Uncle Frank (2020) Movie Script

[birds chirping]
[birds chirping]
[dog barking in distance]
- [children laughing]
- [footsteps running]
[Mae Ray]
Betty, get out of the way.
[Janis] "She put her arms
around his neck"
and hung there
as he opened her trousers.
Then he placed both hands
behind her buttocks
and lifted her.
"She gave a little hop..."
Like a bunny?
- [laughter]
- Hey, y'all.
[laughter stops]
What do you want, Betty?
Are y'all reading
Lucy and Sonny at the wedding?
It's so dirty.
Mama and Daddy wouldn't
like you reading this.
You're too young.
My favorite part is,
"Her hand closed around
an enormous blood-gorged
pole of muscle."
It's not a muscle.
Janis, your little sister is
such a weirdo. God, I know.
[Kitty] Betty, come on over here
and help me with these beans.
[men shouting in distance]
[Mammaw scoffs] Would you
listen to those fool men?
[cabinet closes]
Why don't I chop some celery?
You can probably use it
in your casserole.
Oh, casserole's done, Butch,
but here, you can
pour that bacon grease
out of the skillet into the
Luzianne can right there.
Well, how heavy is that skillet?
I have bursitis
in my good arm, you know?
[Neva] Why don't you just
let me handle it, Aunt Butch.
We wouldn't want you
messing up your good arm.
Well, thank you, Neva, honey.
What was it that happened
to your bad arm?
Honey, don't you remember?
The Christmas before last,
I slipped.
I got a hairline fracture
in the metacarpal bone
in my right hand.
I didn't remember that.
It just swole up like a balloon.
[Bullet imitating
engine noises, whooping]
Get those young'uns out of here!
It's a hot stove, and I don't
want nobody to get burned!
Bullet, Mae Ray, listen to Mammaw.
Come on, go outside.
Betty, take these kids outside.
Come on, y'all.
Let's go outside.
What in the world is
the matter with that child?
I mean it, Bullet.
I'll slap you so hard,
- your clothes will go out of style.
- [men hollering]
- Ah, what'd I miss?
- [toilet flushing]
[laughs] Hey, y'all know
what's good for you,
you won't go in there
for a while. All right.
Gross, Daddy.
[Daddy Mac]
All right. Oh, goddamn it.
Move! Move. You're in front
of my Falcons game. Move.
Bullet, Mae Ray, get.
Y'all, let's go outside.
[Daddy Mac] Get!
Bullet, Mae Ray, get.
Get the hell out of here!
Goddamn it!
I'll whup you both
with my handsaw!
Jesus Christ.
[Betty] Bullet! Mae Ray!
[birds and insects chirping]
[Betty] I was always happy
when my Uncle Frank came
for one of his rare visits.
Sit down.
Nobody else in my family
ever seemed interested in me.
You ever read Madame Bovary?
No, I haven't.
But Uncle Frank was different.
He was a college professor,
and he lived in New York City.
He used aftershave.
His fingernails
were always clipped.
And he wore a gold chain
underneath his shirt.
I could listen to him
talk all day.
Oof, well, um, supposedly...
He was the only adult that I
knew who looked me in the eye...
I like...
I don't like...
...who was curious about
what I had to say...
...and who liked
to make me laugh.
And in the summer of 1969,
when I was 14...
that was exhilarating.
[both laughing]
[Daddy Mac] I'll open this one
right here. Get ready.
Here we go. Oh!
Thank you, Marsha.
A man can always use
an extra pair of socks.
Oh, well, it's from me
and Tee Dub.
Happy birthday, Daddy Mac.
I hope you don't mind me calling you that.
Hey, you gonna be a member of this family,
you'd better call me Daddy Mac.
Open another one!
Bullet! Enough, goddamn it!
Hey, now.
That's how you handle
a rambunctious child.
Well, that one's wrapped up
so nice, it must be from Frank.
[Daddy Mac]
Oh. Must be.
- [Butch] What is it?
- [Kitty] Wow!
An electric shoe polisher.
You think I'm too old
to polish my own shoes,
need a goddamn machine to do it?
Of course not. No, I...
It's... I have one.
It's just faster and easier.
Well, I sure do appreciate
your gift, Frank,
since I'm the one
who always ends up
polishing your daddy's shoes.
Thank you, darling.
[Mike] Here you go, Daddy.
That's from me and Kitty.
[Daddy Mac]
Ooh, look at that.
Aw, look.
It's a little,
itty-bitty screwdriver.
It's a glasses repair kit for when you
lose a screw from your frames and whatnot.
[Daddy Mac] Yeah, well,
I could use these a lot.
I'm always fixing
my reading glasses.
Thank you, Mike, Kitty.
- [Kitty] And Janis.
- [Daddy Mac] Mm-hm.
- And Betty and Bullet.
- Yep.
Happy birthday, Daddy Mac!
[Betty] I never knew why Daddy Mac
was so mean to Uncle Frank
or why nobody else
ever said anything about it.
[Mike] Well, okay.
Can I go to the bathroom?
[Butch] Yeah, if you promise
to wash your hands.
[Betty] I might understand
if Uncle Frank was selfish
or rude or snobby,
but he wasn't.
He was smart and funny
and considerate.
He was the kind of person
I wanted to be.
But he was the one Daddy Mac
picked on
and belittled
in front of everybody.
Uncle Frank was good at
hiding how much it hurt him,
but I could see it.
[chattering continues]
Uncle Frank, what is it like
living in New York City?
Oh, I love it.
See, once you get out of
a town like Creekville,
not only do you see
how small your world was,
you also see how much bigger
it could become.
In ways you never even
thought possible.
Can I come visit you sometime?
Yeah. Sure.
If your parents agree to it.
Of course they won't.
They wouldn't even let me go
to majorette camp.
Well, Daddy, he said,
no daughter of his
was gonna prance around
half naked
in front of the whole town.
I'd probably end up
getting raped,
and you know what,
I would deserve it.
He said that?
Mama says it's just
the beer talking.
How are your grades, Betty?
All A's.
All A's, huh? No B's?
Mm, no. [Chuckles]
Good. Keep that up.
Ace your SAT.
You could get a scholarship to
just about anywhere you want to go.
Probably just go to SC State
like most of my class.
Ah, come on, now.
You gonna be the person
you decide to be,
or are you gonna be the person
everyone else tells you you are?
'Cause you get to choose.
You do.
I wish I wasn't named Betty.
It's a lady name,
and I'm only 14.
So change it.
I can't just change my name.
You can do anything you want.
What about "Liz"?
Uh, maybe "Beth"?
Yeah, I like "Beth."
And there are so many things
a Beth can accomplish
besides being a majorette.
My cousin Marsha's a majorette.
Yes, she is, and please don't do
what your idiot cousin Marsha did.
She got herself pregnant,
and now she's gonna have to
marry that imbecilic young man.
Marsha's pregnant?
If ever you need me
to pretend to be your father
so you can get birth control,
I will be more than happy
to do that.
Look at me.
And if you do find yourself
getting knocked up,
you call me first before you
talk to anyone else in this family.
I promise.
You want me to leave
Madame Bovary for you?
Oh, that would be great.
Thank you.
[man over speakers]
Attention, new students.
Please allow
our student ambassadors
to show you around
the NYU campus.
These student-led tours
depart every half hour.
Uh, Bledsoe.
First name Beth.
Uh, Elizabeth.
I'm sorry.
Thank you.
[Kitty] That was scrumptious.
Wasn't that scrumptious?
What was that salad?
Oh. It's called tabbouleh.
I never thought
to put rice on a salad.
Oh, no, that's bulgur.
What's vulgar?
[Frank] Uh, uh, bulgur.
It's made from a wheat.
[Mike chuckles]
Sure was interesting.
That smells so good.
[Charlotte chuckles]
What is it?
Oh, it's beef.
It's sfeeha.
[Charlotte] That.
Yeah, it's kind of like
a shepherd's pie.
She is such a good cook.
She's been slaving away all day.
Oh, slaving?
And you are such
a good boyfriend.
Charlotte, it's so good to meet you.
I have to say that no one
in Frank's family
has ever even heard of you.
I know.
It's crazy, right?
Especially since we've been
together almost five years.
Shut your mouth!
Yes, Charlotte, shut your mouth.
I bet it's because
of the Jewish thing.
What Jewish thing?
[Charlotte] Oh, well,
Frank probably thought
that you would all disapprove
of him living in sin
with a dirty Jew.
[Kitty gasps]
Uh-huh? You remember
what we decided tonight.
No, uh, politics...
No religion.
That's right.
Of course, yes.
I'm so sorry.
I'm just a bitch. [Laughs]
[Frank] Mm.
That's what Mike calls me.
I think we're gonna
get along just fine.
Hell, I'm just glad
you ain't black.
[Mike chuckles]
Okay, let's not forget
why we're all here.
To Miss Elizabeth Bledsoe,
New York University freshman,
class of 1976.
[glasses clink]
[Kitty] America's birthday.
It's all just beginning
for you, Beth.
[Charlotte] Mazel tov.
Mazel top.
[Beth chuckles]
[glasses clink]
[students chattering]
Do you mind if I sit here?
No, of course not.
I'm Bruce.
Hi. I'm Beth.
Where are you from, Beth?
South Carolina.
No, a tiny little town you've
never heard of, I'm sure.
Well, try me.
Never heard of it.
I'm from Bismarck, North Dakota,
but I tell people
I'm from Greenwich.
I've decided I'm gonna be
who I want to be
instead of letting other
people dictate who I am.
Other people or facts,
[both chuckle]
[Bruce] Favorite author.
I can't pick just one.
Okay. Favorite authors.
Carson McCullers.
Eudora Welty.
Harper Lee.
Jane Austen, of course.
Uh, Charlotte Bronte.
No men. Hmm.
Mark Twain.
Well, Shakespeare. Dickens.
Mark Twain.
Ken Kesey. William Styron.
Truman Capote.
No women.
Grace Metalious.
Jacqueline Susann.
[laughs] Sure.
[laughs] Actually,
I want to take this, um...
this class on 19th-century
women writers.
Uh, I think the
professor's name is Bledsoe.
I hear he's amazing.
Frank Bledsoe?
Uh, he's my uncle.
Would you mind introducing
me to him? I mean, at some point.
Something tells me that you and I are
gonna be spending a lot of time together.
[chuckles softly]
I hope so.
[siren wailing in distance]
[music playing in other room]
You okay?
Yeah, uh, I-I just...
Uh, I've never...
But I want to.
I just...
No, no, we should wait.
No, it's okay. I just...
No, no.
I don't want to screw things up
by moving too fast.
I like you too much.
[chuckles softly]
We can keep making out, though.
Come in.
I will be right with you.
And... yes.
Oh, Beth!
Hi. I've been
meaning to call you.
I've been snowed under.
How are you?
How are you adjusting
to college?
To New York?
I love it.
But, um, this is my
boyfriend Bruce. [Chuckles]
[Beth chuckles]
Okay. It's a pleasure
to meet you, sir.
I've heard raves
about your class.
Good to meet you.
unfortunately, you
caught me at a bad time.
I have to type an exam
and get copies made
before 3:00, so...
Oh, okay.
But I will call you, I promise.
I should've called him first.
Hey, Frank, what time does
your party start tonight?
[Frank] Around 8:00.
Should I bring a guest?
[Frank] You'd better.
[laughs] Okay.
I'll see you there.
[doorbell rings]
[funk music playing
over speakers in distance]
Who are you?
Oh, uh, hi.
Uh, I'm Beth Bledsoe,
Frank's niece.
Frank's niece?
Oh, my God, Beth.
Hey! Nice meeting you.
[Beth chuckles]
Oh, my God.
My name is Wally.
How are you?
I've been begging Frank
to introduce us.
Hi. I'm Bruce.
Oh, my goodness.
I'm just not sure why he
didn't tell me you were coming.
Oh, that's because
he doesn't know.
He doesn't know?
Oh, I thought
he wanted to surprise me.
[both laughing]
Well, okay,
it's gonna be very exciting.
I'm excited. Come on in.
Come in, come in, please!
Shut the door behind you.
Hey. Don't smoke in here.
It's illegal.
I don't want to go to jail.
Why not? It's a party.
[Wally] Shut up.
[Beth] So, uh, how do
you know Uncle Frank?
Uh, he's my roommate.
[chuckling] Why?
Oh, uh, I thought
he lived with Charlotte.
Yes, he does.
We all... We live together
because it's
a big apartment and, uh...
and, uh, rent is very expensive.
Uh, tell you what,
I'm gonna go track him down,
and you're gonna stay here.
Uh, do not move.
[Beth chuckles]
No, I'm serious, Beth.
Do not move.
Okay. Okay.
Look at this smile.
I'm gonna go find the alcohol.
Oh, what do you want?
Uh, surprise me.
[music continues]
Hey, Frank.
This is what you do?
Have sex in
other people's homes?
We're not having sex.
Hm. Okay.
[Wally sighs]
By the way,
Frank's niece is here,
and you may need to be
a slut of a girlfriend... again.
I cannot believe
you are still pissed at me
for getting to meet
Frank's brother's family.
Don't you ever take credit
for my cooking, Charlotte.
I mean it.
Okay, go on.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I was just, um...
You want a drink?
Uh, sure.
I'll have a martini.
Gin or vodka?
Uh, vodka.
Sure. Why not?
I love your hair.
Oh, thanks.
I love yours.
Thank you.
[Frank] Oh, fuck Agnew.
It's Nixon who needs to go.
[music continues inside]
He's such a snake.
He'll figure out a way
to stay in power.
I don't know, Bernard.
I have more faith in
the system than you do.
It's not hard to do,
as I have none.
You are...?
[Bruce] Hi.
[Bernard] Hi.
What are you, uh...
I came here with Beth.
Beth is here?
Don't worry, Frank.
We're a lot hipper
than you think.
I believe I'll go get
another drink.
[door closes]
Beth's a sweet girl.
Yeah, she's a very sweet girl.
[Bruce] I'm not sure
where she gets the idea
I'm her boyfriend.
We haven't had sex.
It's not like we ever will.
She's not really my type.
Do you honestly believe
that I'll risk my job,
my relationship, my entire life
just to have sex with you?
Who has to know?
You think I've never had sex
with a beautiful
young man, Bruce?
Hell, I used to be
a beautiful young man.
You still are.
Come on, let it go.
My blow jobs are like poetry.
In what way is a blow job
like poetry, Bruce?
Does it rhyme?
Is it metered?
Does it employ
aesthetic qualities
in addition to or instead of
its notional
and semantic content?
Wow, you flunk.
Unaccustomed to not getting
what you want,
aren't you, Bruce?
Seriously, get out of here.
Come on, get out of here.
Come on.
[laughter, lively chatter]
[music playing]
[chattering continues]
Where have you been?
You've had enough.
Oh, no, it's a martini.
Uh, listen, Beth, I need to go.
Your uncle completely
flipped out on me.
I think he's stoned.
On pot?
God only knows what
he's going to tell you.
Call me.
[bottle shatters]
[chatter stops]
[music continues]
It's okay, Beth. Come on.
What did you say to Bruce?
Let's go get a cup of coffee.
Oh, nope. Not on the
rug. Come on. [Retches]
There you go. Yeah.
You're gonna feel
so much better after this.
Believe me.
[door opens]
[Wally] Hey, Frank.
I've been looking
for you everywhere
to warn you that she
was here. [Beth coughs]
[clicks tongue]
Oh, Beth.
She's okay.
What happened?
You little poor thing.
So, where were you?
I was on the fire stairs.
Bernard the pothead?
Can we not, in front of her?
Oh, don't worry about that.
She's not gonna remember
any of it.
Did you smoke pot?
Yes. It's a party.
Yeah, and you're sober.
And marijuana is not alcohol.
No, but it's illegal.
And you smoke it outside
where anybody can smell it.
[Beth coughing]
[clicks tongue]
Did he make a play for you?
He's way too repressed
to ever do anything like that.
Her boyfriend did, though.
That shrimp?
Oh, I did not like him
the minute I saw him.
[toilet flushing]
Bruce said you freaked out.
Why'd you freak out?
Beth, do you know what, um...
Okay, do you know
what being gay means?
I'm gay.
And so is Wally.
Um, we live together.
We have for ten years.
And the reason
I freaked out is because...
Bruce tried, rather ineptly
to seduce me,
and he seemed unwilling
to take no for an answer.
So I hope you weren't
too invested in him,
because he seems a little, um...
Not worth it.
No, come on. Luckily, you
don't need to think about
any of that right now.
All you need to do is
go to the guest room
and pass out.
I'll clean this up later.
[door opens]
Oh, don't worry.
I'll do it.
You came out to Beth tonight.
I know.
I did not expect that to happen.
It gave me a boner.
Also unexpected.
[machinery clanking
and whirring outside]
[music playing softly]
[praying in Arabic]
There's coffee on the table,
two aspirin
and a big glass of water.
[laughing] You should...
You should drink it.
Oh, please tell me
you eat bacon.
Good, 'cause Wally, he
hates even the smell of it.
But I'm a good Southern boy,
and bacon's in my blood.
[food sizzling]
So, you feel
any different about me?
Oh, I don't think so.
Never known anybody
who was gay before.
Of course you have.
You just weren't aware of it.
Choir director
at First Baptist Church.
Mr. Dickerson?
But he's so...
I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell
anyone in the family about me.
Oh, sure, of course.
Eh, we're from
such different worlds now.
It wouldn't do any...
[Wally] Change anything?
You don't see
them anyways, Frank.
Hey, Beth.
How you feeling?
When's the last time
you saw your family?
Uh, I think August of last year.
Good morning, Barbara Stanwyck.
I go there at least every
two years. You know that.
He shows them photographs
of a phony wife,
who's also played
by Charlotte, by the way.
You want eggs?
[chuckling] Yes, please.
If I told them I was with a man,
it would bring shame on them.
Why do you think it wouldn't
bring shame on my family?
Americans don't care
about honor, Frank.
I wish I thought my family
could get past it, but I don't.
I think your family
would eventually accept it.
[Frank] Here you go. Yeah,
well, you don't know my family.
Thank you. No, but you came
from them, so how bad can they be?
[song ends]
[Frank] How about this?
How about...
you tell your family,
and then I'll tell mine.
Are you kidding? In Saudi
Arabia, they would behead me.
[swing music playing]
Your bacon smells like death.
Delicious death.
[Wally] And this music.
[music stops]
[Wally] Ugh.
[percussive Arabic music
Oh, come on, now, Wally.
Oh, no. Oh, no.
What are you doing?
[phone ringing]
Oh, that's your phone.
Have you met Barbara Stanwyck?
[Frank] Yeah, hello?
Hey, Mama. Isn't she cute?
She's the cutest thing ever.
[Mammaw] Frank,
your daddy's gone.
He's gone.
What? [Mammaw]
He died this morning.
Oh, Frank.
Heart attack.
Just out of nowhere,
getting into the car. Okay.
He seemed perfectly okay,
then he grabbed his arm. Mama...
[Mammaw crying] Oh,
Frank, what am I gonna do?
Oh, wait, your sister's here.
Do you mind holding on?
No, I'm okay.
Hold on.
[Mammaw sobbing]
[Frank] And what time's
that land in Greenville?
Yes, okay, Mama.
I promise.
[Frank] Is that
the last flight of the day?
[Beth] Love you, too. Bye.
[Frank] Eastern, 235.
[Frank] Okay.
She doesn't want me to fly.
Uh, she's scared of it.
She gets hysterical.
She's not the one flying.
She made me promise
I would take the train.
You can take the car.
Can you hold on for a second?
It's faster than the train,
and it'll give you guys
a chance to get
to know each other.
I would love that.
What? Are you seriously
thinking of not going?
Frank, that'll break your
mother's heart. You need to go.
You need to stay
out of this, please.
You're not gonna run away
from this
your whole life, you know?
Please, Uncle Frank?
[sighs] Fuck.
Um, okay, sorry.
Uh, change of plans.
We can take turns driving.
No, Wally, you're not coming.
[lighter clicking]
You're pushing me away again.
Just when you're gonna
need me the most.
I didn't come
to your father's funeral.
No, I did not want you to
come to my father's funeral.
[Frank] Yes,
and I respected your wishes,
and I didn't try to talk you
into letting me.
[Wally] It's not the same thing.
I have a question. Are you
the stupidest man alive?
Look who I'm with.
You need me for this.
You know you do.
Wally, I appreciate
you wanting to be there
for me, I do, but honestly,
it will be so much
harder for me if you come.
Thank you.
I'm gonna do the dishes.
[radio playing softly]
It's so weird.
I'll never see Daddy Mac again.
You've never known
anyone who died?
There was this one boy in high
school who got killed in a car wreck.
But I didn't know him well.
Some of the other kids who never
even talked to him when he was alive
started acting like
he was their best friend.
So they could cry and people
would feel sorry for 'em.
People are idiots.
[The Capitols' "Cool Jerk"
playing on radio]
I know. Aren't they?
Cool jerk
[Beth] What does Wally do?
[Frank] Oh, he's
an aeronautics engineer.
Where'd you meet him?
On the subway.
I was reading Seven Pillars
of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence,
and he asked me why
I was reading it.
And I told him I'd just seen
the film Lawrence of Arabia.
And he said,
"Well, I'm from Arabia."
I don't know, we got to talking.
[chuckles] Okay.
Saved my life.
What about you?
Any boyfriends?
Besides the idiot Bruce.
No, I'm still a virgin.
Not because I want to be.
Just none of the boys I've known
seemed worth the trouble.
I almost did it with Bruce,
but he said...
He said what?
It's too soon?
Doesn't want to mess up
your friendship?
Something like that?
You think that's
because he's gay?
Oh, I think 99% of straight boys
would have gone ahead with it.
I just thought it was my fault.
Guys like Bruce always
make you think it's your fault.
What a jerk.
That's letting him off too easy.
He's an asshole.
[Beth laughs]
You can call him
an asshole, can't you?
[Beth] What an asshole.
[Frank] There you go.
[Beth] What a fucking asshole.
[Frank laughs]
There you go.
"See the world's
largest teapot."
[Beth] Yeah, or George
Washington's outdoor bathtub.
Mm. What is the Mystery Hole?
The what?
"See the unbelievable
Mystery Hole."
Uh, I don't think
we need to go there.
[Beth laughs]
[music playing over speakers]
Did you always know
you were gay?
I... I always knew
I was different.
From day one.
But I... I definitely knew
by the time I hit puberty.
You have to realize,
it wasn't talked about then
the way it is now.
I didn't think there was
anyone else like me.
Well, heck, I feel that way.
[chuckles softly]
What about you?
You ever get a crush on a girl?
[chuckling] What?
Uh, not really.
One time, uh,
I practiced making out with
Becky Eller at a sleepover.
Oh... But I pretended
she was a boy.
And how... How was it?
When was the first time
you, um...
I was 16.
Who was it with?
Just a boy from school.
Ma'am, could we get the check?
[song fading]
[Young Frank]
Come on, Sam!
[both laughing]
[Frank shouts]
[water burbling]
[Beth] There's a graveyard
statue in Parkersburg that weeps.
Apparently, she grants wishes.
[car slowing]
What's wrong?
[engine shuts off]
Stay here.
[insects trilling,
birds chirping]
Oh, hey.
What the fuck are you
doing here, Wally?
You scared me half to death.
You forgot your razor, uh,
and your favorite tie.
You rented a car just to
bring me a razor and a tie?
Isn't it snazzy?
Look, it's a convertible.
You agreed to stay home.
Just admit you're glad I'm here.
Come on.
And stop acting like your
father dying is not a big deal.
Of course it's a big
fucking deal, Wally.
It could end up being
a positive thing.
You need to be part
of your family.
I don't want to be
a part of my family.
Bullshit, and you know it.
[Beth] Wally?
Get back in the car!
Hey, don't talk to her like
this. She's not your kid.
Beth, stay.
Look, I just want to help,
however you might need it.
And you know you're going to.
You were there for me
when I did.
You can't meet them, Wally.
You can't.
Okay, I won't.
And you can't come
to the funeral.
But you can come to me
whenever you need to.
[crickets chirping]
[female clerk] So, that's
two rooms at $14 each.
Uh, I don't think
we need two rooms.
We can make do with just one
if you have a cot.
What is the relationship?
The relationship
between the two of you...
uh, and the young lady
over there.
Oh, she's my niece.
I'm his nephew.
I'm afraid I'm gonna need
the young lady
to stay in her own room.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Okay. Yeah.
I used to fantasize
about different ways
for my father to die.
Which, of course,
I felt tremendous guilt about.
You WASPs, you love your guilt.
That's actually not true.
I fucking hate it.
You know, you have nothing
to feel guilty about.
Mm, I know it intellectually.
Just make sure
you don't bury it all
inside yourself
and explode later.
Probably at me.
You look like you belong
in a 1950s Bible movie.
Oh, yeah? I do?
[man on TV]
Blessed be thou, Samuel.
Here he is, David.
[thunder crashing on TV]
[rhythmic thumping
in other room]
[Frank, Wally grunting, moaning]
[bed creaking]
Hey, Beth?
You want to ride with me?
[exhales sharply]
Uh, is that okay with you?
Of course it's okay.
Why wouldn't it be okay?
He's cranky today.
[both laughing]
So, Beth...
Answer one question for me.
Why is your uncle so odd?
What's odd about him?
"What's odd about him?"
He's the oddest man
I've ever seen in my whole life.
He seems pretty normal to me.
Really? Huh.
He's so stoic, Beth.
Like a mule.
There's a layer between him
and the rest of the world.
You know what I mean?
Uh, not really.
I don't really know him
that well.
But I've always liked him.
Oh, dear.
You're just like him.
Must be hereditary.
[both laughing]
[Southern accent]
You guys are so nice
all the time.
I mean, don't you get exhausted
being nice all the time?
[water burbling]
[muffled chatter]
[inhales deeply]
I know that
Frank's father's the devil
and his mom's a saint.
[folk music playing over radio]
His sister knows
about me, apparently.
She does?
Oh, that's my Aunt Neva.
She's real nice.
[laughing] Beth, I'm not
interested in nice.
Nice always hides something.
What's hidden
is what interests me.
What about his brother?
What's he like?
Well, his brother's my daddy,
and he's not
that nice sometimes.
But how is he not nice?
He says mean things.
Like what?
Like, um...
like I'm a little smart-ass,
and ain't no man likes
a girl with a smart mouth.
Yep, he's right about that.
Most men don't.
I think I'm gonna like your dad.
I really do.
What about your family?
Are they...
Oh, they're very nice.
All right. [Laughs]
They're crazy.
My mom is a woman
with a smart mouth.
And indeed,
my dad did not like it.
But she's got so much love.
She's my heart.
[engine rattling, squeaking]
What the...?
Oh, come on!
What'd you do to the car?
[Frank] Well,
how long's that gonna take?
I'm gonna have to wait to
get you a new torque converter
in from Greensboro.
Earliest I can have it in
for you is Monday.
See, that's not an option.
Well, ain't no other'n
I can think of.
[softly] Fuck.
Just leave it here.
You can pick it up
on our way back to New York.
J.B. don't usually like
doing that, but...
I'm gonna say yes.
'Cause if y'all come back,
that means I get to see this
pretty little lady again.
[mechanic chuckles]
I'm just playing with you.
Y'all don't mind, do you?
You don't need these men's
permission to play with me.
You need mine.
Which I will never,
ever give you,
because you are presumptuous
and disrespectful.
And you're probably
even stupider than you look.
And you look
pretty goddamn stupid.
[laughs] You made me
feel sorry for that boy.
Look at it from
his perspective, Beth.
You're a pretty girl.
You're wearing nice makeup.
You're wearing nice clothes.
So it's my fault he's a creep?
You'll have to
forgive Wally, Beth.
In the country
that he comes from,
they like to wrap women up
in sheets
and lock 'em away because
they're just too dangerous.
That's why I left.
That and the execution
of homosexuals.
Beheading, hanging.
And sometimes
they're only teenagers.
I knew I couldn't find love
if I stayed there.
If I did, I could die for it,
but, uh, I did not want
my life to be this way.
[insects trilling,
birds chirping]
You know he can't
hurt you anymore.
It's not him.
It's Sam.
Come, let's have some ice cream.
I'm good.
My dad used to take us
for ice cream every Saturday,
even if we misbehaved.
[gentle ballad playing
over radio]
What's your favorite flavor?
Rosewater with cream chips.
It's delicious.
Sounds like soap.
No, it doesn't. No.
[laughing] It does.
[Wally] Arabic ice cream
is very different.
It's thicker
and chewier, you know,
because of the mastic
that they put...
Oh, we're here.
"Welcome to Creekville."
[Wally] Hm.
Where's the creek?
You any kin to old Mac
Bledsoe who just died?
I'm his son.
[chuckles] You don't even
look like yourself anymore.
I'm Frank, the oldest.
You're the one who
runned off to New York.
That's the one.
[keys rattling]
There's your keys.
Look at me.
[key rattles]
Thank you.
You need to wait ten minutes
before checking in.
Yeah, I know the drill.
No, Wally.
Ten minutes... I mean it.
It's different down here.
Okay, sweetheart. Okay.
That old fart will call the
police. They will put us in jail.
I got to get ready to go
to the funeral parlor.
[Beth] I thought we were
going to the funeral home.
[Frank sighs]
I'll be two seconds.
[train horn blowing in distance]
[door opens, closes]
[bell jingles]
[door opens]
[footsteps approaching]
[door closes]
You want one?
No, thank you.
[liquor glugging]
[swallows, gasps softly]
Do not tell Wally I'm
drinking. [Engine starts]
[gentle organ music playing]
[crying softly]
[sobs softly]
[Kitty whispers]
Oh, Betty.
I was so worried
you two got in a...
Oh. Oh.
Hey, Kitty.
I thought you got in a wreck
and were laying dead
in a ditch somewhere.
Thank you for driving her.
I couldn't have her on
a plane. I just couldn't.
I know.
My stepdad's cousin's son
died in a plane crash.
You might remember that.
I get it.
It happens to real people.
I... I'm...
Yeah, okay.
I'm sorry about your daddy.
[Frank] Mama.
[sobs softly]
Oh, Mama.
Oh, it's so good you're here.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
No warning.
You know, he just dropped
dead right in front of me,
getting into the car.
We was about to go
to the Food Lion.
Oh, Mama, it's all right.
It's okay. It's okay.
Oh, Frank, Frank, Frank.
He loved you.
No, he did, he did, he did. Mm.
He did. He loved you.
You want...
You want to see him?
Yeah. He looks real
good. Real good.
Hey, big brother.
Oh, hey, Mike.
He's the best friend
I'll ever have.
Mm-hm. Yeah.
I only asked him to be
best man in my wedding
'cause I was scared not to.
After the rehearsal dinner,
we got shit-faced.
Goddamn, he was like
another man.
He was, like, funny.
Told me how, uh, he felt like
he was never good enough
for Mama.
He told me how he thought
Kitty wasn't good enough for me,
which he was wrong about.
We were both hung over
at the wedding.
You didn't notice?
I just thought
you seemed nervous.
[both chuckling]
I was shaking like
an old hound dog
trying to shit out a peach pit.
[chuckles softly]
You know,
I've been driving up here
once a week
for more than 20 years...
just to have breakfast
with Daddy.
He'd ask if
I had heard from you.
Course, I hadn't.
But I never kept in touch
much with you, neither.
Well, it's...
And for that...
[sobbing] I...
I'm sorry.
You don't need to be sorry.
It's okay.
[Mike sighs]
[Frank sighs]
[Wally] Hello?
[woman on phone]
[both speaking in Arabic]
[bird twittering over phone]
[bottle clunks in trash]
[Kitty] It just
doesn't make any sense.
Betty wants to stay
in a motel all by herself
instead of sleeping at home
in her own bed.
It's Beth,
and I'm not by myself.
Uncle Frank is staying
there, too. So is Wally.
Who's Wally?
He's a man that we met.
Me and Uncle Frank.
He's staying at the motel, too.
Well, that doesn't sound right.
No, ma'am, that sounds
wronger than wrong.
How old are you, Betty?
I'm 18, and it's Beth.
18, and you want to stay
by yourself in a motel?
Aren't you... Aren't you
concerned about your reputation?
My reputation with whom?
Men care about things like that.
Trust me,
I know from experience.
[Frank] It's almost 9:00.
We should be headed back.
Frank, I don't understand
why Betty has... [scoffs]
Beth has to stay in a motel
when she can sleep
at home in her own bed.
It's a waste of money.
Well, I'm not sure that's
your decision to make, Kitty,
because Beth is an adult now
and she gets to make up
her own mind.
It's only my second time
in a motel, Mama.
It's fun.
Well, I hope it's clean,
at least.
Frank, who is Wally?
I told them about the man
we met at the motel,
with the Winnebago.
Oh, the guy with the dog?
They're traveling
across America.
[Beth] He's so cute, Mama.
Smartest dog I ever met.
You got to be careful
about strange dogs, you know.
They can bite you.
He's blind.
The dog, not the driver.
[woman speaking in Arabic]
[Beth] Good night.
[woman speaking in Arabic]
[kissing loudly]
Frank. Frank.
[Frank sighs]
I can smell the alcohol.
Look, if ever I had a reason
to drink, this would be it.
Can you just stop?
I can't take it from you,
Wally. Not right now.
At least wait till
this whole thing is over.
Can you do that for me?
Would that be okay with you?
Could you do it for me?
I won't go through it
again. I won't.
I'll be up if you need to talk.
Good night.
Mac Bledsoe was the kind of man
you don't see much anymore.
Dedicated husband.
Loving father.
Good American.
Good Christian.
A man for whom
doing the right thing,
it wasn't a choice.
It was his duty.
It was his duty
to teach his children
the difference
between right and wrong.
[sportscast playing
And now it's our duty.
It's our duty to walk...
in the same path
of righteousness as Mac.
[Daddy Mac] I don't want you
seeing that Lassiter boy again.
If I find out you are,
I'll kill you both.
You're gambling
with your very soul, son.
Opening yourself up
to that sickness.
You want to be a queer, hm?
A faggot?
It's perversion.
God hisself will turn
his back on you.
Cast you into the lake of fire.
[preacher] It's what
God expected of Mac,
and it's what God
now expects of us.
Let us pray.
Our Father...
[others join in]
who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
[insects trilling]
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done...
...on Earth
as it is in Heaven.
Oh, my God.
Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
[water burbling]
[engine rumbling outside]
[clock ticking]
[insects trilling]
[sighs, grunts]
[Marsha] Mm. Everyone
up there talk like a Yankee?
Not everybody.
Mm, mm!
You see any famous people
in New York?
Yes. Truman Capote.
Truman who?
Oh, I think I saw Rhoda's mom
from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
So, what about you?
How's life?
Honestly, Beth,
I've never been happier.
That's great, Marsha.
I love being a mother.
I love being pregnant.
I love Travis more every day.
He's a really good daddy.
Uh, Travis?
Mm. Mm-hm.
He don't go by Tee Dub no more
now that he's a business owner.
Yeah. [Chuckles]
But, oh, we still
get it on all the time.
He is very blessed
in that department.
That's nice.
What's wrong, monkey?
You want to wear Mama's shoes?
He loves to do that.
I have no idea why.
[Neva] So, how's Wally?
He's good.
I think he should
be here with you.
He is here.
He's at the motel.
Well, go get him.
Get him?
I want to meet him.
After all these years.
At Dad's funeral?
"Excuse me, everyone.
I have an announcement
to make."
Frank, it is 1973.
And I know Beau
would be okay with it,
and Kitty, probably.
Mike, that's a question mark.
No shit.
You want one?
No, thank you.
You sure?
I'm sure.
It's just for this.
I swear.
You want to pinkie-promise me?
Pinkie promise.
What kind of wake
doesn't have a bar?
One in this town.
I'm just waiting
for Aunt Butch to ask me,
"Is there any news
on the female front?"
She has a spider in her hair.
She what?
[laughing] Yeah.
I shared a car with her
to the cemetery, and I...
I thought I saw something
moving in there.
[laughing] I looked closer,
and it was a spider.
Did you tell her?
You didn't?
Oh, I don't want
to hurt her feelings.
I mean, remember how mad she got
when I told her
her wig was on backwards
and she'd just been in
church all day? [Laughing]
That's why she stopped
wearing wigs.
My baby. My baby boy.
[door closes]
Well, hey there, Frank.
I've been looking for you.
Aunt Butch, don't you look
pretty today.
Tell me, any news
on the female front?
Well, how old are you?
You must be getting on up there.
I'm... I'm 46.
Well, you got to
get moving, boy.
You're gonna
end up like me. Oh.
Course, it's different for men.
[chuckles, clicks tongue]
[sighs softly]
[Mike] Hey.
Y'all need to come in the house.
Is anything wrong?
No. The lawyer's here.
I realize this is
unorthodox timing
and a rather unusual venue
for the reading of the will,
but Mac wanted to make sure
that it happened
while all his kids
were still here.
[lawyer clears throat]
All right, then.
[clears throat]
"I, Francis MacKenzie Bledsoe,
being of sound mind and body,"
do hereby declare this to be
my last will and testament.
First, to my wife
Evelyn Caldwell Bledsoe,
I leave the whole
of my estate and assets,
with the exception of the
following designated amounts.
To my son,
Michael James Bledsoe,
and to my daughter,
Neva Mae Bledsoe Henderson,
"I leave the sum
of $25,000 each."
To my sister,
Florence Vivian Bledsoe,
I leave the sum of $500.
To my oldest son,
Francis MacKenzie Bledsoe, Jr...
I leave nothing but
disgust with the filthy
and unnatural perversion
he engages in with other men,
"and shame that he carries
my name." [gasps softly]
[Frank groans softly]
[stammers softly]
[Mammaw exhales sharply]
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
[clicks tongue]
[crying] Frank.
I'm so sorry, Frank.
I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry.
Frank, please don't go.
Please don't go.
He's never gonna come back.
[engine starts]
[Janis] How's life?
Life sucks, Beth.
I'm 22, I work at the bakery
at the goddamn Food Lion,
and I still live at home
with Mama and Daddy.
Oh, my Lord, y'all are not
gonna believe what just happened.
Daddy, I need
to borrow your car.
Daddy, it's an emergency!
Wait, what kind of emergency?
Just give me the goddamn keys!
[insects trilling]
[gate clangs]
[lock clicking]
Is Uncle Frank here?
Isn't he at the wake?
No, he left.
Everybody knows he's gay now.
Daddy Mac put it in his will.
But Uncle Frank got in
the car and drove away.
Was he drunk?
Was he drunk?
I think so.
Oh, my God.
Why would he drive drunk?
[water burbling]
Stay right there.
We can't ever
do that stuff again.
We have to stop now...
if we want any chance to be
normal and not end up perverts.
Do you want to be a faggot?
A queer?
Do you want to go to hell?
'Cause it's a sickness!
And God hates it.
Don't ever come near me...
or talk to me again.
[insects trilling]
[bird squawking]
[Beth] Why do you think
he's at the lake?
[Wally] 'Cause I know
what happened there, Beth.
I know how Frank is
when he gets drunk.
There should be a gate
up here on the left.
[sighs] Fuck.
[Beth] This way.
Maybe he went for a swim?
He'd never take these off.
Fuck! Fuck!
Why are you in my room?
You fucking idiot of a
moron! What? What?
Do you know what
you just put me through?
I just went for a swim.
I couldn't find my car.
Jesus. Wake up...
the fuck up, Frank!
You're not the only one something bad
happened to. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
[Wally] There are
people who love you.
[Frank] Yeah, well,
people are idiots.
Oh, you motherfucker.
Go ahead, destroy yourself.
Destroy us.
What the fuck is us?
I hate us.
We're freaks. Cheers.
[Frank, Wally grunting]
Uncle Frank, don't!
He's just trying to help you.
[Wally] Stop it!
[Frank] Fuck you!
Stop it!
Get off me!
[grunts] Fucker!
Stop it!
Fuck you!
Frank! [Groans]
You motherfucker!
You faggot!
You pussy!
Faggot! [Panting]
Frank, it's okay.
[Frank grunts]
[Beth] Stop!
[Wally groans]
[door opens]
[door closes]
Wally, aren't you
going to follow him?
[birds chirping,
insects trilling]
Couldn't even say it
to my face, could you?
What did I do?
[sobbing, muttering]
Oh, God! Oh, God.
Forgive me.
Forgive me.
[Frank panting]
Oh, Samuel.
[Frank sniffles]
I have no family.
You have me.
I'm your family,
and you're mine.
Till death.
You know it, I know it,
and God knows it.
And that's all that matters.
I'm sorry.
You should be.
Mama made me promise if I
found you, I'd bring you back.
I don't want to see them, Beth.
But, so years ago,
when you told me
I should be what I want to be,
not what other people want me
to be, that was just bullshit?
You know, that conversation
changed my life.
Now I find out
you can't be who you are
unless nobody around you
disagrees with it.
I thought you, uh...
you might want this back.
You want to go meet
my fucking family?
If you take a
shower first. [Laughs]
Ugh, Frank, it's like
the sewers of Sri Lanka.
[laughing] Geez.
At least she didn't
crash the car.
Who the fuck is this guy?
Hey, Mike.
I got two words for you.
No problem.
You're my big brother.
Whatever you are, no problem.
Hey, Mike, uh...
this is Walid.
Hey, man. Call me Wally.
[patting back]
No problem.
Thank you, Kitty.
I have to tell you something.
This makes me like you
even more.
My hairdresser is gay.
Oh. He is the most hilarious
person in the whole world.
I really want to
introduce you to him.
We have so much in
common, probably. Yes!
Wally, this is
my sister-in-law, Kitty.
[chuckles] I love
your name. Yeah.
[both laughing]
Aw. Mm.
[chuckles] Oh.
Oh, God, you smell so good!
Do you all smell good?
[both] Yes.
Come with me. Come on.
I am so proud of you.
And this must be Wally.
You're exactly how
I imagined you.
Oh, I've been wanting
to meet you for so long.
Me, too.
This is Beau. Hey, Beau.
And, uh, Wally.
[chuckles awkwardly]
If y'all could, uh,
excuse me for a minute.
It's okay.
It's okay.
You know, when I was
a little girl in Jacksonboro,
there was a man in town.
He was a dance teacher.
He was some kind of
a dago or Mexican.
He had a name
like Carlos or Antonio, but
everybody called him "the tissy pretzel."
And he was a
backwards bobby like you.
You're not the only one.
I hear Charleston is just
crawling with them these days.
You're all going to hell,
you know?
Aunt Butch.
I know...
that that is the very best
that you're capable of.
[footsteps approaching]
You are my precious
gift from God...
and nothing...
nothing will ever change that.
[both crying softly]
It's okay.
Oh, baby.
Your daddy was scared of it.
Always was.
You remember how much he
hated your Great-Uncle Jasper?
Uncle Jasper was...?
Uh-huh. He was.
I figured that's probably
why you were.
I mean, if being
curly-headed is something
that gets passed down,
why not...
You knew?
Mothers know.
Oh, well...
Who's this?
Come here. Come here.
Come here. Come here.
Mama, this is...
this is Wally.
I've wanted to meet you
for so long, Mrs. Bledsoe.
And... and I'm so sorry
for your loss.
Thank you.
Well, he has as much hair
on his face
as he does on his head,
doesn't he?
I've got you something.
A little gift
from New York City.
[Mammaw] Oh...
How pretty.
Well, it's nice
to meet you, Wally.
Nice meeting you, too, ma'am.
And please call me Mammaw.
You... You should go on
and sit down now.
Honey, go. Run.
Get out.
You can sit down now.
[Neva] He is my brother.
That doesn't make it right.
It isn't wrong.
The Bible says it's a sin.
[Neva] The Bible also says
that it's okay to have slaves.
And okay to, like, marry ten...
[Beau] Oh, so what, you don't
believe in the Bible no more?
How you doing?
How about you?
I'm good.
[conversation continues]
[Beth] What I remember
most about
my Granddaddy Mac's funeral is
just sitting around the backyard
after everybody else had left.
And it was just us.
[chattering, laughter]
The sun was starting to go down.
There was a breeze.
And I remember thinking...
this is where I belong.
Not like I belonged
with my family.
It was bigger than that.
Like every single one of us
belonged there,
in that backyard,
on that afternoon.
And I realized in that moment...
we were all exactly where
we were supposed to be.