have change.
I'll give you 5000
if you help me take off my boots.
Deal. Sit on the steps.
- Where?
- By the fountain.
Come over here.
Sit here.
- This one?
- That one first.
Here we go. We'll get it off.
It's stuck!
You have to push.
I can't push.
Can't you see I'll fall?
Wait a second.
Give me my leg back!
Hold it here and pull on the heel
not on the tip, understand?
- Pull here.
- This way?
It won't budge.
No, please!
Forget it.
Please, don't.
We'll get soaked.
- I like rain.
- I don't.
I'll get a friend to help me.
No, no. I'll give you the money.
What a day.
Coffee with cognac, please.
Can I use the phone?
National Transplant Organization.
This is Leo, Betty's friend.
Can I talk to her?
She's not here.
She's giving a seminar.
- In Madrid or out of town?
- In Madrid.
In the Community Hotel School.
As usual.
She'll probably finish late.
- Shall I give her a message?
- No, thanks.
Was your son concerned
with social problems?
I don't know.
He was going to be
a conscientious objector.
He was against violence,
intolerance, war
- He cared about other people.
- Sure.
Did he talk about death?
Why would he do that?
He was only 16 years old.
We're asking because
some people decide, when they're
alive, to donate their organs
- and we wanted to know if Juan--
- You can do a transplant?
There's still hope for him?
There is hope, but not for your son.
For other patients.
Your son's organs
could save many lives.
In Juan's case,
where everything can be used
given his youth and good health,
it'd save five lives.
We'll need your authorization.
Don't make me suffer even more.
A woman in the waiting room
warned me about this.
You can't mutilate my son.
It's not a mutilation,
it's an operation. He'll look
no different afterwards.
I want to see my son.
Think about it.
Eighty percent of the relatives we ask
give their approval
and it's a great
consolation for them.
We have experience in this.
Who will you give the organs to?
Whoever needs them most.
You wouldn't give them to an Arab?
To an Arab? We give them
to whoever needs them most
regardless of their race or creed.
I've read that some
really rich Arabs
buy everything
on the black market.
That happens in
Third World countries.
Spain is in the Integrated Pain--
- Plan.
- Integrated Pain
- Integrated Plan.
- Integrated Plan
of Organ Donation.
The administration is completely
on the level. Excuse me.
Will they at least stay in Madrid?
The law doesn't allow us to say.
Well, I don't know.
Give me a few days.
I can't think about it right now.
Just let me see him.
We can't wait.
Unfortunately, there's no time.
You have a few minutes.
Take the time you need.
If there's any way
we can help you, let us know.
We're here for that too.
Sorry, we should have
started with that.
It's never too late.
Let's go.
Manuela, you were great.
Wasn't it a bit overacted?
Not at all. You're a
better actress each time.
I'm going to rewind.
If you want to say anything,
I'll stop the video.
- How did you feel?
- Terrible.
Especially when she refused
to understand brain death.
I didn't refuse.
Forget I'm a nurse.
People don't know
what a brain scan is.
Brain death is difficult to explain.
The relative will be in a crisis
willing to grasp at any chance
of hope, however absurd.
You can't talk about donation until
they've understood
and accepted the death.
That's why you must explain it
clearly and respectfully.
I admit that the Arab thing
I lost all respect for her.
I got so angry.
- You judged Manuela's reaction.
- Not mine, Betty, the mother's.
- I'm not a racist.
- Right.
Your rejection was reasonable.
When I mixed up "pain" and "plan,"
I just wanted to die.
- I almost pissed my pants.
- Manuela! I understand.
But you can't judge the relative.
That's essential.
Pain and fear justify any reaction.
Even the rudest one.
We'll talk later, okay?
What are you doing here?
I need to see you for a minute.
- Is there anything wrong?
- No. It was raining.
- It's about time.
- I'll see you in the cafeteria.
What's up?
I need help getting my boots off.
I can't do it alone.
But, Leo
Don't look at me like that.
I don't have anyone else.
It's my maid's day off.
I called. I couldn't find her.
Come on.
You're soaking wet.
- I've had a terrible day.
- Sit down.
Give me your foot.
It's really tight.
Paco gave them to me
two years ago.
At night in the hotel,
he had to take them off for me.
The other one.
- That's better!
- You can't go on like this.
Like what?
Boots again?
Don't worry, these fit better.
You can't be so fragile.
What do you want me to do, Betty?
Shall we have dinner together?
I'd love to, if you can.
Don't worry about me,
I'm not doing so badly.
If I keep drinking like this,
I'll end up in A.A.
- Have you seen my friend at El Pas?
- Not yet
- You don't want to?
- I feel awkward just showing up there.
Don't be silly. Angel is charming.
- Promise me you'll go tomorrow.
- All right.
Did you tell him who I am?
You tell him, if you want.
Except for drinking,
everything's difficult for me.
Leo, you have to get out more.
You can't just wait for Paco to call.
I can't help it.
Then we'll get you
some professional help.
I don't need professional help.
I need Paco.
You're not the only woman
in the world with marital problems.
That's no consolation.
Blanca, I had to tell you something,
but I forgot what.
Take your phosphorous pill.
It doesn't help my memory,
but, God, it makes me horny.
Phosphorous is an aphrodisiac.
What's that mean?
Now I remember.
If Paco calls,
tell him to call me tonight.
If he asks how I am,
lie and say I'm great.
That's my son.
He's brought the bottles.
Good. I'm going to be late.
- Have you told her yet?
What are you waiting for?
I can't leave her now,
when she needs me most.
We can't miss this opportunity.
- When will we have another?
- Some opportunity!
I'll believe it when I see the contract.
I'll take care of that.
That's what worries me.
How's a producer going to give you
2 million without seeing the show?
Take the garbage down.
Is he asking for
something in exchange?
Come on!
Can't you find someone else?
I haven't danced for so long
my kidneys are in bad shape.
Don't start. You're the best.
I was the best.
That was a long time ago.
This is my favorite place.
I love it. It's like
the heart and arteries.
This makes El Pas work.
- When it works.
- Excuse me.
- Angel?
- That's me.
- I'm Leo.
- What Leo?
Leo Macas, Betty's friend.
Oh, Betty called to say
you'd come. What's up?
Well, actually,
I'm being rather bold
but I'd like to write about
literature for your paper.
I told you I was being bold.
A little boldness would be good
for the literary supplement.
- I don't know if I've read your work.
- You haven't.
- Why? Do I look uncultured?
- I haven't been published.
I don't expect to get a job
for being Betty's friend.
I've brought some of my work
for you to read.
A novel
and two essays.
I don't want to steal
any more of your time.
You're not. Let's go to my office.
- I need to go to the bathroom.
- It's the first door.
Is this novel,
The Cold-Storage Room, yours?
- Of course.
- Your name's not on it
I forgot.
When did you start writing?
When I was about 10.
My family emigrated to Extremadura.
Everyone on my street was illiterate.
The neighbors paid me to
write letters for them
and to read the ones
they'd received.
I haven't stopped writing since.
Would you like some?
Do you specialize in a genre?
No, I'd prefer to write
about what I like
and avoid Spanish literature.
And one more thing.
Another condition?
I'd like to use a pseudonym.
No problem.
What writers do you like?
Mainly women.
Adventurous, suicidal lunatics
like Djuna Barnes, Jane Bowles
Dorothy Parker, Jean Rhys,
Flannery O'Connor, Virginia Woolf
Edith Wharton,
Isak Dinesen, Janet Frame.
I write about them in
my article "Pain and Life."
That's how I could give
such a complete list.
I like women's literature too.
I'm glad.
Do you like Amanda Gris?
How do you know she's a woman?
Nobody knows who Amanda Gris is.
Now that you mention it, that's true.
But her genre is typically feminine.
It ranges from Barbara Cartland
to Venezuelan soap operas.
You don't like sentimental literature.
I do, but I don't think
the literature you refer to
is really about people's feelings.
There's no pain or grief.
Just routine, self-indulgent
I respect your opinion,
but I don't agree.
Could you develop what you
just said in 1500 words?
I'm not the right person for that.
I can't bear Amanda Gris.
Great. We publish one column
in favor and one against.
The latter will be yours.
I don't want to write against.
I have enough negative
things in my life.
I don't want to add more
especially if you pay me for it.
I'm such an asshole!
- Rosa, it's Leo.
- Leo! Come in.
- What's that?
- Clothes.
If you can't use them--
We can use whatever we get
our hands on. They're brand new!
My little girl is here!
- How are you, Mom?
- So-so. What do you expect?
- Why?
- She's been depressed.
The weather. And Madrid!
And her nerves.
She gets so upset.
Shut up, crabface!
Your sister thinks it's all
my nerves and my imagination.
Don't fight. It must be the weather.
I feel bad too.
My legs feel like
they're made of lead.
You should go out more.
You'll end up paralyzed.
I already am.
You should take her out.
She doesn't want to go out.
Why should I?
To be killed by a skinhead
or run over by a car?
Those skinheads always stare at me.
I don't know why.
It's because she calls them
hippies and dirtbags to their face.
There's only two around here.
I can't even see if they're
skinheads or yuppies.
- As she won't go to the eye doctor.
- Look. This is Amanda Gris' latest book.
I can't read.
I can't even knit anymore.
Give it to me, I'll read it.
What a pretty anthology!
Let's sit on the sofa,
this chair hurts my coccyx.
Your sister loves those chairs.
With all that gold.
She's like a gypsy.
I sit here all day doing nothing.
Since I'm almost blind.
The doctor told me that he can
fix her eyes with an operation.
Your sister wants me
in an operating room.
] refuse!
I won't be operated on
while I'm alive.
When I'm dead,
do what you want with me.
For God's sake, don't say that.
I won't be bothering you
much longer.
All this just because
I mentioned the doctor!
Leo, an operation is like a melon.
You have to open it
to see if it's good
or if it's rotten.
- You're right.
- Now she's a philosopher.
The philosopher is constipated
and going to the bathroom.
If I don't use a glycerin suppository,
I don't shit.
You expect me
to pole-vault over you?
- See how she is?
- She's terrible.
She wants to be shitting constantly,
so she uses a suppository every day.
I haven't offered you anything!
Where's my head at?
I made you something.
Do you want some coffee?
If you contradict her,
she jumps on you.
- She's like an animal.
- It's her age.
She's used to the village.
She'll end up like her sister Petra
and Grandmother: crazy!
It's in her blood.
Here, have some calamari.
No, I'll just have coffee.
I don't know how we'll end up,
we have the same blood.
When she goes out,
she dresses like a bag lady.
A little flan?
You can't say no,
it's just milk and eggs.
- I've brought you something.
- No, Leo, I can't.
Don't start, Rosa.
I'll pay you back
when Santiago finds work.
- How is he?
- Bad.
He does odd jobs
and drinks too much.
With him and Mom,
I'm caught between two fires.
Maybe she should
come live with me.
You can't do that!
- You work too much.
- I'm used to it.
Criticizing me, are you?
Don't listen to her, I'm fine.
I wish my legs were
as good as my head.
- Cold hands.
- Don't you wear the robe I gave you?
No, it's too beautiful to wear.
- You should wear it.
- It's better in the closet.
I'm ashamed to go out with her.
I can't please your sister.
She's as weird as
my late sister Petra.
- The same.
- You're like her. And your aunt!
- And Grandmother!
- And who else?
Leave our genes alone.
I'm going back to the village,
where I won't be a nuisance.
You're not a nuisance.
If I fall asleep after lunch,
she wakes me up like a drill sergeant.
- So she can sleep at night.
- She tells me to move.
Damn! She wants me
to do aerobics?
I hope I die soon so that
I won't bother anybody.
Where did she put them?
She hides things like a magpie!
- What do you want?
- The peppers.
They're right behind you.
See what I mean?
I can't see a thing.
Blind as she is,
she wants to go to the village!
I hate Madrid.
You can't be alone in the village.
We need to find someone to
help you with the housework.
To snoop through the closets
and eat the sausages. No.
I roasted some peppers.
You shouldn't have. I have a cook.
- How does that gypsy cook?
- Racist.
Wonderfully. And she irons.
Paco says no one irons his shirts
as well as she does.
I don't think in the war
he's better taken care of
than at home. Right?
More flan?
I'll wrap it up for you.
You look withered, Leo.
I'll put in the calamari too.
Going off to war.
As if we didn't have
enough worries.
And the omelet.
Every day I pray
nothing happens to him.
Pray for me too.
Of course. I pray for you first.
- She doesn't pray for me.
- You're an atheist.
So what?
You pray, that's your thing.
A cookie?
By the way, could you
give me a little money
for the village taxes?
Here you are.
And don't forget it's your
nephew's birthday next week.
He doesn't need anything.
He could use some jeans.
He always wears the same ones.
And he's growing.
He's turned out to be
serious and studious
not like his crazy sister, who's not
even capable of washing her panties.
They're the same age,
grandmother and granddaughter.
The calamari!
what a cross I have to bear.
"You have before you
a woman created for anxiety."
Djuna Barnes.
Leo, this is Angel.
- What Angel?
- Angel from El Pas.
I couldn't wait untijjomorrow.
I read your essays and novel,
and I think they're wonderful.
- You mean you liked them?
- Very much.
- You're not pulling my leg?
- Me?
- Are you drunk?
- Yes, and when I drink, I don't lie.
So think of a pseudonym,
because I want
"Pain and Life"
in the next supplement.
Am I being too familiar?
No, of course not.
- I love the title "Pain and Life."
- It's from a Bola de Nieve song.
I know.
"If I only have pain and life left
oh, my love, don't let me live!"
Relating Djuna Barnes with
the "Cuban feeling" is new
but it makes sense.
That's just what I wanted to say.
Do you have an editor
for the novel? I can help.
Well, actually,
I didn't think I'd publish it.
Really? Then why did you write it?
For pleasure. I told you I like writing.
Well, come see me,
and we'll talk about the article.
And sorry about this morning.
I'm not a bad guy, really.
But sometimes I act like a fool.
Well, good night. Goodbye.
Paco, it's me.
Leo? What time is it?
- Early.
- Early? It's almost midnight.
I was asleep.
Has something happened?
Yes, I'm really happy
and I wanted to share it with you.
I went to El Pas to ask for work--
Leo, are you drinking?
No, why?
You sound too lively
considering the time.
It's not late for Madrid.
It's never late in Madrid,
but you forget I'm in Brussels.
Oh, sure.
I'll tell you about it tomorrow, okay?
Are you all right?
Yes, my love. Kisses.
Talk to you tomorrow.
May I speak
to Lieutenant Colonel
Francisco Arcos?
He's not here. Who's calling?
His wife, from Madrid.
Tell him I called
and ask him to call me, please.
Anything else?
No, just have him call me.
All right. Goodbye.
Leo, at last.
- Look, the second edition already.
- Great.
- We've been expecting you.
- I've been busy.
Did you receive
the novel I sent you?
- Of course.
- Well?
Leo, it isn't
an Amanda Gris novel.
Why the change?
- I guess I'm evolving.
- Why?
Maybe because I'm alive.
No, I mean, why change
if sales are good?
Leo, sweetie, you forget our
collection is called "True Love."
A novel about a mother
who discovers her daughter's killed
her father
who had tried to rape her.
And so that no one finds out
hides the body in the cold-storage
room of a neighbor's restaurant.
It's hard to get rid of a corpse
and the mother wants
to save her child.
Wouldn't you do anything
for your son?
We're talking about novels,
not children.
Children only take away your life.
Novels give you illusion to live.
People buy our books to forget
the sordidness of their lives
to dream, even if it's a lie.
Who'll dream of people
who live in a seedy slum
like the living dead?
Who'll identify with a protagonist
who works emptying shit
out of hospital bedpans
who's got a junkie mother-in-law
and faggot son
who's into black men?
Have you gone nuts, Leo?
Maybe. But reality's like that, Alicia.
We all have enough reality
in our homes.
Reality is for newspapers and TV.
Look at the result.
With so much reality,
the country's ready to explode.
Reality should be banned.
Don't pee out of the pot, Alicia.
It's nobody's fault
your son's a junkie.
Mind your own business!
By the way, did you give 5000 pesetas
to my son the other day?
Me? I don't even know him.
Well, he says he knows you
from seeing you here.
That's bitter.
He must have stolen it.
Incredible. He swore he met you,
and you gave it to him
for helping you take off your boots.
He'll drive me crazy with his stories.
That was your son?
Well, it's true.
- It was so absurd.
- Let's get focused.
If Alicia starts talking about drugs,
she'll never stop.
Leo, we hired you
to write love stories.
There's a love story in the novel.
Where? I couldn't find it anywhere.
The restaurant owner
who can't forget his ex-wife.
The one who hires a hit man
to kill his mother-in-law
so he can go to the funeral
see his ex-wife and convince her
to come back to him?
Yes. That one.
Is the best way to find a woman
to kill her mother?
It was based on a real story.
It happened in Puerto Rico.
You're kidding me.
Sorry you didn't like the novel.
Wait a second. We have a problem.
A very big one.
Your contract specifies
five romance novels a year
for the next three years.
I'll remind you:
"Novels of love in
cosmopolitan settings.
Sex, suggestive but only suggested.
Winter sports
radiant sunlight, suburbs,
ministers, yuppies.
Absolutely no politics.
Absence of social conscience.
Illegitimate children, okay.
And of course, happy endings."
The contract also specifies
the millions we advanced you.
And your conditions:
We can't use your real name
nor reveal it, nor publish your photo.
No interviews.
We agreed to everything, and,
until now, we've kept our part.
But you haven't. That's the problem.
The problem is the color.
Leo, be clear and don't act
enigmatic with me.
I can't write a pink novel.
It comes out black.
I try, but each page
comes out darker.
Come on. You've been writing
romance novels for 20 years.
You can't forget overnight.
The whole world can
change overnight. I'm leaving.
Can't you at least try again
before Toms sues you
for breach of contract?
Think about your house,
your trips to the Caribbean
your collagen, your liposuctions,
your family, your anonymity.
Goodbye, Alicia.
Don't try to play dirty with us.
I just want to be clear and sincere
even if that isn't in the contract.
Talk to your lawyer,
he'll tell you what'll happen.
You can't do this.
If we sue you, everyone will
find out you're Amanda Gris.
On second thought
it'd be good publicity
for another anthology.
A juicy scandal. Knowing who she is,
who she's married to.
We have to sue her, Toms.
The only virtue
I can find in Amanda Gris
is hiding herself in the
shadow of a pseudonym.
Little is known about
her method of writing.
Does she use a typewriter?
Truman Capote distinguished
between writers and typists.
We don't even know if
Amanda Gris is a good typist.
Her work is fiction
but this should not be
mistaken for literature.
When I say "fiction," I mean lies.
My God.
- Who is it?
- It's Leo.
Leo, I was just leaving.
Why didn't you call?
I did, but your line was busy.
And it couldn't wait?
No, but if you won't let me in, I'll go.
Come in.
I wouldn't bother you
if I didn't have a big problem.
I have problems too.
We can exchange them
like trading cards.
Thanks, I thought
you were my friend.
Then ask me what's wrong.
I just got here!
You're the only person
who knows I'm Amanda Gris.
Now that you mention it,
you do seem upset.
What's wrong?
Come on, sit down, tell me about it.
- I can't.
- You can't?
No. Professional problems.
Aren't we doing great.
Let's have a drink.
- The telephone.
- What?
Someone's calling.
Can't you hear it?
Yes, but I'd rather fix the drinks.
- Should I get it?
- No. Don't bother. I'll get it.
All right.
Yes? What a surprise.
She just arrived.
I'll put her on.
Leo, it's for you.
- Who is it?
- Leo?
Paco! How did you know I was here?
You weren't at home,
and I thought you might be there.
What intuition.
You said if you weren't at home
I should track you down.
That's my boy.
Is anything wrong?
Yes, I'll tell you about it later.
But first, are there any rocks there?
Yes. Yes, of course.
A lot of rocks?
It's like the Grand Canyon here.
Yes. What's happened?
I've broken with Fascination.
I won't go into details,
it's complicated
and I suppose you're busy.
I am today. But in three days,
you can tell me in person.
- What?
- I was able to get a 24-hour leave.
I need to see you so much.
It'll be great this time, I swear.
Not like my trip to Brussels.
I hope so.
But Leo, my love, don't cry.
It's the emotion.
I'm crying from happiness.
There, I'm not crying anymore.
See what self-control?
I do. Say hi to Betty for me.
Paco says hi.
- So do I.
- She says hi too.
- How is she?
- She has problems.
- What's wrong?
- I don't know. She can't tell me.
- What's wrong?
- I'm fed up.
She's fed up.
And has professional problems.
- Really?
- So it seems.
I have to hang up, my love. Kisses.
For you too, darling.
And lots of rocks.
It's strange he called here.
I wasn't home,
and you're my only friend.
- Is he coming?
- Yes. In three days.
I hope you'll clear up your situation.
Don't shout, listen to him.
Don't whine.
Behave like an adult.
We won't fight this time, I swear!
Listen, what does
that "rock" thing mean?
You asked if there
were rocks in Brussels.
It's our way of saying
"I love you" in code.
When we were just married
we were taking a walk
and we saw an ad for Rock Toilets.
The slogan was, "I love you, Rock."
Since then, when we
talk on the phone
and we don't want people to
understand, we say "rock."
Thatmeans we love each other a lot.
I'm up here, Blanca.
- I found it.
- At last!
You took it to the dry-cleaner's
two weeks ago.
I can't remember anything.
I'm not well, Blanca.
Now I can't find my onyx earrings.
They should be on the dresser.
I can't find them. You look.
I don't like jewelry missing here.
Me neither.
No one comes in here except me.
Leo, this is Angel.
- What a pity.
- Are you coming?
Where's the cordless phone?
I just read in an interview
we're publishing
that Bigas Luna's making a film
with a story that's very similar
to your Cold-Storage Room.
- Here I am.
- You sound strange.
I'm on the speakerphone.
Do you know a scriptwriter
named Juan Jos Burs?
No, I don't.
He's got a script that's
suspiciously similar to your novel.
- Bigas Luna is directing it.
- Really? What a coincidence.
Maybe it's plagiarism.
I don't think so.
You're the only one who's read it.
I suppose you've copyrighted it.
- No.
- You haven't?
I wasn't planning on publishing it.
Really, Leo, I don't understand you.
- You're not the plagiarist?
- Me?
Plagiarism only bothers me
if they copy you or me.
- I'm coming over now.
- You didn't answer my question.
Now that you mention it, no.
I'll be right there.
I can't find those earrings anywhere.
Good morning.
Miguel Yuste, 40, please.
He published it!
'"Amanda Gris: A Good Typist?'
by Paz Sufrategui."
'"Amanda Gris: the Alexandre
Dumas of Romance Novels. '
By Paki Derm."
Who's Paki Derm?
Welcome, Paz Sufrategui.
I don't want them to know it's me.
Thanks for publishing my article.
It's great seeing myself in print.
By the way, who's the writer
who wrote in favor?
Paki Derm? Yours truly.
It can't be.
Did I exaggerate with the
pachyderm thing? Am I that fat?
Listen, Angel, writing is serious.
Even for Amanda Gris.
You weren't very kind to her.
Tomorrow there's a screaming
contest in Colmenar de Oreja.
You must come. It's incredible.
- It's lots of fun.
- I can't.
A demonstration? The med students
are having a great one.
You can write about it.
I'm busy tomorrow.
My husband's coming in.
- There's a husband?
- Yes.
I knew something separated us.
"An abyss between us,"
as Amanda Gris says.
This is like the film The Apartment.
Yes, it is.
In that film, Shirley MacLaine
falls in love
with someone who isn't the person
she's really in love with.
Angel, I'm in love
with the person
I think I'm in love with.
How do I look, Blanca?
Very sexy, ma'am.
I don't know.
- Paco!
- It's my Antonio.
You can go when Paco arrives.
- Come back tomorrow evening.
- I rehearse in the evenings.
Then the next day.
I want to be alone with my husband.
Of course. Enjoy yourself.
Everyone's waiting for you.
Let them wait. I'm working.
Shit! Who do you think you are,
making everyone wait?
This house comes first.
This house?
Your son should come first.
What's going on? I heard a bang.
I want to ask you a favor.
I'll do whatever you want.
- Ignore him.
- You shut up!
- Don't say that to your mother.
- Sorry.
You're making me more nervous
than I was. I need a drink.
- Do you want one?
- Yes, please.
What is it?
Everyone's waiting for her.
An important producer
is coming to see us.
Don't tell her about our problems.
She has her own.
You want to take her to the studio?
What are you waiting for?
She's afraid. It's been so long.
- The paella isn't ready.
- I'll finish it myself.
- I don't trust you. You're distracted.
- You're too much.
Go on. I only need
to add the rice, right?
If he comes before you finish it,
cover it with tinfoil.
Mr. Paco likes it hot.
- All right. Good luck.
- You too.
Thanks, may God hear you.
I won't drink anymore.
Let me close the door.
I could stay here all 24 hours
you're on leave.
- Is Blanca here?
- No, we're all alone.
Blanca's gone.
Where are you going?
To the kitchen. I have shirts to iron.
I can iron them if you want.
She does it better, but
You're going to iron
with such little time?
That's what I'm saying.
Look what I made for you.
I made it.
Well, actually Blanca made it.
I just added the rice.
It's cold.
I'm not.
- Nothing. I'll microwave it.
- Don't like it reheated.
I'm sorry!
I didn't know when
you would come
because you didn't have
the decency to call and tell me.
Sorry, don't get so upset.
It's no big deal.
Then kiss me.
I want to shower.
I haven't changed all day.
Afterwards, we have to talk.
I have lots of news to tell you.
But it can wait.
First shower,
since you want to so much.
Then we'll fuck.
Then we'll rest.
Then fuck again.
And then, who knows?
Come on, I'll help you.
Calm down.
We'll get to bed soon enough.
We have to catch up.
If not, I'll jump the first man I see.
It's the phosphorous, you know.
- What?
- You don't remember?
My memory pills.
They're aphrodisiacs.
With you gone, I'm going
to end up an erotic writer.
Paco, what's wrong?
I have the feeling
you're avoiding me.
I'm not.
But I have to tell you something.
- Something? What?
- Calm down.
- I'm very calm.
- You're not.
What the hell do you
want to tell me?
First, promise you'll be reasonable.
- Who's not reasonable?
- You.
I don't want yelling or tears.
Who's yelling? Who's crying?
Say it!
I don't have a 24-hour leave.
In two hours,
I have to be in Torrejn.
I'm catching a plane for Split.
- Two hours?
- They've changed the schedule.
It's not possible.
- The conflict has worsened.
- You're telling me!
Don't act like a child.
I'm a soldier, and I have my duty.
You're my husband.
What about your duty to me?
We said we'd park our problems
during the war!
I'm sorry, I'm not made of steel!
You can't park me like a car!
Can't you try to understand
the situation?
What's there to understand?
Between me and your work,
your work wins.
I'm trying to save many lives!
Why not save mine?
I'm talking about innocent people.
People who get killed
lining up for bread
who have neither electricity
nor medicine nor hope.
You're talking about me.
You're the height of selfishness.
Can't you think about anyone
but yourself?
You're a son of a bitch
for using those poor
Bosnians as a pretext!
You volunteered
for the peacekeeping mission
to run away from the war
you had here.
A war where I'm the only victim.
Since the day you decided to join
the NATO international forces
you've been separating from me.
You could have stayed in the
Ministry of Defense if you wanted to.
At least until we solved
our problems.
But you just ran away from me.
Why can't you at least admit it?
Answer me!
I hate you.
I wish I could keep
hating you like I do now.
The hatred would let me
tear him from my life.
God, I don't believe in you,
but help me.
You're going?
Paco, I'm talking to you.
You're not going to eat?
Anything else?
You still owe me 30 minutes
of my two hours.
Paco, I beg you,
give me at least 24 hours.
Wherever, whenever.
As soon as possible.
I couldn't stand 24 hours
like this last one.
Don't you think we could
speak calmly, like two adults?
Before you go,
tell me where we stand.
I don't know.
I need to know if you
want to save our marriage.
In spite of everything, I do.
Should I interpret your silence
as a negative?
Stop pressuring me.
I'm blocked, I can't speak.
The great strategist.
The specialist in major conflicts.
There's no war
that compares to you.
I'm slow, and I don't take hints
so answer me
this one fucking time!
Is there any chance,
however small it may be
of saving our marriage?
Leo, sweetie, are you home?
Or are you busy?
I'd like to talk to you.
It'll just be a second, okay?
Call me.
Are you sure you're not home?
Leo, honey, aren't you home?
I'll keep talking.
See if you answer.
I argued with Rosa,
and I'm going to the village.
I called to say goodbye.
I'm so depressed, my child.
My blood pressure is so high.
Call me.
And don't believe
anything your sister says.
You're not there? I would've
liked so much to talk to you.
I can't see anything, honey.
Your mother.
You want me to change it?
Drink this bottle with me
After we finish it
We'll go
I want to know the taste
Of your indifference
Tonight I'm not going to plead
Tonight you're going for good
It's so difficult to leave you
Though I know you don't
Love me anymore
The years haven't
Taught me anything
I always keep making
The same mistakes
Once again
I'll drink with strangers
And cry from the same pain
Now, the flu, Felipe cures it too!
Felipe, the jerk, has dissected
all our work!
What's wrong?
All of us students
want to have the luck
of finding a job
without us getting fucked!
Getting fucked over here,
fucked over there
fucked forward, fucked back!
My love, I know you want
To take away my illusion
My love, I know you could also
Take away my soul
But, oh, my love
If you take away my soul
Take away
The pain as well
Take with you all my despair
And also my song
Of suffering
Oh, my love,
If you leave me, my life
Let me feel my soul as well
If all that is left in me
Is pain and life
Oh, my love
Don't let me live
Good morning.
How are you?
Very bad.
What are we doing here?
We're in my new place.
It's breakfast time.
- I don't remember anything.
- I do.
And I'm going to blackmail you.
Look out the window.
I must have drunk too much.
And you revealed "the flower of your
secret," as Amanda Gris might say.
Forget I'm a journalist.
I won't do anything,
on one condition.
Don't pull yesterday's stunt again.
And share your secret with me.
All right?
All right.
Betty, you scared me.
I scared you. You're too much.
Why are you here?
I've been looking for you all night.
Why didn't you call?
- Me?
- I called the hospitals and the police.
Don't shout, my head hurts.
Do you want a beer? It'll help.
- I've stopped drinking.
- And you?
- Take a tranquilizer.
- There aren't any.
I took them all last night.
So as I thought, you took
a whole bottle of Trankimazin.
Half a bottle.
But I'd rather not talk about it.
You never want to talk about it,
and you don't let us do it either.
Is there something
I haven't let you say?
Is there something?
Don't you wonder how I got in here,
who gave me the keys?
Weren't you surprised
he called me the other day?
- Wasn't it me he called?
- No!
What must be done
for you to face reality?
What must we do
for you to accept reality?
Not hide it from me.
How, if your whole world can fall apart
because your boots are too tight?
What are you doing?
Paco's been trying
to talk to you for years.
But you always start screaming
like a madwoman.
And Paco's not cruel.
Why didn't you tell me?
You're an expert.
An expert? In what?
In giving bad news.
You even give seminars to doctors.
- I'm telling you now.
- Great.
So now you've told me.
Please go.
I'm not going.
I've broken up with Paco too.
I did it for you.
Last night, when he told me
what had happened
I asked him how he could
leave you in such a state.
He insisted that it was
your natural state
but since I know you better,
I knew how you must have felt.
So I asked for his keys
and I came here
so you wouldn't be alone.
When I saw the vomit
and the empty pill bottle
l feared the worst.
You don't know
how anxious I've been.
Does he know?
He called from the airport today
before getting on the plane.
Is he really going to Split?
He should be there by now.
How long have you been lovers?
Since a few months before
he went to Brussels.
Paco came to see me.
You were having a crisis
and Paco couldn't stand
to see you suffer.
He didn't love you anymore,
but he didn't know how to tell you.
He came to me as your friend
and a psychologist.
I said that as your friend,
I couldn't accept him as a patient.
I recommended a colleague.
But he never saw him.
Paco continued to visit me.
He liked to talk about it with me,
as a friend.
And one day, don't ask me how
we ended up in each other's arms.
I hear it.
Aren't you going to answer it?
You answer it. It's for you.
Tell him I know everything
but wait until I've left.
Is that you, Leo?
- No, it's not.
- This is her mother.
Tell her I want to talk to her.
She's coming.
It's your mother.
Hello, Mom, I was about to call you.
I'm so sad. If your father were alive--
Shut up, crabface!
Honey, I'm going to the village.
I can only be comfortable there.
Well, Mom, I'm coming with you.
I'll come pick you up now.
You're coming too? Wonderful!
Leo, listen.
No one's thrown her out.
- Your husband.
- Santiago?
He didn't throw her out.
He just said he doesn't need
her permission to drink.
- She called him a drunkard!
- He is!
You have no common sense.
You're the one who doesn't have it.
What do you want?
To sit around with my mouth shut?
She treats me like a dog!
Rosa, Mom, please don't shout.
Don't shout, Rosa!
- I'm on my way.
- Give me the phone! Leo?
She hung up.
What's wrong with her?
I'm a little worried.
Me too. You're going to kill me.
- Why don't you come to the village?
- Me? Give me a break.
I don't want to leave you here
with so many problems.
You're going to drive me nuts.
You know who you remind me of?
Of my sister Petra.
You're the spitting image of her
may she rest in peace.
Those same beautiful lunatic eyes.
How about some pork?
No, Mother. I can't.
Since you started with
that weight-loss nonsense
you've really gone downhill.
Angel, don't ever go on a diet.
Don't worry, I love to eat.
And you're handsome that way.
She was a chubby little girl.
She weighed 10 pounds
when she was born
after two days of labor. She wasn't
breathing when she came out.
Thank God my late mother-in-law
was like a sergeant and said:
"Take her outside."
I said, "It's freezing.
You don't know how cold
it gets here during winter."
But she was like a sergeant.
We took the baby outside
she reacted, and she made it.
Remember, Leocadia?
How would I remember that?
No, I mean the poem
I wrote about the village:
Beautiful is the morning, Leo.
The sun sparkles
the flowers offer their perfumes
the orchard is rustling.
From branch to branch,
without stopping
the joyous birdies flutter and sing
and their chirping enchants me.
You can hear the soft bleating
of the flocks of sheep
that stand out against the pasture
like snowflakes.
Here stands a small hut
home for shepherds
there, a white cottage
whiter than a lily.
Afterwards, we come to a farm.
Next to the farm, there's a garden.
Next to the garden, a house.
And next to the house, a church.
The hill is covered with oaks
the valley with fruit
and the river with many trees.
Do you know what it is?
It's my village.
It's Jacinta! It's Jacinta!
I heard a car, and I said to myself,
"That's Jacinta."
How are you?
What are you doing here?
- And Leo?
- I came with her.
There she is. What happened?
She must have tripped on the curb.
Don't worry, Jacinta, she's all right.
Open the door.
Open it.
Don't worry, she's all right.
This way.
You haven't touched the broth.
What's wrong, Leo?
I'm going crazy, Mom.
You? Your sister is, but you're not.
Yes, like Aunt Petra
like Grandmother, crazy.
It's Paco, isn't it?
I was imagining it. Yes, I was.
My poor child.
So young and already like a cow
without a cowbell.
Like a cow without a cowbell?
Yes, lost
with no direction, drifting, like me.
Like you?
I'm like a cow without a cowbell too.
But at my age, that's more normal.
That's why I want to live here
in the village.
When we women
lose our husband
because he's died or left with
another woman, it's the same.
We have to return to the place
where we were born
visit the village chapel
sit outside with the neighbors
and pray novenas with them
even if you're not believers.
Because if we don't, we get lost
like a cow without a cowbell.
My child.
With the effort it took me
to raise you.
- And the ones with the big head?
- Pins.
- And the others?
- Needles.
Of course.
- Do you know the saying?
- Which one?
"Jealousy is a needle
that keeps me from living.
If you want to know about jealousy,
ask me."
And me.
How's Aunt Valentina?
- She jumped into the well.
- Where?
- Into the well.
- She killed herself?
Yes. She was there a long time
until some workmen saw her
and called her son,
who came to see her
and they pulled her out,
just like that.
I didn't know you had an aunt.
She was great. She used to tell me
fantastic stories.
She was a good woman,
but so lonely.
She was lonely and very tall,
and veryYou know.
Why don't you sing me a song?
- A song? Well
- Yes, a song, before I get depressed.
What about the one called
"I'm from Almagro"?
Come on.
I'm from Almagro
I'm from AImagro
I'm from the rich riverside
Where embroidery is made
Where eggplant is cooked
Eggplant is cooked
Eggplant is cooked
I'm from Almagro
I'm from Almagro
I'm from the rich riverside
- Leocadia, phone call.
- For me?
Isn't your name Leocadia?
- Who is it?
- Who knows?
- Man or woman?
- Woman, sweetie, woman.
Leo? It's Alicia.
Alicia. How did you get
my phone number?
You sent it with your last package.
My last package.
We love these last two novels,
It's the best you've written
in a long time.
I'm glad.
Listen, I read they're making
a film with a plot
identical to your
Cold-Storage Room.
I've read that too.
Quite a coincidence, isn't it?
I don't know.
You know, Toms is paranoid,
and I don't believe it
but you haven't sold it
with another name, have you?
Me? When you rejected it,
I stuck it in a drawer.
No one would have stolen it?
Could it have been
stolen from you, Alicia?
You have the only copy.
Who would steal it from me?
Your son, the junkie.
He's stolen things before.
He could photocopy it in an hour.
And since it was so bad,
I didn't copyright it.
You didn't?
Why copyright garbage like that?
Leo, garbage should
be copyrighted too.
I'll ask my son.
Anyway, I think it's better to forget it.
The main thing is that
Amanda Gris is back.
Yes, that's the important thing.
Leo, what a pleasure.
Did you give my phone number
to my publishers? Alicia called me.
Yes, I did. Why?
They've received
two Amanda Gris novels
and I didn't write or send them.
- You didn't tell her?
- Of course not.
Thank God.
Did you happen to write them?
Don't tell me they noticed
and have rejected them?
No, they're ecstatic.
But why didn't you tell me?
I was afraid you'd say no.
I'm sorry. But cheer up.
You're free now.
When do you come back?
Soon, I'm afraid.
Paco's started
the divorce procedures.
Call me. I live to see you again.
I'll call you.
But I don't like you doing that
without telling me.
Not even Prince.
- I'm dead tired.
- I'm not surprised
considering your weight.
Angel, I'm grateful,
but I'm taking advantage of you.
I've done ghostwriting before.
I've never had a ghostwriter before.
You'll get used to it.
What about you?
I always wanted to be
a romance writer.
You're so frivolous.
How long will your fun last?
Until the end of your contract.
What do you want in exchange?
I wasn't thinking.
You keep 20 percent of the royalties,
like an agent.
And I'll take 80 percent.
Are you happy now?
Yes. Are you?
Me? If you are.
Why didn't you tell me
you were coming?
Why didn't you tell me
you were such a great artist?
I've been taking advantage of you.
- You've helped us very much.
- Me?
More than you think.
Excuse me.
You know each other?
- From the telephone.
- Really?
She keeps me informed.
- When did you get here?
- Just now.
I came here directly.
Blanca, you were amazing.
Simply amazing.
Amazing, amazing, amazing.
- You're so exaggerated. Antonio.
- And your son!
- My son?
- Amazing, amazing, amazing.
Antonio, come here.
Look who's here.
Anything wrong?
Nothing, no.
You were ecstatic in the theater.
And now you're about to cry.
Is my company so unpleasant?
You reminded me of Paco.
We went to Athens three years ago.
It's not like Madrid.
There aren't many bars.
We were walking down the street,
and Paco began to play soccer
with some cardboard boxes.
He was like a little boy.
The only pleasant memory
I have from that trip.
Playing soccer is strictly forbidden.
From now on, only ballet.
If a top can spin
I can dance.
Did you hurt yourself?
- I've broken everything.
- Come on, please don't be silly.
Come on, help me. Up you go.
Do you remember Casablanca?
The first time Ingrid Bergman
enters Rick's?
They both sit down
at the same table.
Bogart is rigid,
speechless from emotion.
Ingrid asks him
if he remembers the last
time they'd been together.
It was in Paris.
He answers, stone-faced:
"I'll never forget that day."
The day the Germans
occupied Paris.
"The Germans wore gray,
and you wore blue."
You wore blue the day you fled
from your life and ran into mine.
I don't want to remember it.
I'll always remember it.
I'll take you home. You're drunk.
Stay with me.
No. I have to go home.
You've become so strong.
I liked you better fragile.
I still am fragile.
My suitcases are still in the car.
I don't dare take them up.
I'm not strong at all.
But I have to learn to live there
without Paco.
Let's have a drink then.
It'll give you strength.
I also have to learn to live
without alcohol.
No Paco and no alcohol.
The sooner I start, the better.
I'm not going to answer.
It's Antonio.
- Can I come up?
- Yes, Antonio.
What's the matter?
My mother told me
to bring you this.
- At this hour?
- You know what she's like.
Whiskey! I've stopped drinking.
But I can start again if you join me.
Do you want a drink? Say yes.
Yes, of course.
There's no ice. Do you mind?
Are you sleeping here tonight?
Yes. At least I'm going to try.
Yes. Why?
Do you want me to stay?
Don't test me.
Drink up and go. Cheers.
I have to confess something to you.
Go ahead.
I stole some things from you.
- What?
- Some jewelry. Nothing important.
While I was away?
No, when you were here.
Taking advantage of your amnesia,
I took what I could.
I also took that novel
from the garbage can.
The Cold-Storage one. I gave it to a
friend, who sold it to a movie producer.
They're making a movie.
I read about it.
So it was you.
- But I'm not a thief.
- Of course not.
The money went to the show.
It was the only way
I could finance it.
I needed that chance.
Did your mother steal from me too?
My mother? She's anti-theft.
She got so angry
when she found out.
The day Mr. Paco came
You found us arguing.
The day of the paella.
It was because she'd caught me.
She didn't even want to dance,
She loves you a hell of a lot.
I love her too.
She always reminds me
how much we owe you.
And you've come to pay?
How many fucks
will clear up the debt?
How much am I worth?
Please don't say
those things, ma'am.
I'll pay back every last peseta.
Don't worry about it.
You couldn't have invested better
than in that wonder I saw tonight.
You mean that?
Life is so incredible.
So cruel and so paradoxical.
So unpredictable
and sometimes so fair.
If you say it is.
Should I stay or should I go?
Go before I lose control and forget
that I'm a marvelous lady.
And thank you, Antonio.
Thank you? For what?
For giving meaning
to the darkest months in my life.
And for helping me forget Paco.
I haven't thought of him
for 15 minutes.
May I come in?
The things you ask.
This reminds me of the end
of Rich and Famous.
The two friends, writers
making a toast, alone
far from the world in front of afire.
But you don't drink
and it was New Year's Eve.
That's why they toasted.
Give me a drink,
and I'll make it New Year's Eve.
Kiss me.
If it's New Year's Eve,
I want contact with human flesh.
And you're the only flesh
around here.