The Perfection (2018) Movie Script

[indistinct chatter]
[Aunt 1] Yeah, she'd like that, I'm sure.
[Aunt 2] Can you imagine?
[Aunt 1] [sighs] Such a good daughter!
I mean, the poor thing's been taking care
of her for years.
What she sacrificed.
[Aunt 2]
At least now she will be free to go back.
[Aunt 1] Can she ever really
perform again? It's been a decade.
Well, what else is she gonna do?
Uh, I don't know.
I don't think she even knows.
[Charlotte] Anton,
it's Charlotte Willmore.
[clears throat]
Paloma, it's Charlotte Willmore.
Yes, it's me. Hi.
[voicemail beeps]
Anton, Paloma. Hi.
It's Charlotte Willmore.
I don't know where you are in the world.
Scouting young cellists
somewhere exotic, I'm sure.
Anyway, um, I know it's been forever,
but my mother finally passed away
and I'm not needed here anymore.
if it's okay,
I'd like to come and join you.
[music playing]
[Anton] Charlotte.
Paloma and I are so sorry
about your mother.
[Anton] After a five-month search
over three continents,
we are thrilled to bring our
remarkable finalists together
in Shanghai for one last concert.
The Bachoff Academy in Boston,
founded by my grandfather Emil in 1927,
is quite frankly the premiere
private music facility
for young cellists in the world.
And each year, we teach hundreds
of day students in Massachusetts,
but only a select handful
are given the opportunity
privilege, really,
to reside and study at the Academy,
which is why I'm so excited
that the winner tonight will receive
a four-year live-in scholarship
to Bachoff.
[audience applause]
Now, the fact
that my most prized protg,
Elizabeth Wells, one of the best
young cellists on the planet,
will be judging tonight's final concert
is testament
to just how talented
these three young ladies are.
Listening to Lizzie play music so...
pure, so perfect
is as close to God as you can get.
Well, it's as close to God
as I want to get for the time being.
- [audience laugh]
- [Anton] Uh...
But Lizzie's not the only surprise we have
for you this evening.
For four glorious years,
I trained Charlotte Willmore at Bachoff.
Charlotte was a rare and gifted talent
poised for the type of greatness
achieved by very few,
but then as all of you know,
Charlotte's beloved mother, Ruth,
got sick.
Charlotte put her career on hold,
and went back home care for her mother.
This is the heart of Charlotte.
[machine whirs]
I was thrilled that Charlotte reached out
to Paloma and myself,
thrilled that after nearly a decade,
she's back in our lives.
Ladies and gentlemen,
our second judge for this evening,
Charlotte Willmore.
[boat horn blares]
It's baijiu. Chinese vodka.
Two shots will have you
fluent in Mandarin.
[laughs] Charlotte!
Good, I was looking for you.
You must remember these two
grueling taskmasters from the Academy?
Oh, my goodness.
It's so wonderful to see you.
Theis and Geoffrey.
And after all these years! Mm.
Charlotte, there you are!
Would you excuse us?
I want to introduce you,
before we have to go upstairs and start.
She's so excited to meet you.
And here she is, Charlotte, my star.
- Elizabeth...
- Elizabeth Wells.
Of course.
Lizzie, please.
Your music, Lizzie,
it's something more than beautiful.
[Anton] I mean, I'm sorry.
Am I the luckiest man in the world?
I don't even drink and I feel giddy drunk.
My two most perfect students together.
Oh, my goodness.
We gotta get this thing started.
[sighs] I'm such a big fan.
I know that sounds ridiculous,
but I've downloaded all of your music
and that New York Times magazine profile
last month of you,
those photos of you were amazing,
and the way...
I was nine when I first saw you perform.
You were 14 and everything I wanted to be.
My idol.
Please don`t be nervous
around me, Charlotte.
I'm just so happy to finally meet you.
[cello music plays]
Wanna know a secret?
The girl on the left is going to win.
She's brilliant.
Leaves the other two in the dust.
I agree, but that kind of takes
the drama out of it, doesn't it?
You want drama?
Watch that other girl's mother
in the blue dress.
And the guy in the gray slacks.
He's the father of the girl in the middle.
There's something going on between them.
They can't help themselves.
And right in front of their spouses.
Just watch.
I first noticed during semifinals.
It's kind of hilarious.
And... kind of hot.
Just watch.
Her hand...
I know I shouldn't spy, but...
That gets me wet.
[boat horn blares in distance]
We've actually met once before.
We have?
It was the day you were leaving Bachoff.
Your mom had just had her stroke,
and you had all your bags packed, and...
I was just entering,
and I was nervous and excited, and...
I saw you.
My hero.
That was a long time ago.
Do you ever play anymore?
It took me a while after I left Bachoff.
Years to be honest, but now I...
love it.
- Because you're playing for yourself?
- Exactly.
All that time with Anton,
the practice,
the performances,
the pressure to be perfect.
- It was...
- I know.
Do you ever think about leaving?
It's my family. I can never.
No, never.
And, anyway, the work.
This special work.
It's what's expected of us.
I don't miss hearing that.
Well, you'll be happy to know
I'm giving myself a little vacation.
First one in forever. Starting tomorrow.
- Amazing.
- I know.
I know I can actually... sleep in.
[both chuckle]
Not dream about notes or scales,
rest my hands.
Cause a little trouble.
Have more than one drink in an evening.
The baijiu is delicious.
That is what I've heard.
I better catch up.
[both laugh]
- [man grunts]
- [glass shatters]
[speaking Mandarin]
Oh, Jesus!
[speaking Mandarin]
[man groans]
[woman] Was it something he ate?
I hope it isn't linked
to what's happening down south.
What's happening down south?
Some sort of hemorrhagic fever
near the Hunan border.
Passed in the air.
Real contagion-like stuff.
We were just scouting in Hunan.
Oh, it can't be that.
[scoffs] I sure hope not.
You know how Anton likes to find his
protgs in remote places.
- Hunan, Cambodia...
- Minnesota.
Will you go dancing with me later?
[Paloma] Lizzie, there you are.
Anton is asking for you.
[indistinct chatter]
Elizabeth. I was just telling
Geoffrey and Theis
that I was hoping
that we could convince you to play
one short piece, please.
Only if you can convince Charlotte
to play second cello with me.
- My goodness. Yes, please.
- No.
- No.
- No. no. no. We must.
No. Lizzie, Lizzie. I couldn't.
[Anton] Perfect. Please.
Please! Yes, make it happen.
- My goodness.
- Cello duet number three?
[Anton] Oh, yes, perfect.
- I know you still know it.
- [Theis] It's a dream come true.
Lizzie, I'm an amateur now.
You have been and always will be
the person who makes
my heart skip a beat when you play.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Ladies and gentlemen.
We are all about to witness
something extraordinary.
[music plays]
[moaning continues]
Have you ever been with a woman before?
I've never been with anyone before.
No one? Ever?
My mom got sick, I went home.
So, everything else just got put on hold.
So, I'm your first.
First and best.
I'm traveling out west tomorrow.
Come with me.
I'm doing it rough and tumble.
Small buses, weird towns.
As far away from first class as I can get.
Unplugged from everything and everyone.
I think we could have fun together.
I think we could, too.
I've never met anyone like you before.
I mean, we're so different.
And yet...
we're more alike than it may seem.
[pop music playing]
[Charlotte] Good morning.
[Lizzie] [groans] Good morning, you.
Are you as hungover as I am?
Pretty much, yeah.
I am out of practice
on the binge drinking.
That Chinese vodka is brutal.
Do you want some ibuprofen?
Please. God, yes.
My head is throbbing.
I need like 50 of them.
The pharmacy is open for business.
What is that? Hair of the dog?
It's the best cure.
We're on vacation, right?
[announcer speaking in Mandarin over PA]
You really don't speak any Mandarin?
Like, not even ni hao?
I can say ni hao, but what you just did,
buying bus tickets...
I mean, that would have taken me
three hours
and lots of manic hand gestures
and then desperate crying
and then probably we would have
ended up in South Korea. [laughs]
Or you could have just used a bus
and a ticket emoji. It's the same thing.
Okay. Well, that is an excellent point.
Are you sure you're okay?
You look like you're struggling.
Honestly, I feel like shit.
Okay. Well, are you sure you want
to do this?
We can just go back to the hotel
for the day and order pay-per-view
and you can get your head right.
No, I only have two weeks.
I don't want to waste any of it.
Play through the pain.
Play through the pain.
Don't you wanna get some food
before we leave?
It might help.
[grill sizzles]
Worst idea in history?
All I need is for my stomach
to go haywire on that bus.
Should we just get the check
and pretend this never happened?
This is your moment.
You can bow out gracefully
and I'll never hold it against you.
Just go to the airport like we never met?
Lizzie. Lizzie who?
I have no idea who you're talking about.
[laughs] Don't make me laugh.
[announcer speaking Mandarin over PA]
Are you sure you wanna do this?
I'm fine. I just need to sit down.
- Oh, God.
- What?
- Nothing.
- What?
- There was a bug.
- Jesus.
Yeah, this bus hasn't been cleaned
since maybe ever.
Well, I told you it was gonna be...
Rough and tumble. You weren't kidding.
There's like a fire in my head.
It's so crazy.
Do you want some water?
Here you go.
Oh, fuck.
[exhales] It's like my mouth
has never been so fucking dry.
[Lizzie sighs]
I need another ibuprofen.
I'll be better after a few of these,
I swear.
Thank you.
No, no, no. That's too many.
Is that a good idea on an empty stomach?
This is good. I'll be... I'll be good now.
I'll be good. I'll be good.
[bus engine starts]
["Ready Or Not" plays]
I get loud
I ain't scared to say what I feel
Add fuel to my fire
Or get out of my face
I'm first, you're second
So stay in your place
I go hard
Just to go harder again
Push myself to the limit
To come back with the win
Yeah, it's real in the field
When you rocking this ill
And they can try to hold me back
But I'm killing it still
'Cause nobody wants it badder than me
- Nobody
- Oh
Here we go
Ready or not
- We're like...
- Oh
On our way straight to the top
- We're like...
- Oh
Watch out 'cause we're coming in hot
- It's like...
- Ooh
Ready or not
Here we go
Ready or not
- We're like...
- Oh
On our way straight to the top
- We're like...
- Oh
Watch out 'cause we're coming in hot
It's like...
[Lizzie] Charlotte.
I need to use the bathroom.
My stomach is a mess.
My head is even worse.
I don't know what's going on.
I just need to use the bathroom.
We're in the middle of nowhere.
I just need to use the bathroom.
You have to ask the bus driver to stop.
- Yeah, but I don't speak...
- Please, Charlotte.
I'm gonna be sick. Please just do it.
I feel like my stomach is gonna explode.
Okay. Excuse me.
Uh, I don't...
Uh... Can anyone help me?
My friend is sick.
Does anyone speak English, please?
Sir, sir?
Excuse me. My friend is sick.
Can you please stop the bus?
Sir, can you stop the bus
so she can go to the bathroom?
Sir, can you please stop the bus?
Excuse me? Can anyone help me?
- She is sick?
- Yes, she's very sick. We...
- Your friend?
- Yeah, we need a bathroom.
[speaking in Mandarin]
[Lizzie] [groans] It hurts so much.
[Charlotte] You okay?
[speaking in Mandarin]
[Charlotte] It's okay.
- I don't feel good.
- Okay.
Lizzie, we're gonna stop. I promise.
Stop. You have to pull over.
- [sobs] I really don't feel good.
- I know. I know you don't.
We're gonna stop.
I'm gonna shit myself.
Okay, we're going to stop.
Sir, stop the fucking bus!
I can't hold it, please.
[Charlotte] I know honey, I know.
I'm gonna shit myself.
I know. Hey. Hey!
Pull over the fucking bus. Do it!
[tires screeching]
Oh, fuck.
Okay. Here you go. Come on.
He stopped. Come on.
I can't. I can't move.
If I move, I'll shit.
- [cries in pain]
- You can do it.
Tiny steps, deep breath.
- My stomach is ripping apart.
- You can do this.
It hurts so bad, it hurts so bad.
I know, you can do it. Come on.
- I can't hold it.
- So close.
- I can't hold it.
- You can make it.
Oh, fuck, I'm gonna shit on the bus.
A few more steps. You're so close.
I'm sure that I can't hold it.
- I can't hold it, I'm gonna shit.
- Come on. You can do it.
You can do this.
[Lizzie groans]
I'm dying.
- [Charlotte] It's okay.
- [cries] No, I'm dying.
- It's okay.
- I'm scared, Charlotte.
- It's okay.
- This is not normal.
What is happening?
What is happening to me?
- I don't know.
- What is happening to me?
I don't know. You're sick.
- You're sick and you'll feel better...
- Feels like my brain is on fire!
It's out of your system,
and it'll be okay.
You have no idea of the pain.
It just hurts so bad. Please.
[speaks Mandarin]
Thank you.
- What is happening?
- Hey, you're okay.
[driver speaks Mandarin]
- I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
- It's okay.
I took care of my mom for years.
I can handle this.
[shouts in Mandarin]
She is sick!
You son of a bitch!
Can't you see that she's sick?
She's fucking sick!
Bad ass.
Well, you ain't seen nothing yet.
- [cries]
- It's okay.
I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
Take it so they're not freaked out.
Not because you need it.
- [bus door closes]
- [engine revvs]
Okay. Here you go.
So thirsty. I'm so thirsty.
Yeah, you're dehydrated.
Uh, water? Does anyone have any water?
Water? Anyone?
Oh. Thank you.
Thank you. Okay.
We have to get you to the doctor.
We have to get her to a hospital.
Is there one on the way?
I don't think so. Not until Tongli.
Not a hospital at least.
[Charlotte] Can we call someone?
Can we call someone?
- Shit.
- [Lizzie weakly] Charlotte.
- There's no service.
- Charlotte.
- Charlotte?
- Yeah?
[sobs] You have to help me.
It's gonna be okay.
I don't feel good.
- I know.
- I really don't feel good.
- My head, the pain is killing me.
- Okay.
It hurts so bad,
it feels like my brain is on fire
and it hurts.
I don't know what's happening to me.
- Try to close your eyes maybe.
- No, no. I don't why, it won't stop.
It won't stop.
I just need you to help me make it stop.
Okay. We're going to play a game.
We're going to play a game.
I need you to close your eyes.
Hey, hey, hey.
Close your eyes. Breathe. Breathe.
We are gonna list
as many composers as we can
in alphabetical order.
- Please don't...
- Lizzie?
- It hurts. It hurts. [cries]
- Okay? Ready?
I'll start.
Come on, give me a "B."
Concentrate on that instead of the pain.
Beet... Beethoven.
Come on. You can do this.
Dvorak, Dvorak.
Oh, God. Oh, God. I'm gonna puke.
- What?
- Oh, God, please. Please.
[Charlotte] Oh, God!
Are those b...?
Are those bugs? Are those fucking bugs?
Charlotte. Charlotte.
This isn't normal.
This isn't fucking normal!
Oh, God.
What if... What if that guy last night...
What if he had that Ebola thing
they were talking about?
What if he had it, the one from Hunan?
What if I caught it?
- No. You didn't catch that.
- What if I did?
- You didn't!
- What if I did? Look what's happening.
- What if I did?
- You didn't catch it, you didn't.
Oh, God. I'm gonna fucking die.
- No. Hey, hey, hey.
- I'm gonna fucking die.
Lizzie, you have to sit down.
- [cries] I'm sick.
- No, you're dehydrated.
I'm fucking sick.
What if I'm fucking sick?
What if you're sick, too?
They said it was contagious.
What if you have it too?
- I'm not sick.
- Oh, my God. What if you are?
I'm not sick. It'll be okay.
[shouts] It's not something.
It is not gonna be fucking okay!
Stop saying it!
What are you doing?
What are you doing?
- Whoa. Stop!
- There's something inside of me.
No, no. There's nothing inside of you.
Yes, there is. You saw.
- There were fucking maggots in my puke.
- Well, the...
They're fucking inside of me.
They're crawling in my skin,
I can feel them.
No, there's not.
There's nothing inside of you.
I can feel them. They're in my head
and they won't get out.
Make them get out. Make them get out.
[man shouts in Mandarin]
Oh, God!
It's crawling in my skin, I can feel it!
I can feel it.
It's in my head. Make it stop!
Please! It hurts!
- Get out! Get out of my body!
- Lizzie!
[shouts in Mandarin]
You have to make it stop.
I want it to stop!
[shouts in Mandarin]
- What is he saying?
- He says you have to get off.
Get off? We're in the middle
of fucking nowhere.
[shouting in Mandarin]
You can't kick us off this bus.
We need a doctor!
We need a fucking doctor!
You have to help us find a doctor.
My head, it's killing me.
Lizzie, stop!
What are you doing? Stop! No! Stop!
[inaudible dialogue]
[inaudible dialogue continues]
Look, we'll get help for you
when we reach Tongli.
I need it now.
[speaks in Mandarin]
That way is a small town.
They'll have a pharmacy, a doctor maybe.
Start walking there.
Fuck you!
You okay?
[woman speaks in Mandarin]
Thank you.
Okay. Okay. Are you okay?
Hey! We're in the middle of nowhere.
What are you doing?
[shouts] No! No!
No! Fuck you!
Please come back. Wait!
Here we go. Almost there.
Just keep going.
I'm burning up.
[groans] They're fucking inside of me.
Fucking crawling inside of me.
What is happening?
- It's gonna be okay, it's...
- No, it's not.
Ah, God, it's not.
It's not gonna be okay, Charlotte.
You need to leave me.
- I'm not going to leave you, Lizzie.
- No, Charlotte. Listen to me.
Something is wrong.
Something is wrong with me!
Lizzie, I know,
that's why we need to get you help.
No. I'm dying. Don't you understand that?
- No! I don't understand that.
- But I am. I'm dying. [crying]
It's inside of me.
It's fucking inside of me.
What's happening?
What's happening?
Oh, my God.
Your arm!
There's something crawling inside it.
What is it?
I don't know!
- What's happening?
- I don't fucking know!
Look, it's alive. These are fucking alive!
It's bugs!
They're fucking bugs!
What the fuck?
What the fuck is inside of you?
- Oh, my God.
- Your hand.
They're in your hand.
You have to get them out, Lizzie.
Lizzie, you have to stop it.
It's inside of you. You have to stop it.
- They're fucking inside of you!
- Oh, my God. Charlotte, help me.
Help me! Help me, Charlotte!
You know what you have to do.
You know what you have to do.
Good morning.
Good morning, you.
Are you as hungover as I am?
Pretty much. Yeah.
I am out of practice
on the binge drinking.
That Chinese vodka is brutal.
Do you want some ibuprofen?
Pharmacy is open for business.
What is that? Hair of the dog?
- It's the best cure.
- [chuckles]
We're on vacation, right?
[Charlotte] Oh, God.
- What?
- Nothing.
- What?
- There was a bug.
- I need another ibuprofen.
- Okay.
We have to get her to a hospital now.
Maybe we can call someone.
There's no service.
Oh, God. Oh, God, I'm gonna puke.
Are those b...?
Are those bugs? Are those fucking bugs?
What's happening?
Oh, my God! Your arm!
There's something crawling inside me.
It's bugs! Bugs!
What the fuck?
They're in your hand.
They're all in your hand!
You know what you have to do.
[Lizzie cries]
[screaming continues]
[classical music playing]
I know it's a very long way from China,
but we are so thrilled to have Zhang Li
come live with us and study cello.
The joy is for us, Ms. Paloma.
It's every dream I ever had for her.
We will take the very best care of her,
as if she was our own daughter.
Now, Zhang Li, are you ready to go down
and see the Chapel?
[Paloma] The day students you study with
are unlikely to ever see this.
Spectacular, isn't it?
Converted from a chapel
nearly a hundred years ago.
Based on the Musikverein in Vienna.
Zhang Li, come here. Come up here.
Come on. Come.
Okay, now stand right here.
Right here.
And I want you to sing a note.
Hm. A sharp.
Doesn't that sound incredible?
I believe this to be the most...
acoustically perfect room
I've ever been in.
- [Zhang Li] It's beautiful.
- And...
very few students
are invited to play here.
It takes years and years
of intense practice.
But the best,
the very best,
Lizzie, for example,
Charlotte Willmore, before her.
If you are as exceptional
as they are, and Zhang Li,
I believe you may be,
well, then you can have the chance
to perform here
and then you can have the chance...
for greatness.
[doorbell buzzes]
[buzzing continues]
[doorbell buzzes]
Hello, who is it?
Who is it, please?
[clears throat] Hello.
Who is it?
Oh, my God.
Where have you been?
What's... What's happened to you?
We've been looking for you.
What happened to your hand?
What the hell happened to your hand?
They found me on the side of a mountain.
Drugged out of my mind.
Covered in blood.
With nothing but a homemade tourniquet
keeping me alive.
The police tried to help me, but...
I'm the one who took the pills.
I'm the one who...
chopped my own hand off.
Once I woke up in the hospital, and...
once the drugs were out of my system,
and I could think clearly again...
Charlotte was already out of the country.
I still can't understand.
Why? Why would she do this?
Because she's a jealous fucking bitch!
I had...
music, fame...
And she couldn't stand that.
She couldn't stand
that I replaced her. She...
tracked me down to China, befriended me,
slept with me, poisoned me.
All that because I had the life
that she so desperately wanted.
My God. God.
And now it's gone. It is...
It is completely gone.
Elizabeth, it's...
It's going to be okay.
She took everything from me.
[clock ticking]
[cello playing]
[Anton] More tension.
Good. Good.
Play through the pain. Good.
Actually, Elizabeth,
when practice is over,
do you have a minute to talk?
[door closes]
I don't understand.
You're kicking me out?
I have nowhere to go.
We found you a place.
By the museum,
right next to Central Avenue T Station.
We'll pay for it.
Pay for all of it.
Pay for your rehabilitation.
But I can still be useful, Anton.
I can teach.
Music is my life.
Look at us.
You know what this is.
How we work here.
We have Theis and Geoffrey.
We don't need any more teachers.
But I can conduct, and I can compose.
Fuck, I'll scrub the toilets!
Just don't... Don't shut me out.
[sobs] Please.
if you accept me,
the music world will accept me.
Don't you understand that?
You have that power.
You have that reputation.
Your word means so much,
but if you shut me out...
[sobs] Please.
Don't be this person.
Do not discard me.
Lizzie, this is a music conservatory,
not a convalescent home.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean it like that,
but there are other girls
that we need to house and train.
Please. [sobs]
I don't know anything else.
You had a gift.
A rare and...
beautiful talent like no other.
But sadly, that gift is gone.
I'm so sorry, Elizabeth.
[softly] Please.
[dog barking in the distance]
[bottle clanking]
[door creaks]
[electrical crackling]
Fuck you. Crazy bitch!
Fuck you! Fuck you!
Fuck you. You fucking bitch!
[breathes heavily]
[operatic music playing]
[Paloma] Anton.
What's going on?
Stay here.
What are you doing here?
You're gonna freeze to death.
Look, I know this is hard,
but I thought I made myself clear.
You just can't be here.
Because I had nothing you wanted.
Now I do.
What are you talking about?
What do you have?
I have the bitch.
Oh, my God.
Lizzie, what have you done?
Where is she?
Where is she?
In the trunk of my fucking car.
So I can come home?
Where is she?
She's with Paloma, but don't worry.
She... She can't hurt you.
But she's crazy.
She kidnapped me, Anton.
I know. She's not well. Clearly.
But frankly,
neither are you.
Were you really that jealous?
I wasn't jealous.
I was trying to help her.
By cutting off her hand?
I saw her picture in a magazine.
I saw the tattoo on her back.
The same as mine.
I knew how she got it.
I knew what she had to do to get it.
And I knew she was brainwashed
just like I was
until my mom got sick
and I had to go home.
I sat in that room with my mother
for a decade, slowly going crazy.
I blamed myself for everything.
I spent years in and out of
mental hospitals until, finally,
with some help, I saw the light.
So I reached out...
and came back into your lives.
Came back why?
Came back why, Charlotte?
To help save her.
Save her from what?
From you.
[stammers and laughs]
[sighs deeply]
[cello playing]
[Anton] Very good.
Very good.
Back straight now.
More tension in the strings.
Feel it happening inside of you,
I made a mistake.
Yes, you did.
I'm sorry.
And after all this time.
- Forgive me.
- After all this training.
Forgive me, Anton.
After a promise for Carnegie Hall.
[groans] Stop. Stop the crying.
[yells] Stop the fucking crying!
It won't happen again.
In this room, it had better not.
Never in this room.
Because you know what happens next.
- Yes, I do.
- Do you?
[footsteps approach]
We don't make mistakes here.
Not when we represent the Academy.
Whose name is on that gate?
- Yours.
- Yes.
Mine, my father's, grandfather's.
This school is my blood.
It's my history.
I teach you the way they taught me,
the way they taught Theis and Geoffrey,
and anyone who's fortunate enough
to earn their place here.
But I can only take you so far.
I will work harder.
Oh, you will work harder.
Why do we work so hard, Charlotte?
To be the best.
And why is that, Charlotte?
Because it's what's expected of us.
You got that tattoo because
you were ready to play in this Chapel.
You got that tattoo...
because you were the very best.
Yes, I know.
And If you're not the very best,
if you insult me...
and Theis and Geoffrey with your mistakes?
I discredit the Academy.
Because I was prepared for
The Perfection and failed.
Prepared by our sweat,
passion, and reputation.
Prepared by our sweat and passion
and reputation.
Month after month, year after year.
Month after month, year after year.
Until you were ready.
Until I was ready.
[Anton] You failed.
You failed.
So what does that mean?
What does that mean, Charlotte?
When you fail
at the things that we teach you?
I cannot get close to God.
No, you cannot.
And your talent will lay in waste.
Squandered by your lack of ambition.
So what happens now?
- Now?
- Yes, what happens now?
What happened to me,
what happened to Theis and Geoffrey?
And every one of the chosen who failed?
We pay the price.
You pay the price.
[muffled screaming]
[Anton grunts]
Tonight, Charlotte, after so many years,
you shall play for us again.
I can't.
- I'm not ready.
- Sonata for solo cello.
I'm not ready to play here, Anton.
Well, here is where you must play.
Where you've always played.
Theis, Geoffrey.
And, of course, Paloma.
Paloma, you can stop this.
We do what we need to do, Charlotte.
It's what's expected of us.
Paloma's always adored
when you played perfectly. Well..
we all did.
That was always the goal.
Right, Charlotte?
The Perfection.
This doesn't have to be like this, Anton.
You really hate me, don't you?
you hate me,
when all I ever did was believe in you.
You know what you did to me.
And you know it helped you become
the rare talent that you were.
I was a child.
Lizzie was a child. We were children.
You were students who achieved greatness.
Just as my grandfather envisioned.
Just like my father taught me.
Everybody should be so lucky.
Were you abused?
Is that what you would call it,
what we did for you?
To play that music,
to achieve The Perfection...
it was a gift.
You see, Charlotte?
You cut off her hand for nothing.
Lizzie, if you would.
Well, you must remember our...
little rituals. The drinks, the formality.
Oh, but you were just a child then.
Most things really have not changed.
Well, actually...
there is one thing that has changed.
If you achieve The Perfection,
which is what's expected
of you this evening, then...
you can go.
I'm a taskmaster, yes, but...
I'm not a monster. [chuckles]
But if you should make a mistake,
if you miss one minor note...
well, it won't be you who pays the price.
Paloma, if you would.
We're ready for you, sweetheart. Come.
[Anton] Ah.
Zhang Li, you are a very lucky girl.
Come, come, come. Sit.
To be able to witness
this private concert,
you are so, so lucky.
Thank you so much.
Okay, Charlotte.
It's time for you to play.
I can't.
Ah. If you can't,
you know what will happen.
She just got here.
She's a child.
- [Anton sighs]
- Do it to me.
If you have to do it, do it to me, please.
Don't do it to her.
Anton, please, I'm begging you.
Do it to me.
Play for us, Charlotte.
We're gathered to hear you play.
Now do it.
Play The Perfection.
[cello playing]
Well, you know what happens now.
Paloma, would you be so kind
as to bring Zhang Li upstairs?
It's past her bedtime.
Thank you. It was wonderful.
Did you really think
I was going to make her pay...
for your mistake?
She needs her years of training.
She needs to be invited...
to perform for us, as a vessel of God.
She needs her tattoo.
I'm not some random pervert.
Just having a little fun.
You motherfucker.
Theis, Geoffrey.
Come get me when she stops biting.
[breathes deeply]
Oh, no, no.
Please help me!
[sobs] No.
I want her first.
It's the least I deserve.
Please. No, no.
Can anybody hear me?
Usually I like to use my fingers, but...
That's out the question now,
don't you think?
[cries] No!
Spread her legs.
[Charlotte] Don't touch me!
Please, no.
This won't hurt as bad as...
cutting your own hand off, but...
I'll do my best to come close.
- Please!
- Hope your cunt can handle it.
No. [grunts]
[grunts and coughs]
[music playing]
[dog barking in the distance]
[electrical crackling]
Fuck you! Fuck you!
I should fucking kill you.
But you were right.
What you said...
on the side of the road.
You were right.
My hand!
My hand.
[Charlotte] I had to save you.
I had to get you out of his grasp.
I knew you were in deep.
As deep as I once was, and I knew you
weren't gonna leave without a fight.
[sobs] I can't believe this is happening.
I knew you were
one of his special students.
You don't know anything.
I do.
That's why I had to save you.
Stop saying that.
You didn't save me.
You didn't save me from anything.
You made me chop off my own hand.
If you weren't gonna escape willingly,
then I had to come up with a true reason
that he would never need to see you again.
That he would never need you again.
Because just know, Lizzie,
he never loved you.
He never loved me.
He never gave a shit about any of us.
They tortured us
and pretended it was an education.
Pretended it was
some kind of higher calling,
but it was just rape, Lizzie.
They raped me, and they raped you.
And the next time you need Anton most,
he will not be there for you.
I promise you that, but I will be.
I will be there.
I promise.
I'm so sorry.
I keep seeing him.
All of them, abusing me.
For years, years, over and over.
Like I never saw it before.
Like I was blind.
It look this happening
for me to fucking see it.
I have to stop Anton.
We have to stop all of them.
I need your help.
[operatic music playing]
[Paloma] Anton.
Is the child asleep?
Paloma? Is the...
Are you okay?
[record scratches to a stop]
["It's On" plays]
This is not a game
Don't take me lightly
Brain cells from insane
Bring the pain, I ain't nothing nice, B
The last thing...
What's going on?
Shutting down your whole city
Now who's messing with me?
You want it...
She was so drugged,
she didn't even know we stabbed her.
Mess around and get
two fists for Christmas
I don't play
Do the deed and get away...
And we barricaded all the doors,
so we can make as much noise as we want.
Ridin', ridin' reckless
I'm about this money
Puttling checks on my checklist
Might jack your necklace...
You know what she did to you.
She ruined you!
No, she opened my eyes!
Now, we're going to fucking chop your
balls off and sell them as trinkets.
So if it's on, it's on
So if it's on, it's on
So if it's on, it's on
Might see me bangin' on my chest
like I'm King Kong
I'm sick, obviously.
I'm sick, and...
I can get help.
I'm sick!
[Anton] You fucking bitch!
[Anton] You pay the price.
You pay, you pay the price.
- [Lizzie] Charlotte.
- You pay the price.
[screams] Charlotte?
[Lizzie] The knife!
Charlotte, the knife!
[Anton grunts]
[Anton screaming]
My arm!
This is for what you did to me.
And for what you did to Charlotte.
And this...
this is for every other girl
who trusted your sick, sorry ass.
[both scream]
["Petals" plays]
She's the angel on top of the tree
Sugar-hard, here she comes
She's gonna fall on me
She is the grace of this world
She's too pure
For the likes of this world
This world is a whore
Tear the petals off of you
And make you tell the truth
Tear the petals off of you
Oh, it's all mine now
Hey, it's all mine now
Hey, it's all mine
I never knew what I could be
Oh, but, darling, birds
The way they call with no sound
They carry you down
They carry you down
Tear the petals off of you
And make you tell the truth
[song ends]