The Winter House (2021) Movie Script

[light piano music]
[atmospheric music]
[wind blowing]
-[music continues]
-[water dripping]
The place was built about
a hundred years ago.
Anyone who was anyone had
summer houses in those days.
Don't get many renters
in the winter.
So it'll be nice and quiet
for you.
-Kitchen's right over here.
[sighs] Toaster, refrigerator,
The oven works
if you like to cook.
Help yourself to anything
in the pantry.
We did a light shopping
before you got here: milk,
eggs, bread, a little fruit.
-That's perfect. Thank you.
-And the best view of the
lake is right through here.
[both inhale, exhale]
One thing I should mention
is that there's no smoking
anywhere in the house
or on the porch.
-We don't mean to be fussy,
but I'm allergic.
-Not a problem.
Other than that,
make yourself at home.
Bedrooms are upstairs,
sheets and towels
are all clean.
The laundry room is in back
of the kitchen,
and let us know if there's
anything you need.
I will. Thank you.
This place is perfect.
-Did you say you were a writer?
Anything I would know?
You can Google me.
-Right. Anyway, enjoy your stay.
-I will. Thank you.
[gentle piano music]
[glass thuds]
[clock chiming]
[lock clicks]
[gentle piano music]
-[phone buzzing]
-Shit. Shit. Shit.
Hi, Mom!
Oh, I'm-- I'm good. I'm good.
Yeah, no, I'm out of breath.
I'm just jogging around
the lake.
It's beautiful, yeah.
I know. I know, yeah. [pants]
No, it's-- I'm okay. I'm okay.
Oh, Mom, my phone's dying.
My phone's dying.
Okay, Mom, love you! Bye!
[exhales, inhales]
[upbeat piano music]
-You're new here, aren't you?
-What gave me away?
Well, for one thing,
I haven't known you for 30
or 40 years.
I'm renting the Lewisson house.
Out by the lake.
-Kinda lonely out there
this time of year.
-I like it that way.
Fair enough.
That comes to 45 dollars
and 60 cents.
Would you like to start
an account?
-What's an account?
-Uh, for credit.
Case you come in
without cash someday,
you can just owe us.
I would like to start
an account.
Just fill this out.
[water lapping]
[microwave whirring]
[blows, slurps]
[fire crackling]
[melancholic music]
[somber piano music]
[switch clicks]
[music continues]
[faint thudding]
[loud thud]
[thudding continues]
[switch clicks]
[drawer closing]
-[switch clicks]
[man panting]
[grunts, heavy breathing]
[faucet running]
[tea kettle lid closes]
[stove clicking on]
[loud bang]
Ah, fuck! Fuck!
Shit! Fuck!
Can I help you?
Who the fuck are you?
It's funny you should ask.
I was just wondering
who the fuck you were.
-I live here!
-Oh, I don't think so.
All right, not full-time, okay?
My-- My parents own this place.
-Is that right?
-Yes, yes, that's right.
What are their names?
Max and Deborah. The Lewissons.
We've had this place
since I was a kid. I-- I--
I come up here
when I need to get away.
-Well, I'm sorry
to interrupt your solitude.
-Yeah, don't worry about it.
I'm serious, though.
Who the fuck are you?
I'm Eileen Crain.
I'm renting the place.
-Nice to meet you, Jesse.
[chuckles] Yeah. You too.
You, uh, want some tea?
Well, I'm pretty wide awake
now, so sure, yeah.
Listen, I'm sorry.
I-- I didn't know you were here.
-Where's your car?
-I don't drive.
-How do you get places?
-I walk.
You're not close to anything.
I just keep walking
till I get there.
Yeah. Okay.
-I find it surprising
that your parents
didn't mention that I was here.
-Yeah, we don't really
talk that much.
-Why's that?
-It's just complicated.
-I find that when people
say that, it usually isn't.
-What are you, a psychiatrist?
-No, I'm a writer.
-Oh. Anything I would've read?
-Probably not.
-I do read, you know.
-I believe it.
I mean, mostly Hemingway
and Vonnegut. Norman Mailer.
Not a lot of women.
-Hemingway's great.
-Yeah. I know.
[kettle whistles]
-[kettle clangs]
-Oh. Here.
-[Jesse sighs]
-[whistling continues]
-[whistling stops]
[pouring tea]
-You take honey, or sugar?
-No. Thanks.
-Thank you.
[swallows, sighs]
Look, it's, uh...
It's freezing out there,
and, um...
I just had a screaming match
with my roommate.
And, to be honest, I-- I really
don't have a place to go.
So, um...
You mind if I just crash
on the couch down here?
I-- I won't disturb you,
I mean, any more
than I already have.
There's a free bedroom upstairs.
Yeah, I know, I just--
just thought you might
be more comfortable with me
on the couch.
I don't know.
You can stay.
Just for the night.
Cool. Thanks. Thanks.
So, uh, what brings you
to our neck of the woods?
-Oh, just needed to get away.
-Oh, yeah?
-Away from what?
-It's complicated.
-Is it?
[chuckles softly]
All right, listen, I'm gonna--
gonna head up to bed.
-You sure you don't mind
if I take a bedroom?
-No problem.
-I really appreciate that. Um...
-Just turn the lights off
when you come up, all right?
-Nice meeting you.
You too.
[footsteps retreating]
[dog barking faintly]
[kettle whistling]
[whistling stops]
-[bowl clinks]
-[eggshells cracking]
-Good morning.
[eggshells cracking]
cookie-rolling session?
-Oh, sorry, I just--
I needed a cuddle buddy.
-Could've asked me.
[clears throat]
-I'll keep you in mind. [sighs]
[pouring coffee]
-Oh, that's very thoughtful
of you.
Oh, yeah. I'm the best.
-You hungry?
-Oh, I'm starving.
-You like eggs?
-How do you make 'em?
I make 'em delicious.
[beating eggs]
What do you have on deck
for the day?
I thought I might go swimming.
-[laughs] Funny.
-No, I'm not completely kidding.
It's not all ice out there.
Well, you'd still freeze
to death.
I hear it's a good way to go.
What are--
What are you up to today?
-Uh, just, uh--
just hanging out.
-We can't all be that ambitious.
-Yeah, yeah, I set the bar high.
-You said you're a writer, huh?
-Yeah, that's right.
-Must be a cool job.
-I like it.
-Working on anything
at the moment?
Shut up and cook.
Yes, ma'am. [sucks teeth]
[lighter clicks]
[beating eggs]
[cutlery clatters]
-So you're here to write.
-Did I say that?
-Well, what else
do writers get away for?
-To avoid writing.
Oh, is that what you're doing?
-Jesse, you ask
too many questions.
God, it's such a trip
being here.
I mean, every corner is, like,
dense with memories.
We used to play
football in that room,
like right over there.
I had this one cousin,
he was like 12
when I was six.
We played living room
football all the time,
and I would always win.
He called me the Brick Wall
because he could never
get past me.
I think I was in high school
when I realized he was just
being nice. [chuckles]
Maybe he really couldn't
get past you.
Yeah, yeah, I was one tough
I bet you were.
-Where did you grow up?
-The mean streets.
-No, the nice streets.
You always wanted
to be a writer?
You're doing it again.
-Oh, sorry.
-You should have
your own talk show.
-No. Nah.
-No, you-- you could be
really good at it.
-No, I like what I'm doing.
-Which is what?
-This needs whiskey.
-It's not even nine.
You can wait till nine
if you want.
Oh. [sniffs]
-Okay, that's fine. Thank you.
-If you say so.
-So I'm thinking.
I know
a really good hiking trail
just a few miles out.
It goes up to a ridge.
You can see the whole town.
The church steeple,
the graveyard...
-That's pretty much
the whole town.
-Sounds captivating.
-You bet your ass.
No, I'm--
I think I better stay in.
There's people out there
and I'm-- I'm not good
with people.
It's a pretty secluded place.
I better not risk it.
Yeah. Yeah,
you're probably right.
We could play a board game.
Uh, Monopoly,
Scrabble, Scattergories.
All the classics.
I don't really like board games.
Yeah, neither do I.
Jesse, I came here to be alone.
-I'm sorry.
I'm-- I'm not trying to be rude.
No. No, no, no, you're not.
I-I'm the one being rude.
I mean, this is--
this is your house.
At least for the moment.
-How long you here for?
-Till March.
-[scoffs] You're gonna leave
right before it gets nice.
-Yeah, that's kinda the idea.
Right, well, don't let me
screw up your plans. I just...
I'm gonna get out of your hair.
Uh, if you ever do
wanna take that hike,
you know where to find me.
I have no idea
where to find you.
Yeah, well... [sighs]
Good thing I know
where to find you, right?
-Really nice to meet you.
-You too.
[door closes]
[gentle, atmospheric music]
-[wind blowing]
[knocking on door]
[Jesse] Eileen?
[knocking continues]
Eileen, are you here?
[knocking continues]
[sighs] Christ.
Oh, there you are.
I've been calling for you.
-Yeah, I heard you.
-Uh, can you-- can you
let me in?
-I got something to say.
-Say it.
Can you let me in?
It's just fucking freezing.
Jesse, you can't be here.
Yeah, yeah, I know,
but I am, right? So...
Can you just let me in? Please?
I-- I, uh...
I-I'll leave when you want.
I promise.
-[wind blowing]
-[Jesse shudders]
[grunts, pants]
-You moved the key.
-Yes, I did.
-I think I know why.
-That's very impressive.
Okay, look. Look, look, look,
I know. I know I'm intruding,
I know.
I-- I swear I don't want
to bother you. I just--
I came to a realization
while I was out tonight, and
I wanted to share it with you.
What realization?
I... I realized...
that you like me.
-Do I?
-Yes! You do.
I mean,
you let me stay the night
because you liked me.
And then I made you breakfast,
and then we talked about shit,
and we had a nice time.
And do you know why that is?
-Because I liked you?
Exactly, it's because
you like me. And I...
I thought I should come over
and-- and tell you that.
Um, because I think you deserve
to know.
Well, that's very thoughtful
of you.
Yes, I know.
-Let's have a drink.
-No! No. Let's-- let's have
a coffee.
I don't need coffee.
-Thank you.
[spits] It's hot.
-Blow on it.
-H-Have a seat, Jesse.
Did you walk here from town?
I did. I walked here to see you.
That's like five or six miles.
There was a moon. It was nice.
Jesse, do you always drink
like this?
No. Of course not, no.
Sometimes I really go for it.
-[laughs] I'm kidding!
-No, I-- I get it. I get it.
-You should put me in a book.
-Ugh, everybody says that.
Yeah, but I'm right.
You-- You probably are.
Okay, tell me... tell me
how you would write me.
Uh, I never indulge that kind
of idiot narcissism.
Pretty please?
[inhales, sighs]
All right. All right. I'd say...
-You're disappointed.
You had great promise
at one time or another,
but you let it slide.
And now you're cynical
and bitter and hate the world,
but, really, it's all
a smokescreen.
Because what you really hate
is yourself.
-How do you know that?
-I didn't know it.
I just guessed it.
[clicks tongue] Well, that's...
a pretty fucking good guess.
Look, I'm...
I'm not... this.
Do you understand? Like, I...
Like, I am Jesse,
and Jesse is this...
drunk, and this... deadbeat,
but I'm not...
You know? I'm something else.
It's just I got
stuck... in this... somehow,
-I can't seem
to find my way out.
-I know.
-You get it.
-I do.
Thank God.
No one ever gets it, but you...
You're kinda wonderful,
aren't you?
-I don't know. Maybe.
No, you are. You are.
Don't try to deny it. You are.
-I'm glad you think so.
-No, I do. I do.
You know what else?
I think you're a pretty
attractive older lady.
Well, that's--
that's very kind of you.
I'm messing with you!
I don't-- [chuckles]
don't think you're old.
-I really don't care if you do.
-Well, that's not nice.
-Can I sleep on the couch?
-You should go home.
No, I told you,
my-- my roommate hates me.
You should hash it out with him.
Yeah, that's-- that's just not
gonna work.
Look, I'm just gonna
lie down on the couch
for, like, a minute or two,
just to get my strength back.
And then
I promise I'll walk the five
or six miles back to town.
Okay. All right, okay.
Sounds good. Sounds good.
Okay, then.
[chuckles softly]
[keyboard clacking softly]
[grunts softly]
[tender piano music]
[sighs] Mornin'.
-Uh, did-- did I sleep here?
-I believe so.
Uh, did I-- did I do or say
anything hideously embarrassing?
No more than usual.
Sweet. [sighs]
-Uh, hey, can I help
with breakfast at all?
-No. Sit down.
Oh, thank Christ.
Ow. Ugh.
You okay over there?
I feel like an animal died
in my brain. [groans]
Well, you just--
you need some coffee.
-Yeah. Yeah, that'd be good.
-Hey, is this your laptop?
-Oh, no passcode. Very trusting.
-Close it or I'll kill you.
Yeah, wouldn't want anyone
to steal this blank page.
[swallows, sighs]
-So you write novels?
-Uh, yeah. And--
And some memoir.
-What, story of your life,
that kind of thing?
-Yeah, basically.
Yeah, I don't know, I've never
really understood that.
I mean, like... if you walked on
the moon or invented the zipper
or something,
then, okay, maybe I want to know
about your life, but...
I don't know,
if you're just... you?
I mean,
no offense or anything, but...
like, why-- why would I wanna
read that?
-That's a--
That's a very good question.
What's the answer?
I think people read it
to see themselves in it.
Uh, yeah, if I--
if I want to see myself,
I'll just look in a mirror.
Yeah, most people can't.
nice work if you can get it.
-Yeah. I agree.
[utensils clatter]
-Oh, this looks amazing.
It's making me wish
I hadn't been a jerk to you
like 30 seconds ago.
Don't worry.
I'll still let you eat.
I feel sorry for you.
Yup. Um, I'll-- I'll take that.
-Oh, fuck, this is really good.
No, like, really good.
Like, you have a gift
or something.
-Thank you.
-Do you have kids?
No, no kids.
Do you have a husband?
I used to.
-Mm. What happened?
-He died.
Oh, shit, I'm sorry. When?
Three weeks ago.
Oh. Shit.
It's okay.
No, no, that's really shitty.
I'm-- I'm so-- I'm sorry, I...
It's okay. It's okay.
How did he... I mean, it's none
of my business, but h-how...
Heart attack.
It was quite sudden.
I am so sorry.
It's okay, Jesse.
It's not your fault.
Yeah, but it's, uh...
Anyway, yeah. Really good eggs.
-Well, thanks.
-Yeah, he was a lucky guy.
I know.
Um, so... what's the plan
for today?
Take a dip in the freezing lake
and never come out?
Someone told me
it's a good way to go.
I have a better idea.
I can't believe I'm doing this.
-You'll be fine.
-I feel like a fucking idiot.
-Well, it can't be
the first time.
Okay, come on. Let's just--
let's get this over with.
Okay. Okay. All right. Um...
-Here we go. [clears throat]
"Whose woods these are
I think I know.
His house
is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up
with snow.
My little horse
must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the-- [coughs]
the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives
his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods
are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
How did that feel?
-Good. Because it was.
Look, I told you, this isn't--
this isn't my thing.
-You must have
read this poem before.
-Yeah, in school.
Why do you think I chose it?
Because it's about winter.
-And it's winter!
-What-- What else?
-Because it's short?
Okay. Anything else?
Because, I don't know, maybe
you thought I would like it.
Which... I do.
What-- What do you like
about it?
Uh, I like the way it sounds.
-And what else?
I like what it's about.
What do you think it's about?
Well, you know, it's this--
this guy, he's, uh...
stopping... in the woods.
-That's it?
-Well, there's a horse.
I mean, I...
I get that it's more than that.
It's about, like... [inhales]
You know, like you wanna
stop and rest and...
look at the scenery.
But you have shit to do.
Some people think
it's about suicide.
Oh. [stammers]
Where do they get that?
I guess they don't like
the woods.
-Read it again.
-Oh, you're torturing me!
Oh, poor baby.
Read it again.
All right! All right, fine.
Uh, slowly, slowly.
"Whose woods these are
I think I know.
His house is in the village,
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up
with snow.
My little horse
must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
-[dramatic music]
-Between the woods
and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives
his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely,
dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
I'm sorry. [sniffles]
Don't be sorry.
I just...
I don't... [sniffles]
Oh, it's fucking beautiful.
Yeah. It is.
Who taught him
to write like that?
Nobody. Yeah. Nobody.
[sniffles, sighs]
-Yeah? [sniffles]
-What happened to you?
-What do you mean?
[clears throat]
Well, I mean, you're lost,
that-- that's obvious, but...
-I don't know why.
-[sucks teeth]
I just fucked everything up.
-Oh, you gotta give me
more than that.
-No, I just...
[grunts, sniffles]
-Ask me when I'm drunk.
All right. So let's do
what you want to do.
What-- what's that?
What's what I wanna do?
Whatever it is
that you wanna do.
All right.
Yeah, I got something.
Did I mention
that I hate hiking?
-You said whatever I wanted.
I regret it bitterly.
Just relax, okay?
We're almost there. [grunts]
Almost where?
[gentle piano music]
What do you think? Worth it?
Yeah. Worth it.
Here. I brought you something.
Do you ever stop drinking?
-Yeah. But I always regret it.
So, uh... [sniffs]
-Where were you
before you came here?
-New York City.
Wow, from NYC to the wilds
of New Hampshire.
-Doesn't it make you crazy?
-I was already crazy.
I mean, just...
Especially in the winter.
It's hard enough when you're
from here, you know?
-I think I kinda like it.
I can hear myself think.
-That's a good thing?
I-I'm not sure.
[Jesse sniffs]
Is that the lake?
That's the lake.
The lake is icy, deep, and dark,
But there are cars
I have to park
something about a fuckin' lark,
-And something
about a fucking lark.
-[stammers] That's beautiful.
-Yeah, you missed
your calling as a poet.
-Oh, shut up.
[melancholic piano music]
[sniffs, sighs]
[scoffs] Come on.
Come on!
Catch, you fuckers.
You're making me look bad.
-How's it going over there?
-I don't know. This wood
fuckin' hates me.
-Looks like it's burning okay.
-Yeah, that's just The Wall
Street Journal.
Well, maybe we can make a fire
completely out of newspaper.
Yeah, that's-- that's gonna be
my next approach. [sniffs]
Your drink's ready.
-Should I just give up on this?
-Yeah. Let's drink.
Oh, if-- if you insist.
-[sniffs, sighs]
-[distant gunshots]
-Wait, were those gunshots?
-Sounded like it.
-Should we be worried?
-Nah, it's just people hunting.
After dark?
-Not much else to do. Cheers.
-I like your shirt.
-Oh, thanks. Uh, it's--
Uh, it's Max's.
-I found it upstairs.
-You call your dad Max?
Yeah, we're-- we're not close.
I put all my shit
in the laundry.
-That cool?
-Mm-hmm. Yeah, it's fine.
Are you drunk enough?
-For what?
-To tell me how you screwed up
your life.
-I-- I literally had one sip.
-So have some more.
Now you're the one being nosy.
-It's my job.
-All right. Okay.
Let's, uh-- let's play a game.
-All right.
You guess and, um,
I'll tell you if you're warm.
-That's childish.
-You don't wanna play?
No. I wanna play.
It was a woman.
It was a job.
Even colder. [sighs]
It was your parents.
A little warmer.
It was drugs.
It started with a prescription.
-Well, um...
-Not your prescription.
-At first, it was fun.
-You needed the escape.
-It started out small.
-You dove in head-first.
And at first, it worked.
But then you needed more.
And more.
Until it was way too much.
And then what?
And then... you stopped.
That's right.
But it was too late.
That's right.
Because you'd already blown
all your second chances.
-Not exactly.
-Then what?
I just burned it away.
Everything that...
made me happy.
Joy, inspiration, love.
I just burned it all out.
All the places where I used
to feel those things...
They're dead.
I killed them.
And now I'm...
-I'm the living dead.
-[chuckles] I think
you're wrong.
But you don't know, do you?
'Cause you just see
what I show you.
I remember what it was like
to be alive, so I can put on
a good show of it.
But it's hollow, it's nothing.
You said inspiration.
What did you mean by that?
Can we not talk about that,
No, let's talk about it.
It's this stupid fucking fire!
[record player switches on]
[slow, old-fashioned jazz music]
-Let's dance.
-Yeah, I-- I-- I don't dance.
-You do now.
-Eileen, I'm really
not in the mood.
Jesse. I don't care.
All right, h-how do we, um...?
Just follow me.
-Yeah, no,
you do not dance. [giggles]
-Yeah, I wasn't kidding.
It's okay, just follow me.
There's always a first.
-Hey, why are you so nice to me?
-I don't think I am.
You're, like,
nicer to me than anyone's
ever been in my entire life.
-Oh, I hope that's not true.
-It is true.
Well, that says more
about other people than it does
about me.
Why can't you take a compliment?
It's not a-- not a compliment.
Okay. You, uh... want me
to compliment you?
You're welcome to try.
-You got the greenest eyes.
-That's not a compliment.
-Wait, wait, I'm not--
I'm not done yet.
-Oh, sorry.
They're green
and they're deep, and...
They're like an ocean.
And I could just, um,
I could swim in them for...
for a long time.
-It's not very original.
-I didn't say it was original.
It was nice, though.
It was nice.
-Hey, um, you've got
a little something there.
Yeah, just hang on a second.
Oh, it's, uh-- it's just this
tiny little piece of, um...
-Oh, I know what it is.
-Oof. [laughs]
Come on, that's a good line!
that's not a good line.
-It's worked before.
Well, yeah,
every line works on someone.
[sighs] What line works on you?
I don't know.
Depends on the day.
Yeah, you're kinda fickle.
-Yeah, I'm a writer.
-You're a woman.
That too.
[music continues]
You know, you're interesting
to me, Eileen.
You obviously
have a lot going on beneath
the surface. Like, a lot.
But also you've got this like...
Shunk! Like, this, like,
wall of imperviousness.
Very forbidding. Very effective.
But i-it's making me wonder
about what's-- what's behind it.
-[music ends]
-Clawing at it.
desperately to... get out.
I think you're giving me
too much credit.
I'm not that interesting.
Most writers aren't.
Oh, that's good.
That's good, Eileen.
I don't buy it, but it's good.
I bet you fool most people,
but you don't fool me.
Can't get anything past you,
can I?
Yeah, you can.
I just don't think you want to.
No, I think you're like anyone.
You're afraid
of being known, but...
it's also the only thing
you really want.
You're smarter than you look.
-I know.
-You could've been a contender.
-Hey, I still got time.
Yeah, but you never know
how much time.
Yeah, that's why I try
not to waste it.
[whispers] I guess you found
the right line.
-It wasn't the line.
-I know.
Good night.
-Wait, what?
-I'm going to bed.
Mind if I join you?
Not tonight.
No one likes a tease, you know.
You're doing okay, Jesse.
Don't blow it.
All right.
All right.
[upbeat jazz music]
-What you got going there?
-Just notes.
-Can I see?
-No! Absolutely not.
[Jesse sighs]
-You want me to fuck off
and let you work?
-Not in those words.
I get it. [sucks teeth]
Uh, no problem.
I'm gonna-- I'm gonna go, uh,
chop some wood. [sniffs]
We-- We have wood.
Yeah, but I feel
like chopping something.
-Sounds therapeutic.
-You have no idea.
[clears throat]
All right. I'm out of here.
I'll be back in a couple hours.
-Maybe we can take another hike.
-No, no, that's not happening.
We'll see.
[door opens, closes]
[knocking on door]
-Can I help you?
-Yeah, I'm looking for Jesse.
Jesse who?
You know Jesse who.
I'm Eileen Crain.
Who-- Who are you?
I'm just a friend of Jesse's.
I need to speak with him.
Is he here?
-There's no one here but me.
-Mind if I come in and check?
I do mind, yes.
Look, this doesn't have
to be a thing. I just...
I just need to speak with Jesse.
So, do you mind?
-I think you should leave.
-Look, there's no reason
to be unfriendly.
I'm not being unfriendly.
You're trespassing, and you
won't give me your name.
I'm Kurt. Okay?
I'm-- I'm Kurt Riley.
-Can I see a driver's license?
Now who's being unreasonable?
[inhales, exhales]
Look, do me a favor.
If you see Jesse,
why don't you
tell him I came by here,
I need to speak with him?
If I see anyone named Jesse,
I will pass on the message.
Big house to be living in
all by yourself, huh?
I have a gun.
So do a lot of people.
-You have a good day.
[locks clicks]
[lock clicks]
[somber music]
[phone buzzing]
-How's that?
-How's that?
-Oh. A little finer.
You got it.
So I went to the library today.
-Oh. I'm very proud.
-Yeah, I looked up your name.
They have three or four
of your books.
-You're pretty famous.
-Well, for a novelist.
Well, you're no
Just Kidding Rowling,
but, um, you seem to do
pretty well.
Yeah, I do all right.
-Which one should I start with?
-Which ones did they have?
-Uh, I don't know,
something about sparrows?
-Uh, The Fall of a Sparrow.
Yeah. And, uh,
something biblical, like, uh,
The Tribe of Israel or...
-Tribe of Cain.
Yeah, and a couple others.
I can't remember.
Start with, uh, Tribe of Cain.
That's a good one to start with.
Will do.
[knives slicing]
Hey, do you know a Kurt Riley?
Don't think so.
Do you know a big, creepy guy
who likes to make up names
for himself?
I guess Paul.
-He came here?
-This afternoon.
[sighs] Fuck.
-Anything I should know about?
Yeah, uh...
[chuckles] Probably not,
to be honest.
What'd you do, Jesse?
Listen, I know it's your job
to be curious,
but you have to know
when not to push, okay?
-I have to?
-I'm just...
I want us to get along, Eileen.
Let's get along.
-On your terms.
-On whatever terms work, okay?
Whatever fucking works!
I know you're not
the Lewissons' kid.
[ominous music]
-What makes you say that?
-I-- I knew from the moment
I saw you.
You were banging around
in the cabinets.
You didn't know
where anything was.
-Yeah, we don't use
this house much.
-You're lying.
Okay, you're right. I'm, uh...
-I'm nobody's kid.
-Then what are you?
I'm nothing.
You need to be more specific.
Look, I didn't mean any harm,
I-- I just needed a place
to get warm.
And-- And I'd been here
once as a kid, once,
for a birthday party, and it...
[sighs] it seemed safe.
-So you're hiding from Paul.
-Yeah, Paul and Paul's friends.
And the fact that he knows
I'm here is not good.
I should move on tonight.
But i-if you leave,
then I'll be all alone
when Paul comes back.
He's not gonna hurt you.
You didn't do anything.
I want you to stay.
I-- I wanna stay too.
Fuckin' believe me I wanna
stay, that's all I want.
But this is not a good guy,
Eileen. And if...
-if I'm here, you're not safe.
-I don't care if I'm safe.
Well, I care, all right?
If something happens to you
because of me,
I'll fucking kill myself.
You-- Do you believe that?
No, I don't,
because I think if you
wanted to kill yourself,
you would've done it already.
I think you secretly like
being alive.
I like some of it, okay?
I like you.
I like you too.
So stay.
[smacks lips] I can't.
Eileen, I can't.
-Wait right here.
-What-- where are you going?
I'll be right back. I wanna
show you something.
-What the fuck is this?
-It's a gun.
-It's a loaded gun.
-Yeah. They work better
that way.
Um, you, uh, planning
on shooting anything
in particular?
I was gonna just play it by ear.
-What'd you
come here for, Eileen?
-I told you, to get away.
-How far away?
-I don't know.
As far as it took.
-Think I better keep this.
-Only if you stay.
[grunts] Well, then I guess
I have to stay.
-I guess I gotta tell you now.
-I think you should.
Can I have a drink?
I've known Paul forever.
I was in elementary school
with his sister Denise.
When I got out of rehab,
I was looking for a job,
and Paul offered me one.
He has this little
contracting business. I...
I didn't have much experience,
and he took a chance on me.
I thought he was just
being nice. [sighs]
Turned out he had his own ideas
about how an ex-junkie like me
could be useful.
Someone desperate,
someone he could... manipulate.
Paul had this big idea
about pulling one robbery.
You find the juiciest target,
you do the research,
you plan it out,
and then you do it.
-So you're the guy?
[clicks tongue] I was the guy.
I didn't have
a lot of friends left,
I didn't have a lot of options.
I didn't really need
the money from the robbery.
I just-- I just needed that job.
-So you did it.
Yeah, I did it.
Paul identified the target.
It turned out to be this big
marble statue.
Didn't look like much to me,
but Paul had a cousin in
the antiques business,
and the cousin swore it was
worth a million.
-Maybe more.
-Not easy to move, though.
No. [scoffs] It wasn't.
-[suspenseful music]
-I was supposed to have help,
but the guy backed out
at the last minute.
His mom had the fuckin' flu
or some shit.
So it comes down to me,
a pickup truck,
and this big marble thing,
almost as big as I am.
So I disable the alarm-- okay.
I get this thing
out of the house-- okay.
And then I'm loading it
onto-- onto the back
of the truck, and, um...
I dropped it.
Right off the tailgate,
I dropped it.
I had to dodge
so it wouldn't crush me.
And you'd think, marble, right?
[stammers] This thing lasted
a thousand years
and a trip across the Atlantic.
This thing's solid, right?
It snapped right in half
on the pavement.
Like a twig. [scoffs]
And I totally fucking panicked.
And, um...
[exhales] I got in the truck,
and I drove away.
And Paul blamed you.
-Well, yeah, but...
-[glass thuds]
...that's not the worst part.
We had a screaming match.
Yada, yada, he's yelling,
I'm yelling.
He's threatening me,
things are said, and...
at one point I may have said
I would go to the police.
Which he-- obviously,
he-- he didn't take that well.
That's when he tried
to strangle me.
I got away by diving through
a window.
That's the last time we spoke.
Well, shit.
So you're out of a job.
[clicks tongue] Oh, yeah.
And your ex-boss
is a thug who thinks you want
to put him in prison.
And you're still clean?
Honestly, Jesse,
you are a recovery miracle.
They should put you on a poster.
-That's very nice. Thank you.
-No, no, I mean it.
You say you're dead inside,
but-- but if you were,
you'd be back on that shit
in a heartbeat.
You are under insane pressure,
and you haven't caved.
I caved when I took
the statue job.
I should've told him
to shove it.
Well, yeah, obviously.
That's hindsight.
So what are you gonna do now?
Lie low here. If you let me.
Protect you, protect myself.
Maybe you should leave town.
I don't have any money.
I don't have a car.
Where would I go?
I've basically never left
this town.
Well, why don't you go
to the police?
-Because I don't
want to go to jail.
-You don't think this is worse?
Maybe. Maybe it's worse.
But... I can't face jail,
I can't face it.
-I don't have the guts.
-I think you have more guts
than you think.
Don't ask me to go.
I can't go. Please, Eileen.
Don't ask me.
I won't.
-[faucet running]
-[somber piano music]
-[water turns off]
Do you need anything?
No, I'm okay. Thanks.
You should sleep.
-I won't be able to.
-You should try.
I'll be okay. You rest.
All right.
[footsteps retreat]
[ambient music]
[footsteps thudding]
[gentle piano music]
[door opens, closes]
[Jesse sighs]
[Eileen sighs]
How was your jog?
Nice and cold.
-You missed a call
on your cell phone.
Don't worry about it. [chuckles]
It's probably my mom.
-You should call her back.
-I should, but I won't.
-Why not?
-She's just calling to make sure
I'm not up here killing myself.
And I don't really feel like
having that conversation.
It's sweet that she cares.
I'll text her.
Is that Tribe of Cain?
-When did you get that?
But I didn't mention it
until last night.
Oh, I brought all four
of 'em back. I just wanted
to know where to start.
-You're full of surprises.
-So are you. This...
This is really good.
Why is that surprising?
I don't know,
I've just never known anyone
who did anything good.
-That can't be true.
-No, it is, it's true.
I had a friend in high school
who was in a ska band.
They sucked.
My friend Tanya used to be
a painter. She sucked.
I used to write poetry,
and guess what?
-It sucked.
-It sucked!
But this... this is decent.
It's-- It's beyond decent.
It's, like, good.
-Well, it's no Hemingway.
-Ah, I was bluffing
about Hemingway.
I read like one book of his
in school. It was fine.
-You used to write poetry?
-Yeah, yeah, if you wanna
call it that.
It was this really rhyme-y,
rhythmical shit. I thought
I was Tennyson.
There's nothing wrong
with Tennyson.
Yeah, if it's 1880
and you're talented.
You gotta trust me on this one,
Eileen, it was bad.
-You should've stuck with it.
You could've been good by now.
But, uh, instead I found
my true calling.
-Which is what?
-[clicks tongue]
You want coffee?
-I always want coffee.
-You want whiskey in it?
-Not before noon.
When did that start?
You know how it is.
The love of a good woman.
-I'll bring you your coffee.
[gentle piano music]
How's Max and Deborah's
place treating you?
Good. Thanks.
Not too lonely?
No. I told you, I like it.
Well, that's good.
[suspenseful music]
[no audible dialogue]
Comes to 55 dollars
and 19 cents.
-Can you charge it, please?
[melancholic piano music]
Okay, I think you've made
your point.
What point?
You're enjoying the book.
I'm flattered.
Come, get up.
Help me make dinner.
I don't know that "enjoying"
is the right word for it.
No? What word would you use?
I don't know. I guess I'm...
It's-- It's like I'm reading...
It's just a book, Jesse.
Here, just--
come here for a second.
Hold on, let me find it.
It-- It's um...
"He had come to believe that
punishment was a kind of gift.
He welcomed it. With a passion
that was almost religious,
he believed it would
make him whole."
That's your husband, right?
I'm sorry, I shouldn't ask.
I know, I'm sorry. I just...
It's just so intimate.
I mean, I know it's a novel,
but I feel like I'm reading
a diary, like I...
like I shouldn't be reading it.
Like it's too private, you know
what I mean?
So don't read it.
No, that's--
that's not what I...
This is a great book, right?
I-- I mean, it's beautiful.
I mean, I love it,
but it's also-- it's... [sighs]
It's you, Eileen.
It's just-- It's you.
Well, I'm glad you like
the book. [chuckles]
There it is again. Just shunk!
I don't get it.
You know all my secrets.
Why can't you tell me
one of yours?
I don't have secrets.
I just have pain, Jesse.
-[somber piano music]
-[wind blowing]
-Are you fucking kidding me?
-[loud thump]
[heavy breathing]
I kinda lost my temper.
I threw your book at the wall.
I'm sorry.
-Tell it to the library.
-[laughing] Yeah. Yeah.
[stammers] Uh, hey, Eileen,
can I ask you a serious
question, though? Seriously.
-Sure. What is it?
A-Are you fucking kidding me
with this shit?
-You didn't like the ending.
No, it's-- it's bullshit.
I mean, it's-- it's actual
Well, it certainly evokes
mixed reactions.
He goes through this shit
for her.
This-- This whole
self-punishment schtick,
it's so he's worthy of her.
And then, what, after all that,
she just leaves him?
She just walks away?
-Why do you think she does it?
-Because you didn't have the
guts to write a happy ending!
Because you think real art
has to be dark and depressing.
You're one of those people.
I fucking hate those people.
Well, I never set out
to make people angry,
but it-- it is gratifying
when there's such a strong
No, no, no, that's bullshit.
You knew this would
piss people off.
That's why you did it!
Because you think it makes you
a serious writer.
Hemingway didn't write
happy endings.
Ugh, I don't like Hemingway!
I-- I was lying.
I like books where the--
the guy gets the girl
at the end,
where the bad guy
gets his head cut off.
Books that-- that make sense,
that give you something,
instead of trying
to take something away.
-I didn't know
you were such a romantic.
-You are too, Eileen. That's...
That's what kills me. This...
This isn't you.
No, I thought this was you,
but it's not.
It's just who you're
trying to be, this cold
ice-queen bitch, but it's-
it's not who you actually are.
-Are you sure?
-Yes! Yes, I'm sure. I...
Eileen. I know you.
That book is an insult to you.
You're so much better than that.
Well, I certainly appreciate
your feedback.
My God, you're impossible!
I'm trying to reach out.
I'm trying to get through
to you.
You keep putting up wall
after all after wall!
That's why he left you,
isn't it?
-Your husband.
What do you mean?
I Googled you
when I was at the library.
You're famous enough.
It was in the news.
Your husband didn't die.
He left you.
You lied to me.
-You lied to me.
-Yeah, but I'm a fuck-up,
What's your excuse?
I don't need an excuse.
And I won't apologize.
You think I care
what you think of me?
I don't give a damn.
And I didn't lie to save face,
and I didn't lie to hurt you.
I just said
what I wanted to say.
-You'd rather he were dead.
-Yes! Yes, I would.
-'Cause it would be easier.
-Yeah, in some ways.
Simplest thing in the world:
he doesn't want you. And you
can't accept that.
-Fuck you, Jesse.
-Fuck me for what?
Fuck me for caring?
You don't care.
You're just wounded.
You're lashing out.
Well, of course I'm wounded!
You're giving me nothing!
I'm trying to
fall in love with you here,
and you're not making it easy!
-You have to be joking.
-No, ugh, I'm not joking,
I think you're amazing.
Or you would be amazing
if you would just stop being
such a bitch.
God, you are a child.
Falling in love? We just met.
You're 15 years younger than me,
and you act younger than that.
We're killing time here.
That's-- That's what
we're doing.
You're an intermission for me
before I go back to New York,
and for you...
I don't know,
I guess it's your last stop
before jail.
-That's not nice.
-Well, I'm not nice.
And I'm not your mother.
And I'm not your girlfriend.
And I'm not sorry if my book
was less satisfying for you
than the fucking Hardy Boys.
-You know what your problem is?
-I can't wait for you
to tell me.
You've never taken a chance.
On anything.
You just sit in judgment,
and you never take a risk.
And that's why you're
so fucking miserable, Eileen.
'Cause everything in life
is a risk, especially love.
You think
I've never taken a chance.
Yeah. That's what I said.
You know nothing.
So tell me.
You took-- Mm.
I took a chance
when I married a man
who was 12 years older than me
when I was 19.
I took a chance
when I left home,
despite my parents' objections,
my friends' warnings.
I turned down
a college scholarship.
I took a chance on writing
and I took a chance on love.
[stammers] And it all paid off.
I thought it had all paid off.
He left a note.
After 25 years, a note.
H-He'd... met somebody else.
So... yeah, I would--
I would rather
he were dead because then...
I could remember him fondly
instead of having
the last 25 years of my life
thrown back in my face.
I mean,
he knew me better than anyone.
And he rejected me.
He cast me aside
like I was nothing.
[smacks hand]
So, yeah. Yeah,
if you'll forgive me,
I don't feel much like taking
a chance right now. [sniffs]
-I'm sorry.
-Oh, please, please, don't.
No, I'm...
I'm sorry. I didn't... realize.
I don't care.
I-- I really--
I really don't care.
I've been hurt as badly
as someone can be hurt.
You don't need to apologize.
I'm way beyond your power
to harm. [sighs]
I get it.
I mean...
I-- I haven't...
I haven't been through what
you've been through, but...
-I've been in that place,
you know?
-[soft music]
Where it seems like there's
just no hope. And...
[exhales] I can
honestly say... there's always
something coming.
Even when it seems impossible,
even when you just wanna
give up, there's always--
-Wait, shut up.
-No, I'm not gonna shut up.
-I'm trying to--
-Wait, shut up.
Shut up, shut up!
-[car approaching]
-Get the gun.
-Where is it?
-Bedside table.
[suspenseful music]
-[Jesse] I got it.
-[engine idling]
-[car doors closing]
-Do you recognize any of them?
-One of them's Paul, for sure.
-Do you think they're armed?
-I have no idea.
Where can we go
where we can see both doors?
-The kitchen. Let's go. [sniffs]
-All right.
-[music continues]
-[Jesse pants]
-I'm sorry. [sniffs]
-What for?
[scoffs] I don't have time
to run down the list. [sighs]
-I'm sorry too.
-For what?
For being an ice-queen bitch.
"Ice-queen bitch" is redundant,
by the way.
-I know. Sorry.
-It's okay.
[Jesse exhales]
Do you hear anything?
I bet they're circling
the house.
-They're gonna probably hit
both doors at once.
Yeah. Shit.
-[Jesse sighs]
-[ominous music]
Fuck this. Give me the gun.
-W-What are you gonna do?
-I have a plan. Trust me.
-Wait here. I'll be right back.
-[gun cocks]
-[music builds]
[loud gunshot]
[engine idling]
I've got nine shots left.
Anyone want one?
You think these are blanks?
-[glass shatters]
I've got eight shots left!
I'm starting to enjoy this!
-Eileen, get back inside.
-I'm not afraid
of these assholes.
Well, you're an idiot.
Come! Please!
I'm going back inside!
If you're interested in leaving,
this would be a good time!
[door slams]
-Are you crazy?
-I told you I was crazy.
You're freaking me out, Eileen.
-I-- I feel amazing.
-You look amazing.
-Well, then kiss me, you idiot.
[Jesse moans]
[moans, grunts]
-[Jesse panting]
-[engine revs]
[tires squeal]
[heavy breathing]
-What time is it?
-[panting] Um...
-Almost three.
[Jesse sighs]
Is it safe to go out,
do you think?
I think so.
Good, 'cause I could...
I could really use a cigarette.
Oh, God, me too.
-[Eileen sighs]
[Jesse sighs]
[wind blowing]
[Jesse] Thanks. [sniffs]
Well, you, uh, certainly
make life interesting.
I swear it was boring
before you got here.
Yeah, funny thing. So was mine.
-Hey, I have a question.
-I'm shocked.
[laughs] Yeah, I know.
When I first came here...
I was this intruder
at like two in the morning,
you had a gun in your bedroom,
you didn't bring it with you
when you came downstairs.
What's the question?
What were you thinking?
I was thinking,
"Maybe he'll kill me
so I won't have to."
I didn't want to die, exactly.
I just...
I just didn't want to be safe.
This is why we can write
a million novels
and still keep writing more.
Hundred million poems--
barely scratch the surface.
-Human beings are crazy.
We're crazy.
We think we're sane 'cause
we dress ourselves, drive cars,
get to work on time, but...
every stone you turn over,
there's another demon,
another neurosis.
And the deeper you dig,
the crazier we get.
Yeah, but that's a good thing,
Why is that a good thing?
Imagine a sane world.
Imagine how boring.
-If we made sense,
we might as well be ants.
-I like the way you think.
-Ah, I'm just talking.
Keep talking.
[Jesse inhales]
-You know what I liked?
-The rolling pin.
-[both laugh]
-Well, I didn't
want to kill you!
-No, that makes sense. Sort of.
I mean,
it's just such a 1950s image.
Woman with rolling pin.
Like, chasing after the kid
that stole her pie.
I guess I wanted to be safe
after all.
-Well, it is hard to be brave
when you're sleeping.
If I did something stupid,
-would you understand?
-Like how stupid?
Like, um...
smart, but stupid.
You gotta give me
more than that.
No, actually, that's...
That's not what I wanted to say.
I just wanted to say thank you.
-No, don't say thank you.
-I need to.
You reminded me
what it was like to...
-to want to be better.
-I like you fucked up,
the way you are.
Yeah. [chuckles]
Wouldn't worry about that.
-Should we go in?
-I'm gonna sleep
like a baby tonight. [exhales]
-Yeah, me too.
[atmospheric music]
[somber piano music]
Couldn't you have just waited
a day?
-[music swells]
[crying continues]
[birds chirping]
Well, everything looks good.
You've taken very good care
of the place.
-Well, it's taken good care
of me.
I'm delighted to hear it.
-How's the book coming along?
-It's coming.
Oh. It must be so exciting.
-It's not bad.
I was sorry to hear
about your friend.
-He got a year?
-Yeah. His boss got five.
-Have you been able to see him?
-Not yet. He's not ready
to take any visitors.
-I'm sure that'll change.
-I hope so. I'm leaving
in a few days.
Heading back to the city?
Where else is there to go?
Oh, I'm a ninny.
I almost forgot.
This came for you.
No mailbox here,
so it was sent to us.
I hope it's not late.
Thank you.
-You take care
of yourself, dear.
-You too, Deborah. Thank you.
[door closes]
Hi, Deborah, it's Eileen.
I-Is-- Is the house available
over the summer?
How much more?
Oh, that'll be fine.
Can you bring the paperwork
by tomorrow?
Okay. Thank you so much.
Okay. Bye.
[door creaks]
[door creaks]
-[phone buzzing]
Hi, Mom.
How are you?
It's okay. It's okay.
Well, it's kind of a long story.
Do you have a minute?
-[tender piano music]
-[inaudible dialogue]
[wind blowing]
[gentle piano music]