Swann in Love (1984) - full transcript

Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends warn him against marriage. Proving himself a silly and socially-foul goose, Swann ducks his social responsibilities, Odette ensnares him, and he is gently but firmly cast out of society amidst everyone's great politeness.


The air is warm and fresh,

full of shadows and dreams.

My love for Odette
goes beyond physical desire.

It is so caught up
in my actions

my thoughts, my sleep,

my life,

that without it I'd cease to exist.

May I straighten the orchids
on your bodice?

Like that.

Tucking them in myself.

What if I smelled them?

I don't know the scent.

Every morning, when I awake,

I feel a now familiar pain.

I sacrifice my work,

my pleasures, my friends,

my whole life,

to waiting daily
for a rendezvous with Odette.

My love is an illness

that has reached the stage

where it cannot be removed
without destroying me.

As surgeons say,

it's inoperable.

That evening at the theater,

when Baron de Charlus
introduced me to Odette,

I thought she had a certain beauty,

but a kind ofbeauty
to which I was indifferent.

In a way, it even repulsed me.

Remind me to stop at my banker's.

Very well, sir.

- What time is it?
- Nearly 3:00, sir.

A good day to you, sir.

Thank you, Francois.

- Are you still seeing her?
- I haven't for ages.

- Does she write to you?
- Sometimes.

Marquise de Gallardon
and General de Froberville.

Why don't you go see her at home?

It would disturb her.

And I'm becoming
less attached to her.

- You don't say.
- It's true.

I'm making progress.

Baron de Charlus.
Monsieur Charles Swann.

I hardly enjoy being in her bed now.

It's strange.
Sometimes I even find her ugly.

But last night she was ravishing.

I thought girls didn't wear fruit.

Did you get my letter?

Will you come?

Kindly wait for the concerto to end.

That nose.

You saw Odette last night?

Of course. We dined at Prunier.

- Then we went to the Black Cat.
- The Black Cat?

That must have been her idea.

No, it was mine.

Really? How strange.

Well, that's not such a bad idea.

I'm sure she knew
a lot of people there.

Good day.

No, she spoke to no one.

How extraordinary.

So the two of you
just sat there alone?

We did.

- Good day.
- Ladies.

You're very kind, Meme.

Thank you for taking
such good care of Odette.


could you call on her
and mention

that I'll be in Bagatelle Park
after 5:00 this afternoon?

- Where are you going?
- To deliver your message.

But don't tell her it was my idea.

If she wants
to come with you, let her.

- Tell me, Meme.
- Yes?

Have you slept with Odette?

Not that I know of.

There's your friend Monsieur Swann.

Dear Charles.
I didn't know he was here.

He doesn't look well.

Sorry, but we've been invited

by those people --

What's their name?

- Named after a bridge.
- A bridge?

- Yes, the Ienas. That's it.
- But that's the name of a victory.

Napoleonic titles.

- Those people fought like heroes.
- Absolutely.


Good day, Bazin.

You're looking well.

Oriane will be glad to see you.

Come, I need your advice.

I want to show you a painting.

Some people say Monsieur Swann

is the sort one can't receive at home.

- Is that true?
- You should know.

You've invited him 50 times,
and he's never come.

My dear Charles.

I had begun to suspect
you were avoiding me.

Good day, Oriane.

My boredom ends
only when I'm with you.

Why not spend a few days
with us at Guermantes?

My mother-in-law would be delighted.

Sorry, but I can't leave Paris just now.

- Monsieur Swann.
- Good day, madame.

- Will you stay a while today?
- Of course.

You left in such a rush last time.

If you were 20 years older and
had a weak bladder, I'd understand.

Have you seen my brother?

We arrived together,
but he left right away.


To run an errand.

I hear your cousin Gilbert is dying.

He wouldn't die now
and spoil our day.

Your Grace,Jules is back.


He says your cousin is very weak.

He may die at any moment.

That means he's alive.
Where there's life, there's hope.

I know Gilbert.
In a week he'll be fitter than I.

Marquise de Balleroy.

Madame d'Arpajon.

Princess Sherbatov.

Monsieur de Norpois.

I'm so noisy.
I'll be thrown out.

No, I'm fine anywhere.

This footstool is just what I need.

It'll make me sit up straight.

Look at Madame de Cambremer.


She has music in her bones.

Our jokes are in charming taste,
my dear Charles.

Pity I never see you anymore.

Life is a dreadful business.


Some days you'd like to die.

But death may be just as boring,

since we don't know what it is.

What I like about you

is that you're not cheerful.

Let's spend an evening together.

Listen, Charles.

Why not come with us later
to the Princess of Parma's?

I'm afraid I'm busy.

Then I'll be off.

I'll go with you.

Prince and Princess Pfaffenheim.

The Duchess of Chatellerault.

It's ridiculous, an intelligent man
suffering over a woman like that.

She's not even interesting.
An idiot, I hear.

It's funny to see a Jew
the guest of a family

that's produced three popes
and I don't know how many cardinals.

I know he's a convert,
and so were his parents.

But they say converts never change.

You're right.
These concerts are a bore.

A shot of hooch?

A real Titian. What flesh!

Charles, you know me.

I'm a modern man. I'm not bigoted.

I'd be seen with a black man,
if he were a friend.

To me you're French, that's all.

But how can you, a gourmet,

a positive thinker,
an informed collector,

a lover of old books
who sends us the best port wine --

how can you jeopardize
your social position?

Because you know that

if you married her,
we couldn't receive her.

Yes, I know.

- Delighted.
- Good-bye.

- Dear cousin.
- Monsieur Swann's carriage.

A pity that creature deprives us
of your most amusing friend.

To a dog in love,
a bitch's ass smells sweet.

Monsieur Swann's carriage is here.

- To Bagatelle Park, Remi.
- Very well, sir.

Is this table to your liking?

No. This way, please.

- But there are free tables --
- Those tables are reserved.

- For whom?
- I said they're reserved.


I know that at first sight I may not
seem amusing to a young man,

but I'm a mine of experience,

a private and invaluable catalogue
of undisclosed information,

a guide to the past
and the future.

For example:

Do you know why the head waiter
wouldn't seat you on this side?

- He took you for a Jew.
- I am one.

I have nothing against Jews, mind you.

I mean in the arts.
Politics isn't my field.

But you know whyJews amaze me?

They love to live on streets
with Catholic names

like Saint Honore, Saint Abbess.

Where do you live?

- On the Rue des Blancs-Manteaux.
- ""Street of the White Robes.'' You see?

How perverse! A street
named after the humble friars.

An order founded by the sainted --


King Louis IX.

Charles, my love.

I went by your house,
but you were out.

Monsieur de Forcheville,
Charles Swann.

A hot chocolate?

That's up to this gentleman.

He doesn't like anyone around
when he wants to be with me.

I understand.

You offered to walk with me.

Now you'll have to ask his permission.

Excuse me. I'll be off.

You're very kind.

See you soon.

Your damn coachman again.

Remi is devoted to me.

He annoys me.
He looks at me so insolently.

Then I won't use him when I see you.

Shall we go to your place?

First I want a chocolate.

- Hello, Madame de Crecy.
- Hello, Aime.

- This way.
- Who's this Forcheville?

- How's your wife?
- Very well, thank you.

He's a viscount.
Don't you know the family?

Baron de Charlus is waiting.

- And your children?
- Very well.

Where were you?

At my piano lesson.

- I hear the Prince of Wales was here.
- So it's rumored.

- I'll leave.
- No, stay.

Good day, Baron.

Please have a seat.

What may I serve you?

I'm starving.

Some cake or toast then?

Cake and hot chocolate.

I stopped by your place.
That woman was there.

That monocle
makes you look aristocratic.

All you need is a title.

Viscount, for example.

You look like Bellini's portrait
of Muhammad II. Ever been told that?

You agree, Charles?

Muhammad II fell madly in love
with one of his wives,

so he stabbed her to death.

- Why?
- To regain his free will.

How's your essay on Vermeer going?
Can I see it?

I haven't written much.
I was with the Guermantes.

You're wasting your time.
I'd love to get you to work.

If only you'd let me.

See you tonight?

The Verdurins
have invited me to a party.

I'll go too.

Charles, don't get involved
with that trash.

You're wrong, Meme.

The Verdurins are charming

and very cultivated.

Come on, Charles.

When it comes to art,
they're like fish out of water.

They're very rich,
but unbearably stupid.

Come now, Meme.

They know what counts in life.

They're more intelligent
than our friends.

Madame Verdurin
does overdo it at times,

but she has a genuine love of painting.

Music, too.

She helps a lot of artists.

She discovered Vinteuil

and Elstir, and many others.

I plan to see more of her.

I'm so glad I met you.
You must never leave me now.

You're just the man for me.

I love what you said
about the Verdurins.

People are staring.

What does that matter to me?
What can they do?


There's Remi.

You're always so reserved.

I can't make you out.

What a shame.

The orchids don't need
tucking in today.

I can't play my little games.

Promise you'll send him away?

- What are you doing here?
- I've been waiting two hours. We must talk.


Go in. I'll only be a minute.

I'll have tea brought in.

Then we'll play ""orchids.''


I have a very interesting
proposition for you.

A society lady who goes
to brothels saw you around --

Not now. Shut up.

Name your price.
She'll pay anything.

- I'll handle it for you.
- Not now.

Don't come here again.
You can write me.

She waited two hours for me.

She said I could name my price.

She had an ambassador who said,

""I'll kill myself if I can't have her.''

You should have heard me.

I said, ""No.''

After all,

I'm free to do what I want.

If I needed money,
it would be different.

Did you ever go to brothels?

Me? That's all I need.

As you saw,
it's not for lack of offers.

I'll tell the concierge
not to let her in.

I wish you'd been hidden
in a corner somewhere.

I think you would have
been proud of me.

She has some good in her,
after all, your little Odette.

If she asked you, she must've
thought you might accept.

I can't tell you anything.

Lemon or cream?


Just a drop.

See? I know what you like.

Odette, my darling,

I know I'm being awful,
but I must ask you a few things.

Remember what I suspected
about you and Madame Verdurin?

Was it true

with her or anyone else?

Who put such an idea in your head?

I don't understand.

What do you mean?

Have you ever done things
with women?

With women? No.

Are you sure?

You know I haven't.

Don't say it that way.

Say, ""I've never done
such things with any woman.''

At my age, I need to know the truth.

I've never done such things
with any woman.

Will you swear
on your medallion of the Virgin Mary?

Stop this nonsense.

What's wrong with you today?

You want to make me hate you.

I wouldn't hold it against you.

Not in the least.

I always know more than I say.

If I'm angry with you,

it's not because of what you do --
I love you, hence I forgive you --

but because of your ridiculous lying!

Why deny things I know?

You can end it in a second,

be free of it forever.

Swear on your medallion
that you've never done it.

I don't know.

Maybe a long time ago,
without realizing what I was doing.

Maybe two or three times.

That's it.

Tell me,

was it with anyone I know?

Of course not.

I swear.

Besides, I think I exaggerated.

I never went that far.

No matter.

But it's a shame
you can't at least give me the name.

If I had an idea of the person,

I could forget about her

and not pester you.

What's terrible

is what one can't imagine.


you've been so sweet to me.

I don't want to tire you.

I thank you with all my heart.

That's it.

But tell me, how long ago?

Can't you see you're killing me?

It's all ancient history.

I've never thought about it since.

Are you trying to put those ideas
back in my head?

A lot of good it would do.

Was it since I've known you?

Did it happen here?

At least tell me
what night it was,

so I can remember
what I was doing that evening.

And don't say you don't know
who it was, because that's impossible.

I don't know.

I think it was in the park,

the evening you met us on the island.


There was a woman at the next table.

I hadn't seen her in ages.

She said to me,

""Come behind the rock

and look at the moonlight
in the water.''

First I yawned,

then I answered,
""I'm tired. I'm fine where I am.''

She kept at me.

""You should. You've never seen
moonlight like this.''

I said, ""That's a good one.''

I knew what she was after.

You're a scoundrel.

You enjoy torturing me, don't you?

You make me tell lies,

which I do

only so you'll leave me alone.

I never realized it was so recent.

Forgive me.

I know I'm hurting you.

It's all over and forgotten.


shall we play ""orchids''?

Not now.
I have to get dressed.

Are you going out?

- Where?
- The opera.

I told you I was seeing the Verdurins.

- You just said a dinner party.
- A supper.

And first we're going to the opera.

- To hear what?
- A Night with Cleopatra.

By Victor Masse.

You can't listen
to that despicable music.

Do you think I have no taste?

You do...

your own.

That's cold.

Suppose I asked you not to go?

Why would you?

Not because of A Night with Cleopatra.

That's not why.

I'm asking you
not to go out this evening

to see if you love me enough
to forego a pleasure.

I must know who you are.

How can I love you if you're like
water flowing any which way,

a fish with no memory, no will?

Your sermons will make me
miss the overture.

I'm only asking this for your sake.

In a way, I'd rather
you didn't stay with me.

I've got a lot to do tonight.

Then do it. I won't stop you.

You're far less intelligent
than I thought.

Excuse me, sir.

I've changed my mind.
I'll come with you.

It'll do me some good
to see how low people can sink.

You're not in evening clothes.

You only want to flaunt our affair.

You treat me like a whore.

Give me my cloak.

Earlier, in Bagatelle Park,

all you did was talk to Charlus.

You paid just as little
attention to me

as he did to his young
portrait of Muhammad.

Some people do think

I behave rather foolishly.

I let you stay till the last minute,

and this is how you thank me.

I'll know better next time.

Can't I kiss you after the dinner?

It'll be very late.

For a second,
before going home,

to help me sleep.

You'll return?

Will it be soon?

To the opera.

Do you know this address?

I think we've been there before, sir.

Well, let's go again.

Open the door.

These gentlemen want Miss Naomi.
Tell her to wait in the Persian Room.

Hurry it up.
Number 15 is taking too long.

- This way, sir.
- Good evening.

Tell me,

a pretty woman,
blonde, with sad eyes,

tall, around 30 years old.

- Has she ever been here?
- I don't know her.

Her name is Odette de Crecy.

Why would she have come here?

I don't know.
To meet someone.

No, I can't place her.

You understand that
we don't give out such information.

Of course.

The lady lived in Nice.

They say her mother sold her at 14
to a rich Englishman.

Such things happen.


I've been told of someone named


""If you want to know more
about Odette de Crecy,

go to 6 Rue Budreau
and ask for Chloe.''

She's not very bright,
but she's sweet. You'll see.

She's from Nice, too.

What a coincidence.

It seems that everyone in Nice
knows of Odette de Crecy.

Who is she?

You heard no talk of her in Nice?

Must be a false name.

I knew an Odette.

Who liked women?

Well, you know,
that's not so unusual.

There was one who always came
with a very fashionable lady.

They'd spend hours in their cubicle.

When they came out, the lady
would give me a 10-franc tip.

You can shower with a friend
in all innocence.

If they had just been knitting,
they wouldn't have given me 10 francs.

You should have seen the girl quiver.

She'd tell the other,
""This is ecstasy.''

She'd get so excited
she couldn't keep from biting her.

- Was her name Odette?
- I think so.

Which of the two was Odette?

I'm sorry, sir,
but I can't remember.

I only wanted to say that
all society women are perverse.

It's shocking.

Wasn't I all right, sir?

- Good evening, sir.
- Good evening, Francois.

A gentleman like you

living in a place like this.

You surprise me.

She looks like you, don't you think?

The high cheekbones,
the shape of the neck,

the heavy eyelids.

- The sad eyes.
- Who is she?

Zephora,Jethro's daughter.
It's by Botticelli.

He did it as a fresco
in the 15th century

on a wall of the Sistine Chapel.

I'm not a museum piece.

This is where you sleep?

It's an 18th-century bed.

I have a friend who has
only period furniture.

Which period?

Medieval. It's all made of wood.

You're so reserved.

I wish I knew what you liked,

what goes on behind that busy brow.

Forgive me.

I'm disturbing you.

Thank you for seeing me.

Not at all. Stay.

Promise you'll return.

I suppose you're very busy, too.

I never have anything to do.

I'm always free.

I always will be for you.

Send for me anytime,
day or night.

I'll gladly come running.

Will you call me often?

Forgive me,

but new friendships frighten me.

You fear affection?

How odd.

That's all I look for.

I'd give my soul to find it.

I knocked, sir.
Didn't you hear me?

Will you be dining at home?
Shall I set the table?

No, I'm going out.

Get my dinner clothes ready,

and tell Remi.

He's just stabled the horses.

He's to harness them, quickly.

We must be at the opera
before it ends.

Your scarf, sir.

Throw it down.

Hurry, Remi.

Do you know Madame Verdurin?

There was a group
in her box tonight.

- Have they left?
- Everyone's gone.

Go and ask at the subscriber's door.

- All we can do is go home, sir.
- Certainly not.

We have to find her.

I forgot to say something
to Madame de Crecy.

She'll be annoyed and hurt
if I don't talk to her tonight.

It's very important.

Sorry, sir,
but how can she be annoyed

if she's the one
who went off without you?

She's dining with the Verdurins
in some restaurant nearby.

We'll find her.

But which one, sir?

Go find out.
Ask at Prevost's, at the Maison Doree.

Hold the horses for me.

Hurry up!

Where are you rushing off to

Death comes soon enough

Where are you rushing off to

Death comes soon enough

How many, heeding only hatred

- Go off to faraway places
- Good evening.

- Do you know my friend?
- Would you like to join us?

Good evening. No, thank you.

I see you have a carriage, sir.

Would be so kind
as to give me a ride?

I didn't find the lady, sir.

Remind me to order
some firewood tomorrow.

I think we're running out of it.

Stop here.

Are the Verdurins here?

They rented the banquet rooms
for tonight. Are you a guest?

Remi, get something to eat.
This may take quite a while.

And here's the piano.

Not so loud.
The president's next door.

But this is a democracy.
He of all people should know that.

Good evening.

- A white dress -- how original.
- As in original sin.

- Who is this president next door?
- The president of the republic.

What a privilege to be with you.

Hello, Charles.

Even when you're unexpected,
you're always welcome.

Good evening.
I was just passing by and --

Do you know Monsieur de Forcheville?
Odette brought him.


It's always a pleasure to see you.

- Who could say no to you, angel?
- No, but you're the one who --

Hush. I didn't ask your opinion.
I say you're an angel.

Good evening.

A Night with Cleopatra
is over most people's heads.

It makes you want
to see the pyramids.

Why don't we sail up the Nile?

- Let's organize that.
- Good idea.

- Where are you going, Doctor?
- To visit a patient.

No, don't go.

He'll surely be better off
if you don't disturb him.

Stay here and you'll find him
cured tomorrow.

Look at Odette.
I didn't seat her next to a bore.

My dear, would you like to sail
down the Nile in a felucca?

I'm like you.
I enjoy matchmaking.

I've arranged quite a few,
even between women.

He's hilarious.

It would be nice if Biche told us
about the art show he saw today.

Yes, let us in on it.

I stuck my nose in one painting
to see how it was done.

It was impossible to say

if it was done with glue,
with bronze,

with paint, with rubies,
with sunlight,

or with pee-pee or with caca.

It's all there, and it smells good.

It takes your breath away,
it tickles you,

and it's shit!

Really, I swear!

This is called epic exaggeration.

I tell you it's shit!

- That's marvelous.
- The fact is

that the Egyptians were extraordinary.

While we Europeans
were still living in caves,

they'd already invented
the Immaculate Conception.

What's wrong with her?

She's dislocated her jaw.
Quick, Doctor!

Don't touch her.

Keep calm.

It's nothing.
It's happened before.

That's all there is to it.

Don't talk for a while.

Let's hear some music.

My nephew will play
the little sonata for Monsieur Swann.

Not my sonata. It makes me cry
and gives me a headache.

I told you not to talk.

But I'm doomed to a week in bed.

-Just the andante.
- The andante?

That's the part that breaks me up.

Thanks a lot. Wonderful man,
my better half.

You won't be ill.
And if you are, I'll cure you.

You promise?


Please, don't make me laugh again.

Go easy on her, Doctor.

Is everybody ready?

You don't bother being discreet
around Forcheville.

I'm sure he loved
A Night with Cleopatra.

I didn't know he'd be here.

Madame Verdurin invited him
at the last minute.


It's the national anthem of our love.

I'm so glad you came.

You must take care of me.

You've put substance in my life

and grace in my heart.

Thanks to you, the whole world
is bathed in a mysterious light.

If you only knew
how dry my life was before you.

Have you been to Egypt?

Is it beautiful?

Yes, very.

Everyone says I should go.

I'll come along if you like.

We'll rent a boat.

You'd rent a boat? You would?

Of course.


Odette, someone's whispering
sweet nothings to you.

Yes, very sweet.

We like your friend Forcheville.
He's straightforward and charming.

That piano playing sounded
better than an orchestra.

I'd love to repay
the Verdurins' kindness.

You'd go to Egypt with them?

They really want me to.

You mean without me...

and with Forcheville?

What could make you
think such a thing?

I'm so stupid.

Spending my money
for other people's pleasure.

But don't push me too far,

or you'll end up with nothing.

As for that little woman
with her roving eye...

And what a body.

I'd rather have her
in my bed than fleas.

Friends, let's go home.

It's after 2:00.

Your husband's charming. So witty.
Doctors are so well-informed.

You know him?

He's always hobnobbing
with the Guermantes.

They deserve him.

They say the old dowager
is permanently drunk.

Not in my home.

But she's a duchess.

Good night.
Sweet dreams.

Your nephew has a brilliant future.

- Good night, boss.
- Good night.

My dear Odette,
thank you for tonight.

Thank you for coming.

- Thank you, Odette. Good night.
- Good night, Doctor.

- Shall I take you home?
- Of course.

What do you think of Forcheville?

He's vile.

Did you hear what he said to her
during the sonata?

She's charming,
but hardly an angel.

Don't slander her. True, she's no saint,
but don't slander her.

But if she were more virtuous,
wouldn't she be less charming?

Does asking a question answer it?

Wait for me here.

I'll give you a ride home in my wagon.

So we'll see you tomorrow night?

For a Moonlight Sonata
in pitch darkness.

Good night.

Good-bye, my friends.

Good-bye, friends.

Good night, Charles.

- Forcheville, come with us.
- Gladly.

- Good-bye.
- Good night.

Don't take up so much room.

""The woods are still dark,
yet the sky is already light...''

To the station!

Good-bye, friends!

Odette, need a ride?

There's room
next to Monsieur Forcheville.

- I thought I was taking you home.
- I'm tired. I want to go to bed early.

Go on home. We let you
have her to yourself so often.

Get in, dear heart.

I have something important to tell her.

Then write to her.

Did you see that?
I thought he'd eat me alive.

Your ears must have
been ringing tonight.

Odette never stops talking about you.
And only nice things.

Emilie. Are you coming?

Don't believe me?

She adores you.

She's a real friend to you.

If you don't know that already,
you must be the only one.

Good night.

At last. I thought you were
going off with him.

Are you all right, sir?

Did something happen to you?

No, Remi.

I think I'll walk a bit.

Follow me.

She's so vulgar!

Poor little thing!

And so stupid!

That other woman's a pimp!


A procuress!

That Verdurin woman's
the bottom of the barrel!

Thinks she loves art. The fool!

And all that vile humor!

I wanted to save Odette
from all that!

They're the scum of the earth!
Dante's last circle!

Why do I subject myself
to such humiliation?

I used to think Odette was ugly!

I had to go fall in love with her

because she reminded me
of a Botticelli.

Now I've decided to fall
out of love with her, and I can't.

I can't.


Tonight, I finally understand

that her love for me --

which I rejected at first --

that the feelings she had for me

will never be revived.

But without her I will cease to exist.

It's an illness

that could prove fatal.

And yet I'm afraid of being cured.

Sometimes I tell myself

it would be best if Odette died

painlessly, in an accident.

It would be over.

You said we were going
to look at the moon.

The greatest of follies is to despise
feelings you don't share!

I love darkness. You fear it.


My affection for you
is dead and beyond resuscitation.

I didn't mean to offend you.

Who said I was offended?

Don't you know
what an exceptional person I am?

For the best of us,

studying the arts, our collections,
our fine gardens are all but substitutes.

Like Diogenes in his barrel,
we are seeking a man.

We grow yews and begonias,

but we'd rather
tend to a human shrub,

if he were only worth it.

Sadly, you're not worth it.

Farewell, sir.

We will never meet again.

I'm not ashamed to admit I regret it.

I feel like that Victor Hugo character.

""I am alone, a widower,
and evening is upon me.''

Those orchids really
need to be fastened

or they'll fall out.

Like that.
By tucking them in myself.

Truly, I'm not being offensive?

What if I smelled them?

I don't know the scent.

Why did you wait so long?

For fear of suffering.


Go on.

You don't have to come out.

I was passing by.
I saw the light.

I thought you might be ill.

Who is it?

Please forgive me.

I was almost asleep.
This late it could only be you.

I thought you wouldn't come.

You're so pale. Are you ill?

I'm sorry I woke you up.

- I'll leave.
- Don't.

I forbid it.


Wait. I brought you something.

Sit down.

If you don't like it,
you can exchange it.

But I do.

I like it very much.

I feel I've disturbed so many things.

Poor darling.

I shouldn't have come.

Charles, you're mad.

You never disturb me.

What do you want me to do?

Play our sonata?

I play badly.

You look so sad.

Play some more.

Should I play or be tender?


What are you thinking of?

What's going on in that head?

A fine thing.

I'm becoming neurotic.

I hear voices.

Maybe it's because there are voices.

I'm leaving.

You're impossible!
It's hopeless!

If only I could put some sense
into that head.

You can, if you want to.

Remember my friend Ernestine?

Yes, you do.

A tall brunette.

You met her at the races.

What about her?

Her beau is going to marry her.

And he's highly respectable.

Isn't that nice?

To do that for a woman

who gave him
the best years of her life?

I don't say it's wrong.
We each do as we please.

You'll leave me someday.

I know it.

Men are capable of anything.

Good morning, sir.

A cup of coffee?

No, thanks.

You look relaxed.

I can't say the same for you.

It's time I got down to work.

If it isn't already too late.

Sir, the barber is here.

Show him in.

When I woke up this morning,

I knew I was free of Odette.

Now even her face
is fading from my mind.

Her pale complexion,

her high cheekbones.

Maybe she loved me
more than I thought.

She also cheated on you more.

Good morning, sir.

She's going to Egypt
with Forcheville and the Verdurins.

Are you paying for her trip?


To think that I wasted years of my life...

that I wanted to die...

that the love of my life...

was a woman I didn't like...

who wasn't my type.

When are you going to marry her?

What a pleasant surprise.

My daughter's waiting.
I can't stay.

Sit down.

The missus will be ready in a moment.

We're dining with the archduchess.

I've brought Oriane some photographs
of the Knights of Rhodes.

They're downstairs.

How nice of you to drop in
on your old friend.

Everything about you is perfect --

what you wear, what you say,
what you read, what you do.

- Do you like my dress?
- Of course.

I'm delighted.

Who will be at the archduchess's?

The usual crowd.
It'll be deadly dull.

There's a last-minute guest.
King Theodose's brother.

My God, more royalty.

Dining out is such a bore.

Bazin and I are going
to Italy next spring.

If you came,
it would make our trip.

I hear you know of things
no one else ever gets to see.

Here they are.

Not tonight, Oriane.

- Let me see them.
- Your carriage is ready, sir.

Come on. Time to trot.

Will you tell me
whether you're coming to Italy with us?

I really don't think that's possible.

How can you know that
10 months ahead of time?

I'll tell you if you insist,

but can't you see that I'm very ill?

Yes. You don't look well at all.

But 10 months
is time enough to get better.

Madame, his grace is waiting for you.

In a word,
what prevents you from coming?

My dear friend,

I'll be dead by then.

The doctors give me
three or four months to live

at the most.

You're joking. What is this?

It's hardly my idea of a joke.

I've never told you of my illness.

But since you asked,
I may die any day now.

But I mustn't keep you.
You're dining out.

Don't worry about the dinner.
It doesn't matter.

Stop mooning over Swann.
Your horses are waiting.

Excuse me, Charles.
We have a long way to go.

Think nothing of it.

I don't believe a word
of what you say.

Let's discuss it.

Come to lunch.

Any day you like.

Oriane, you're a disgrace.

You've left your black shoes on
with a red dress.

Hurry back up and put on red shoes.

- I thought we were late.
- Not at all.

Don't worry. They'll wait.

You can't wear black shoes.

Tell a maid to bring down
your red ones.

What would women do
without a husband?

I saved her from black shoes.

I didn't think they looked bad.

You may be right.

But as soon as we'd gotten there,
she would have noticed

and sent me home to get her shoes.

Listen, please step aside,
or she'll start talking again.

I must tell you, I'm starving.

I had a rotten lunch,
despite a superb bearnaise sauce,

and I can't wait
to sit down for dinner.

Papa, aren't you going to
introduce me to your friends?

It's not the right time.

Pay no attention
to those damn doctors.

You're as fit as a fiddle.
You'll bury us all.

I'm so sad Charles is ill.

But even so, that doesn't mean
I can entertain his wife and daughter.

Next thing, my coachman will say,

""My daughter is ill.
Take me to meet the Princess of Parma.''

Let's go.

We'll come back

some other time.

How can people admire
these automobiles?

Vulgarity and madness have taken over.

- It's in fashion.
- Does this suit me?

Look at those hats.

They look like birdcages.

When I think of
the women we've known,

my poor Charles.

Good day, sir.

Your daughter, isn't it?

Yes, Meme.

I forgot to ask.

How's your struggle
with the grim reaper?

The memory of love
helps me face death without fear.


The word death is a generalization.

There are as many deaths
as there are people.

Yours won't be like mine.

Losing one's life, Charles...

the only life we'll ever have.

What have I done with mine?

Life is like an artist's studio,

full of half-finished sketches.

We sacrifice everything to fantasies

that vanish, one after another.

We betray our ambitions,

our dreams.

Our friends?

Friendship isn't much,

but those who scorn it
can be the best of friends.

I loved life.

I loved the arts.

Now I treasure
all those old feelings.

They're like a collection.

I open up my own heart
as if it were a display cabinet.

One by one,
I look over all my loves...

loves that others never had.

I tell myself...

it'll be sad to leave
all of that behind.

Here's Madame Swann.

Do you know her?
It's Madame Swann.

Ever heard of Odette de Crecy?

Odette de Crecy?
Yes. Those sad eyes.

She's Madame Swann now.

She must be getting on in years.

I made love to her ages ago.

The day President Mac-Mahon resigned.

It was 500 francs a shot.