The Unattainable Story (2017) Movie Script

[serene instrumental music
Just put all of us
into your work.
That's all that counts,
isn't it?
[man] Alma, calm down.
I have no choice.
You know this.
[Skene] Opening night.
Alma, don't go.
You just told me to.
I need to work, but...
not with you turning on me
because of it.
Sorry if I sound tense.
The experience of
directing my play
really got under my skin.
What does a director do?
They teach characters
how to walk,
and tell them where to go
on the stage.
They become obsessed
with the author.
Jacqueline, the writer.
Tonight, critics and audiences
will give it their own meaning.
Other people who always think
they know us better
than we know ourselves.
It is all I have.
To make sense
of any of this.
[Skene] But just now
something emerged to me.
I did miss something,
didn't I?
[soothing instrumental music]
[Skene] Four months earlier,
I don't remember who first
gave me her book to read.
But I read it.
I didn't understand
most of it. Who did?
But I couldn't resist
meeting the woman
who on one hand is
writing about one thing,
and then it turns out
she's writing about
another thing entirely.
Are you Jacqueline?
Oh, hi.
-You must be Skene?
-I am.
That is, uh...
quite a pile.
Yes, I'm sorry...
about the mess.
Let's just say
I'm prolific.
So it would seem.
[Jacqueline chuckles]
Well, I've read the outline.
It's curious.
I've never heard of anybody
writing an early 20th century
historical play
based on their own
21st century experiences.
You know, as I said,
it's not all my experiences.
In some cases,
I was just filling
in the blanks.
Exploring. What if?
It's surprising
how real it can get.
I like how things
mirror each other.
I'm so happy you're here.
I, I really...
I could use a dedicated
I've written books,
but I'm new to plays.
Well, I...
I feel like...
in order to do it justice,
I'd need to know
a little bit more
about the concept.
So maybe you can
walk me through?
Here's your tea.
Thank you.
-Hey, you have to go.
-I'm going.
You go out and
you conquer Goliath.
Do your job as a man.
Don't remind me.
Mm. I know.
I really appreciate it.
Bye, sweetheart.
Have a good day.
I still love him.
But he wants to be in
that little sea town,
and I want to be successful
in the city.
Just go with your heart.
[Jacqueline] My heart...
plays tricks on me.
How about yours?
[David] My heart?
You know, women are always
wanting to visit me in here,
I only wanna see you.
I don't wanna waste any time.
Do you miss sex?
[David laughs]
Everybody asks that.
What, are people crazy?
Do you think about it
all the time?
I think more
about food.
Lobster tails.
I have pictures of food
on my wall, not women.
You are Italian.
You have no choice.
You don't miss sex.
You can have sex
with yourself.
I miss tenderness.
[Peter] Hey.
Was it horrible?
Why is it you get
to play?
I'm actually working.
You know that.
Don't hurt yourself.
You're supposed to be
the caretaker,
the warrior, all that,
and I'm...
I'm thatching the hut.
I don't see much of that
going on around here.
[melancholy music playing]
[Jacqueline] What a weird
location you picked
for our assignation.
Ten years and no candlelight.
[David] Oh, baby, I do
appreciate your coming
to visit me all this time.
I'll make it up to you.
You'll see.
How's the husband?
[sighs deeply]
You're never gonna
stay married.
[Jacqueline] You might be
talking about yourself.
No, honey,
I'm talking about you.
You're into freedom.
Just listen to yourself.
You sound like
a French existentialist,
instead of a marijuana
factory owner.
-[buzzer buzzes]
-[guard] One minute to go.
Let's go, folks.
I never went back.
He is different.
A nomad, you could say.
But with a creative spark.
An air of passion
beneath the gruff exterior.
Is David like
Elma's lover?
In a way.
But Peter doesn't strike
me as a Mahler type.
Oh, but no.
They're not
direct parallels.
Um, they're all different
from each other, but
integral to her,
she needs them.
Okay, tell me more
about the writing.
Can I read
something to you?
Come on, honey,
I'm having fun.
She was like all of us.
Someone who chooses one thing
thinking she should have
chosen another.
Then maybe she was
right in the first place.
Players, levels.
Thanks, sweetheart.
[Skene] Isn't that
the essence of life?
I've got to get back
to the halfway house.
It's time for the bus.
I know.
I'm so happy you came.
It was a long fucking wait,
I'll tell you that.
I hate to leave you.
It depresses me.
[Skene] Only now,
for the first time,
I can tell this story
in its full context.
But it's by no means what
I thought it was
at our first meeting.
I was drawn in.
Hey, what a beautiful day.
I don't know how
the weather will hold, huh.
I think it's gonna rain.
Oh, come on.
Let's go.
Why are you hesitating?
I wanted to do some things
this afternoon.
You are always
at your office.
The theater world
can wait.
No doubt they can wait,
and to infinity it seems.
Do not worry.
Your time will come.
Be patient.
In the meantime,
consider something...
Like what?
Pleasing me.
Let's do it.
I don't know what it's about,
but you've inspired me.
I'm... I'm really glad.
So you have
a first draft?
This is very important.
You have to trust me.
[Skene] Her play is about
the composer Gustav Mahler
and his wife, Alma.
Alma was a composer herself.
But when she married Gustav,
he told her there could
only be one composer
in the house.
And she made the choice to
devote her life to his music
and not her own.
His passion for his work
only grew stronger,
and Alma's desire
to be loved
made her stray
to an architect,
a man named Gropius.
Gustav loved her,
but he never expected
her to have her own mind.
What are these books?
People trying to break out
of themselves.
I go to my therapist
for that.
Well, books are more honest.
They show us
how you can't...
You know what.
Um, are you kidding me?
You have equal amounts
of non-fiction and fiction.
Really non-fiction
tells me how to
live my life,
and I appreciate it.
And fiction
shows me how to
relive my own life
more deeply.
All I'm saying is...
this is clever.
It's quick.
It's energetic.
But the fact that you refuse
to put in any insight
is really,
you think about it,
it's a form of anger.
Guys, I don't think
it's always that
deeply psychological.
What do you think's
going on?
[Annette] I think
some people sing, or...
or they play a musical
instrument for their
creative outlet.
But what's rare
is the willingness
or the ability
to put yourself
into it.
It could be fear.
not knowing what
to put into it.
not being able to
go deep enough.
[Skene] At first my notes
to her were about
dialog and character.
But as we moved forward,
I knew that what we needed
was something more.
I kept asking her
about Mahler,
but I kept getting
these other stories.
[solemn instrumental music]
[David] I fixed
your lamp wire.
Like you care.
I do care.
Why don't you fix
my wire?
All right.
Just don't get
any ideas.
Okay? Like you did
with thousands
of other women.
And don't hurt me.
I won't.
I promise.
What do you think
we'll have in common
once we've exhausted
the subject of love?
Oh, I think we'll find
plenty to talk about.
what's for dinner.
What's on TV.
Do we have any
water in the house.
Oh, we'll find lots of
stuff to talk about.
Oh, so I'm the one
who's always angry at you?
You're the one who
doesn't want to deal with
any of the big issues
that we have with this.
How about staying
on a budget?
How about getting out
of the shit hole apartment
we have?
Or leaving this city?
Oh, and when were we
gonna start a family?
-I guess I am the one
who's always angry at you.
Yeah, what is
the point then?
If you are always
angry at me,
what is the point?
I don't know.
Well, I know where
this is going.
I can just see it.
[solemn music playing]
Are you okay?
I can't take this box.
I can't take it.
The old windows don't
even work.
I mean,
you don't mind it.
I feel like
I'm suffocating.
There's no goddamn
air in here.
Let's go outside.
Yeah. Well, out there,
you know, it feels like
it's just as small
as this apartment.
There's gotta be
some fresh air by the water
outside the city.
Let's just... go.
Come on.
[Peter] I love
the impossible current
of the East River.
We could have gone
there, you know,
not come here.
I was there already.
This morning.
Got up early,
walked over there.
Stood there for hours,
smoking cigarettes,
drinking my coffee,
studying it.
You need the ocean.
I'm not built
for the city.
You are.
You have your writing.
It's not either or.
I love you just as much.
-But your mind is elsewhere.
I don't want the life
that you want.
Restaurants, plays...
I don't need that.
I want to sail.
Haven't you been listening
for the last 18 years?
I'm listening.
I should be here, by the sea.
You should be there.
You want to be pushed
The city is your lover
because of that.
And you are driven
by it.
I don't know if I can
live without you.
You can.
You'll be the love
of my life,
but we're not going
to the same place.
Now I get it.
I always thought
you stood over everyone,
but it's just the way
you look down at me.
You're the best.
What? A week ago,
you told me you hate
living with me.
That was last week.
You know, it's not normal
to miss your ex-husband
so much.
We're not together.
I didn not know
how to live with him.
I mean,
I still love him.
You don't really
stop loving someone.
[jazz music playing]
It's funny though.
Now that Peter's gone,
I keep longing
for him constantly.
When I was with him...
I longed for David.,
you know?
I mean, yeah, Jacqueline.
I think it's just
human nature.
The person's irrelevant?
You don't have problems
with the one you're
not with.
I don't know.
I mean,
tell me the truth.
You never even
cheated on Peter?
No, I didn't.
I don't even like
sex with strangers.
-[Annette laughs]
-I don't!
It's exciting,
but you're never gonna
stop being strangers.
-You know?
You know, I think people
cheat 'cause they...
they really need
that high, you know...
Like getting paid
attention to.
Like they don't get enough
in their marriage anyway.
I don't think
that's what it is.
-You don't?
-I don't think
that's what it is.
I think an affair is
a sign of having given up.
Come on,
let's skate backwards.
Whoo hoo!
[both laughing]
Finally, I know.
I know how to do that.
-I can't do it.
-Look, look, look.
[Annette laughing]
Ta-da, my lady.
Hey... wait.
I told you I wanted
oatmeal with milk
on the side.
Oh, and some more
hot tea.
That is how
you have sex.
-Ordering your
men around.
I do not
order my men around.
I mean,
you know that's...
not why Dan cheated on me.
Well, the next one...
If there's a next one.
Next time you will teach him
the sweet sensuality of talking.
Me? [laughs]
No way!
You know why people cheat?
Because they don't get to
express their feelings.
And you would never
let Dan talk.
You know, you're no
panache on relationships
either, you know.
-I'm just saying. [laughs]
I'm just saying.
[birds chirping]
[Skene] I've got good news
for you.
I found money
for a workshop.
We're gonna do it ourselves.
We're gonna iron things out.
You'll do another
script revision,
and then we'll go after
the cash.
First performance
six weeks.
Okay. Um...
You know, I was nervous
that I didn't know enough
about the subject.
Then I realized that
nobody else
does either, so...
Anyway, who the fuck in
this business knows
what they're doing, right?
Yeah. I mean, why would
anyone who knew what
they were doing
go into this business,
Only a fool.
We are the lucky fools
That must be why so many
artists commit suicide.
Well, if you could wait
until you finish
the script notes,
-that would be great.
-I will. I will.
That is funny though.
Actually when you
think about it,
how creativity does come
out of pain...
and sexual desire.
I mean, you sort of need
both operating at once,
They're a matched set.
Sex and pain.
It's like...
salt and pepper.
I'll have notes in a week,
and we'll go from there.
-Thank you.
-Thank you.
Thank you.
Okay, bye.
-Oh, hi.
I expected you in
the evening.
I know.
I'm sorry I'm late.
My, uh...
flight got delayed.
My phone died and I
couldn't find my recharger.
It must have gotten stolen.
Here, I bought you
some tea.
Thank you.
Here are some flowers.
Thanks for letting me
crash again.
How was your trip?
[Peter groans]
Cuba is wonderful.
When moored with
the Italians.
Nobody knows how to eat
and drink in the entire world
like the Italians.
So we were taken
care of.
Then we got off
and we went into Havana.
Oh, the architecture
and the colors.
The food, the people,
the music.
So great.
Wish you could've seen it.
We sailed over
to Florida.
I got off as soon
as we docked.
Found the library.
I went to get a newspaper.
I wanted to see how
your novel was received.
[groans] Oh!
I'm... I'm quite
the villain in it.
It's not a real depiction,
you know that.
Can't you make me the hero
in one of your novels
just once?
I will.
You wanna stay
a few days?
I can't.
I have to get back.
[solemn music]
[Skene] How did you end up
writing about Mahler and Freud?
I mean, I know how,
but why did you want to?
Vienna. I mean...
I had a passion
for that place.
The mindset of that
period of time,
of its geniuses.
And then?
The usual.
What's the usual?
Playing it modern,
finding the right words,
setting, visuals,
Everybody loves
that part.
The illusion of power,
your choices.
-Have you been?
Yes, twice.
Have you?
No. But I've read so much
about it, I feel like I have.
-Oh, right here.
I was once here with a writer
who had such an ego. God!
Do you get uncomfortable
around that type?
No, I've got an ego.
I think...
Are you jealous?
I imagine those people know
how to open the vein
better than I do.
Like their...
self-confidence is
an added weapon to
their artistic arsenal.
Like love is, really.
Well, this is it.
What do you think?
[Jacqueline] Yeah.
I mean...
It's more important
what you think, right?
Well, I think it's...
wide enough for
all the characters.
Why are there
so many characters?
Why? Well, I don't know.
I just wrote it. I...
[laughs] I didn't think
of stage width, or...
I'm sorry.
That's okay.
-We're going. Avante.
I'm gonna talk to
the house manager.
[traffic bustling]
[Skene] It became clear to me
that Jacqueline is only
giving me what she wants.
Keeping me at a distance.
But she's clever.
She makes it look like
I'm the one keeping her
at distance.
This is a chess game.
[melancholy music playing]
[Jacqueline laughs]
Where have you been?
I haven't seen you in months.
We've been commuting.
Peter and I,
to New York.
Where have you been?
I've been busy, baby,
real busy.
A lot of time in Vermont.
Oh, I don't wanna know.
No, you don't.
So, how's married life?
Come on over.
This is David.
The David.
The David.
Oh, the David.
Oh, yes.
You're renowned
in our household
for what you did
in Vietnam alone.
Yeah, well...
be glad you missed it.
They say it makes
a man out of you.
Do they?
Well, I think women do that
much more pleasantly.
Yeah, well, I'll agree.
Anyway, it was
good to meet you.
I have a very important game
back here.
You look great.
[Steve] Yeah, but you can't
make any money now
as a writer.
Oh, that's not true.
I mean, come on.
Some do.
No, the majority don't.
Yeah, but that's
always been true.
obsessed with money.
That's true.
Think about it.
Dostoyevsky, Balzac,
many of the 19th century
all they did was
write about money.
Because nothing reveals...
-Excuse me.
The baldness of character...
Nothing reveals
the baldness of character
like the grasping for money.
Now 21st century novelists
we're slyer.
We act like we've
mastered it.
Yeah, by secretly
wanting to be bought.
It's the times we're in.
[Steve] What do you think
books are really about?
Uh... longing.
And then
the brutal discovery
of what it is
that we really long for.
[David] Love.
That's what you give.
[Jacqueline chuckles]
"Love, tenderness
and sexuality."
That sounds like
a bad Rod McKuen poem.
It's the sentiments that
are important, not the words.
But if the words are flat,
then that must mean
something, too.
Come on.
There's nothing I can't
do with you.
[Jacqueline] Really?
Like windsurfing
in a hurricane.
[David] I'll move in slowly.
A jacket here,
a sweater there.
You won't even notice.
Hey, it'll be all right.
What if we fight
all the time?
We won't.
Oh. Okay.
We'll be the first couple
that never ever fights.
Don't be so scared.
It is amazing.
[Jacqueline] What is?
[David] So often we don't
wait for the person
who gets us.
What we really need.
What do you mean?
I mean exactly that.
We should wait for
somebody who's
right for us.
We should be true
to that image.
Hold out for it.
They're gonna come
along eventually.
They always do.
That's how it happens.
Anyway, enough about that,
enough about work.
Let's just enjoy the day.
Have you ever noticed
how nobody ever
in literature
falls desperately,
hopelessly in love
with a woman in
her 50s.
I find a lot of older women
sexually attractive.
What about younger women?
Of course.
But it's the woman, my dear,
not the age
that's intriguing.
[Skene] I thought that
Jacqueline wanted
a happy ending.
I had to keep
blocking that instinct.
"The main character doesn't
just get to walk away,"
I told her.
At that point we only had
two weeks to go.
[Annette] Sancho, sit.
Isn't he great?
Better than my ex-husband.
-[cell phone ringing]
These things
drive me nuts.
Hey, hi. It's Skene.
Listen, I just wanted to
run something by you.
[Jacqueline] Sure.
How is it coming?
Good. Great.
Be at the theater next week
to look at potential
Mahlers with me.
I'm getting some leads
on putting the workshop
I think this might happen
sooner rather than later.
Do you wanna help
make it happen?
Yeah, I would...
I would love to.
Come to a casting session
here at Allman Studio
next Monday.
At Allman's?
Yeah, it's on the west side.
Do you know it?
Okay. Listen, I've been
thinking about what
you told me.
Especially about David.
Uh... okay.
What are you asking?
Well, hear me out.
What if...
David finds the notebooks?
What do you mean?
That he knows
Everything you've told me,
he knows.
I don't know.
Did I not give you
enough material?
I just think it would help us
understand why you
drifted apart
once he saw how much
you missed Peter.
I think it could be good.
Good for who?
For the audience, Jacqueline,
for the audience.
[sighs] Okay, uh...
I will think about it.
Okay. We will see you
next week.
What do you think
of this one?
He's really interesting.
Come... Come on.
It's fantastic.
All right.
Hey, uh...
Have you seen that other
drawing that I was doing?
The one that...
You know what?
Could I actually, for once,
have a happy ending?
I'm supposed to be your
happy ending, baby.
Come here.
I'm going to bed.
Here, let me help you.
Do you ever think that
you're so giving in bed
as control?
[laughs] Come on.
I don't mind.
Don't you ever
think about yourself?
Well, I have what I want.
I want you to
be happy with me.
You're under too much stress.
Fucking New York.
Just work and make money.
Spend time with all
those insane people
like you do.
They're not all insane.
A good many of them are.
I'm actually much better
than I used to be.
It took me years to learn
to actually spend time
with people I like.
I will never understand
this David character.
Can we talk about
something else?
David is re-finding his soul.
He's gone to war,
for God's sake.
He went to jail.
It hasn't been easy.
But he's changed.
I created a character
like him.
Oh, he took a few wrong turns,
but everybody can
redirect themselves.
Okay, look.
Can I say something?
Hey, now that you're
not with Peter anymore,
could you please
pick a guy with substance?
Somebody who's got
his shit together?
Peter was a child also.
Who ever meets
a man of substance!
Oh, thanks a lot.
You know what?
I go for stories, not people.
And I really wish that
I could go for
someone like you.
Then why don't you?
Stories don't stabilize.
Stories takes scary turns.
Yeah, but the good guys
usually win.
In stories, yes.
In real life? No.
[Skene] We'll go from
page three.
If you wouldn't mind reading
for Alma?
It shouldn't be
too hard for you.
Okay, uh, let's begin.
Your innovative
German architect
is as you say,
unusually minded.
He has addressed his
love letter to me, not you.
But it is indeed
for you,
from Mr. Gropius.
Men are always
in love with you, Alma.
This I've learned
to accept.
I suppose it comes
with marrying,
uh, a beautiful woman
much younger than me.
But your being in love
with one of them...
No, no, no, no, no.
Gustav, it was just
we talked.
It seems much more
than just talking.
His pen moves along
with all the
passion of a French composer.
Gustav, I'm isolated here.
You work all the time.
You hardly notice me.
I would hardly say that
I hardly notice you.
I brought you
these presents.
Are you sure it was Freud
you met in Lighton?
I was wrong.
I was wrong not to
ever give you presents.
Oh, and I remember
this piece you wrote.
I made notes for it,
um, to make it better.
Let me show you.
My composition?
I'm sorry, Alma. I...
I should not have.
But I have already thought
of a way to publish it.
You must forgive me.
Let me show you
that I am not
the insensitive man
that I have been.
That will be first.
Then we will see.
Everyone cannot change so,
so quickly, Gustav.
Yes, they can, Alma.
They can change.
[melancholy instrumental music]
"I wear perfume and lipstick
as I wait."
[Jacqueline] David says
he loves to solve problems.
Says it's why
he likes me.
[scoffs] Hmm.
But not even he
can solve the problem
of how long it takes
to accept the past.
What are you doing?
I'm just checking out
the ocean.
But I was at the sailboat
putting up the new mast.
Does the engine
work yet?
Most of the time.
Listen, I gotta hurry up,
'cause I'm going out
for my sauna.
I so admire those
rituals of yours.
Yeah, well, you didn't
admire them
when we were together.
Yes, I did.
It was something I could
touch down against.
Hey, I'm gonna be
around town soon.
Could I come visit you?
Sure. You wanna take a sail
when you're up here?
How do you handle
the loneliness?
I keep busy.
Well, who did you go to
the movie with last night?
-You're lying.
That's a good answer.
You know, now that
we're separated,
you aren't gonna have to be
faithful to me for the rest
of your life, right?
Oh, I know.
Listen, I gotta go.
Talk to you later.
[sorrowful instrumental music]
[Jacqueline] Being alone
caught me off guard.
After 18 years,
it's not an easy
hole to fill.
But you were filling it.
It seems you had all
your pieces in place.
You had your Gropius.
It was a struggle.
[seagulls squawking]
Maybe I will marry you.
Oh, I know you.
You're planning to get away
as you say that.
I wanna grow old
with you.
What movie is that from?
We should do stuff.
Do you wanna golf?
Say something romantic.
All right.
We will come in
from the beach
when we're 70.
We'll make love,
then I'll hold you
like this,
and I'll tell you that
you're the love of my life.
That is pretty good.
I've got an idea.
Let's go for a drive.
[Jacqueline] I can't.
This is how
the pages add up.
David, I can't
help it.
I wish I had been born
an investment banker,
believe me.
Yeah, well,
judging from your finances,
so do I.
What the fuck?
At least I'm working.
There's nothing wrong
with working.
I don't want to
feel guilty about it.
You know, watching over me
is not a profession.
You don't have to be so
freaking vigilant about me.
You need a job, too.
You'd be much happier.
You sure you're not
talking about yourself?
No, I'm not.
[ominous music playing]
[door shuts]
We fought all the time.
-No, we didn't.
-Yes, we did.
You know what that's
analogous to?
When I was a little boy
about five years old,
I loved Dr. Seuss'
The Cat in the Hat.
I had an illustrated book.
I loved it so much.
One day I got
a pair of scissors,
I cut out
all the illustrations
of the cat
until I realized
that I'd destroyed the book.
The very thing that
I'd wanted.
Your theater friends
didn't like me anyway.
I don't like all of them
that much myself.
But who cares.
So what are you doing
all the way up here
in Gloucester?
Just driving around.
"Just driving around"?
You're four and a half hours
north of New York
just driving around?
I'm visiting an old friend.
I see. Okay.
What's the matter?
Peter, I'm sorry.
I really am sorry.
Me, too.
Me, too.
- Bon appetit.
-Thank you.
So what are you doing
down there in New York?
What are you writing now?
You know, I'm actually
writing a new play
about Mahler and Freud.
Why are you writing
about Freud?
I thought you were Jungian.
Mahler actually went
to see Freud, not Jung.
You know, I have to
stick to some facts.
His wife was
cheating on him.
so he went to see Freud.
Occupational hazard
of marriage.
Is that so?
May we have some
olive oil as well?
Thank you.
When are you
going back to New York?
How are you doing?
Listen to me.
You have some dreams
to achieve.
Whatever nonsense
you tell yourself...
No matter what nonsense
you tell yourself,
that's what's important
in your life.
Don't waste it.
[gentle instrumental music]
You know, I could never stay
with a woman if she didn't
have a musical speaking voice.
You know what?
That's interesting,
because I find that people
always listen
to female singers
when they really
wanna rage.
Rage inside.
[David laughs] Right.
Hey, let's dance.
Come here. Come on.
Oh, God!
Oh, shit.
Beethoven knew that
he had to get his music out
no matter what.
Before that
he could not die.
Maybe Beethoven just
needed money.
Money and talent have
nothing to do with each other,
you know that.
Why are you
getting upset?
I just hate how money
messes people up.
I mean,
look at yourself.
I mean, you lost
10 years of your life
to the pursuit of money.
I'm trying to
tell you something.
Okay, okay.
I get it, I get it.
That reminds me.
Peter. I mean,
He always told me
that I would be
way more successful
if I would only
stay on his boat
and down more time
on my work on his boat,
I just...
I couldn't do that.
You know, some day
you're gonna have to
learn to trust people.
You're gonna have to
learn to accept.
What are you trying to say?
Well, I'm trying to say
that you're too much
in your head.
Oh, that's what I suspected
you were saying.
Can I have another
martini, please?
I still love it
out here though.
[Peter] Yeah?
It's very beautiful.
When you live out by the ocean,
like you still do,
you just sit here and
you watch the ocean
like it's...
your lover's face.
Just like I used to
watch you.
I remember.
It's too bad.
Too bad what?
Just too bad.
Write a different ending.
Hey, Sancho!
-Hey. Hi.
-Hey, how are you?
Where are you going?
I'm meeting Skene.
-Nothing like that.
Well, then he must
be gay.
No, he's not gay.
Just he's not into me
that way.
Oh, no, no.
Wait no.
There's gotta be
somebody else.
Come on.
Maybe, maybe. But...
he has a life
of his own.
He does not need me
to complete him.
He just is who he is,
and I love it.
Well, let me just
remind you.
He is not acting
like a lover,
so you better
get over it.
You know what?
I'm not talking to you.
-Uh-huh. I'll see you later.
-Maybe so.
-Come on, Sancho.
-Yeah, right.
-Bye, Sancho.
-[music playing]
-[people chatting]
Hey, it's my mail.
-Is that from you?
Aren't they funny?
I got you a gift.
- Moi?
You see...
I love this.
I brought it from Paris.
I got it on my shirt.
[inhales] Ooh!
How clever is this
of you.
How did you know?
Because you wear it
all the time.
You were fascinated
by it.
It's, um...
It's Alchemy.
I think it's witchcraft.
Whoo! Well...
You know what?
Time to go.
Actually, let's watch
a movie.
I never turn
my TV on.
I wanna see
what's on nowadays.
[TV playing]
Oh, my goodness!
This is bad.
I don't know. It makes me
feel better about the stuff
that I do.
Besides, there's a lot
of good stuff on TV now.
So they say.
I know. There's just not
a lot on right now.
I'm sorry.
I really... like...
there is no drama
between us.
There is a drama
between us.
There is.
You do know that we are
spookily compatible,
don't you?
I do.
-I do.
I like what we've got.
[Skene] There's still something
that in a way intrigues me.
The characters were all
holding tight to their
inner selves,
no matter what the cost.
This, I see, is what she
believes to be love.
I can't blame her.
Things always do change.
Love is mixed up.
[Jacqueline] I just heard
Peter met a woman
at his birthday party.
He was renovating her
shop at the ocean for her.
The kind of thing
he used to do
with me.
Yeah, man.
You know how long it took
me to get over Dan?
-So many years.
-Great. Thanks.
-Listen, is Peter still
calling you all the time?
But his lady friend
told him not to do so.
Then he called me to
analyze a dream for him,
which is sick,
by the way.
She said, "No, you're gonna
have to do that with me now."
Which, I guess,
makes sense.
Look, just...
try to remember all the things
that went wrong between
you guys.
You know, for one thing,
you guys were completely
incompatible with each other.
Yeah, I know.
We kept getting the scissors
out constantly.
You know we were
together for so long,
so many years,
and I just...
I miss him, Annette.
I really...
I miss his home being
my home.
I miss looking at him.
I miss...
I love looking at him.
I just hate
having to get over that.
You know what?
Get a dog.
It solves everything.
Come on.
Look at Sancho and I.
Perfect, isn't it?
Read me something, baby.
I'm not ready yet.
-Aw, come on.
-I'm not ready yet.
God, I'm not
one of those writers
who immediately proffers
themselves to
everyone they know.
Their ex-lovers, their cleaners,
their maitre d's and
their therapists.
I... That's performance art.
I am not a fucking maitre d'.
Maybe you ought to write
a book about writing.
Maybe then you can
make some money.
What is this anyway?
Actually I never
learned a thing that way.
I learned from my obsessions.
Your obsessions?
Oh, you mean
these obsessions?
Huh? These obsessions here?
These obsessions are
gonna make you
end up alone.
You get that?
You are going to
end up alone!
Don't you think I know that?
I did not get a choice.
You know, I don't know
what to do with you.
I don't know either.
I mean, all I know
is to keep on going.
Oh, I want to, baby.
But I want to do it together.
You know,
you don't know
how to bond.
You can't do this.
No, no, no, no.
You can't do this.
Well, I'll tell you something.
Neither can I.
I'm done.
[Skene] No one was
more surprised than me
that David, too, ended up
better off as a figure of
her imagination.
It's too bad.
I liked David.
As I told Jacqueline
many times,
he's been
my favorite character.
He'll be back, I bet.
In a next play
or somewhere.
[Annette] You know,
I can't believe you
did it again.
Can I have a cigarette?
Yeah, here.
You know you deserve one.
He's way better off
back home.
It's a jungle out here.
He's had it hard enough.
I don't know. Do you think
it's because of
that director guy?
Or was it because he read
every single one of
your notebooks?
I just...
I want him to be happy.
I mean, look at Peter.
He was not
wanting to change.
Now he has Nikki, and...
he's much happier than
he ever was with me.
It's all the same.
Honey, don't kid yourself.
They're gonna go through
the exact same kind of
problems that you did.
You think?
What is this about?
Your life
is about seducing Mahler
away from his work.
Now he loves you.
So it's not an impossibility,
but he's an exceptionally
driven man.
He desires you.
He needs your femininity
in order to create.
He can't live without you.
But he knows
that you're younger,
and beautiful,
and you're faithless.
So he's stuck.
What does he do?
He wants you.
He wants your skin,
your eyes, your hair,
your breasts.
He knows he can't trust you.
So he has to accept this need,
he has to accept this love.
He has to accept
his fear.
The power that you
have over him.
Can you play that?
Let me show you.
Did he visit me yesterday
as a man does his mother?
Many say that's the most
erotic of bonds.
We no longer sleep together.
The way you know
it's finally over.
[Skene] Three more weeks
of rehearsal.
We gotta get this right.
How do you not fall in love
with this woman?
This young woman?
A lot of directors
fall for their actresses.
It's de rigueur.
You know I'm not looking
for anything, so...
That's so logical.
Well, logic has been proven
by many fine magicians.
Love has been proven
not to be logical.
Where is this
coming from?
I don't wanna say something
I'm gonna regret,
so I'm just gonna say this.
I love working with you,
I love being with you,
Okay, forget it.
Let's just...
Let's just stop this
conversation right here,
'cause it's not
getting us anywhere.
We just need this
to be a success.
You need it to be a success.
I need it to be a success,
so I can go on and do
the work that I wanna do.
Because right now you're
not doing what you wanna
be doing?
That's not what
I meant.
Can't we just
make this easier?
I know I will.
Time to go.
Okay, thank you, everybody.
Thank you.
All right. Bye.
You are wonderful.
Oh, thank you.
It's good to see you.
Thank you.
It's gonna be beautiful.
-Thank you.
-Thank you.
I have been reading up
on Alma.
And this woman makes
Pamela Harriman and Cleopatra
sound like absolute amateur
femmes fatales.
She is the smart man's
femme fatale.
Kokoshka, Gropius, Klimt...
Does it remind you
of anyone?
Oh, yeah.
No direct parallels.
I remember.
The first day we met.
You're the expert, so...
Am I a Mahler or
a Gropius?
-You're in a different realm.
Drama and narrative arts.
They involve
music and visuals,
but this is so much more about
Is the blues coming
to an end?
What do you mean?
How's your drink?
It's okay.
I'll get you another one.
Cheer up.
Things are going well.
You have a play.
People who've seen
bits of it like it.
Who knows...
I was thinking about
the ending.
Maybe we do something
a little different.
No, Alma does not get
what she wants.
And over the centuries,
we've all suffered
that same experience.
It's the hope.
The potential
of what can be.
I'll be right back.
[piano playing]
[Skene] I was so close.
At times, I was so confident...
And then I started
to question that
I may be just a character
in the story.
A piece of her puzzle as
she mines our relationship
looking for inspirations.
[actor as Mahler] You know
what is best in music is
not to be found in the notes.
[actress as Alma] I think I've
heard you mention that before.
[Mahler] Actually,
this symphony is
different from what
I usually write.
I'm not sure why
It's strange, isn't it,
how people are put off
by art or music that
they think expresses
when that's the only root
to any emotion with meaning?
the Viennese are not that
comfortable with the whole
concept of emotions,
so why waste
our time worrying?
The tenth, the tenth...
-I have to do it, Alma.
-Yes, of course.
Let's put all of us
into your work.
That's all that counts,
isn't it?
Alma, calm down.
I have no choice,
and you know that.
Of course.
[Skene] Opening night.
Alma, don't go.
You just told me to.
I need to work,
but not with you
turning on me because of it.
[Skene] What did I miss?
People may always believe
they know us better than we do
without looking at what
that really means.
Do you really think
you can change your future,
my future,
your life...
with a symphony?
These obsessions here,
these obsessions are
gonna make you
end up alone.
You get that?
You are going to
end up alone!
Don't you think
I know that?
And why is that wrong?
It is all I have
to make sense
of any of this.
[Alma] By all means...
compose something
about it.
[Skene] Gustav and Alma
become a shadow of the play,
and a memory written
by the critics.
I'm supposed to be your
happy ending, baby.
You know what?
Write a new ending.
[solemn instrumental music]
[Skene] So Alma goes off
with the director.
But hadn't Jacqueline
written that idea?
I was so wrapped up
in my opening night
that I failed to notice that
neither Peter nor David
showed up at the theater.
If they existed,
where are they?
There she goes,
leaving with her own story
that I will never
fully tell.
I thought that this play
was about a life that
happened to Jacqueline.
Little did I know
it was Jacqueline that
was happening to life.