A Few Hours of Spring (2012) - full transcript

Alain Evrard, a trucker who has just finished serving a prison sentence, is forced to temporarily move back to his mother's house. This forced co-habitation causes all the violence of their past relationship to re-emerge. One day, Alain accidentally discovers Yvette, his mother, by a brain tumor and that she has decided to shorten her suffering by resorting to assisted suicide in Switzerland...

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Evrard: to be released.

One worn out black wallet.

A disposable blue lighter.

A cell phone.

Five keys and a key-holder.

Sign here.


Your release's money:

875 euros

and 30 cents.

Sign here.



It'll be ready in 30 minutes.
Don't eat bread.

I don't have time.
I'll get some stuff and I'll go.

- That coffee's disgusting.
- That's all I have.

I found what I was looking for.

So, Mr. Evrard.

Evrard, here you are.

Let me explain how things work.

We're here to help you
go back on the job market.

Currently, the job market
isn't big.

Having done time,
even only 18 months,

puts you at a disadvantage.

Some employers
will refuse to hire you.

There's no use contacting them.

I found what I was looking for.

Did you contact
your former employer?

No, he told me not to come back.

Did you contact other people?

Yes, I contacted transportation
companies in the area.

One told me it might be possible,

but it was far from sure.

The others told me
there was nothing.

Let me take a look.

No, there's no condition!
I should get benefits.

I already sent it!

Don't worry, it happens sometimes
at reception.

For now,

I have nothing for you
as truck driver.

Will you be willing
to widen your search?

I have to do something.
Anything will do.

With the information I have,
I'll get into it.

Then I'll call you.
I think we can find something.

I'll check
whether I have your address.

- At Mrs. Yvette Evrard's?
- Yes.

I'll type it in your file.


You're not eating?

No, I'm not hungry.
I'll just eat some salad.

Tidy up your room.
I have to vacuum it.

You'll have to take this for long?

What did they say?

Is it getting worse? Improving?

No, it's stable.

It's not better or worse.

I'll soon start an X-ray treatment.

That's what Dr. Matthieu said.
Otherwise, I must take my pills.

Go in your basket.

Kali, in your basket.


Do you have headaches?

In the basket, I said!

No, not really.


Who is it?


You're back.

Kali, come.

- How are you, my boy?
- Good.

- Will you come in for a drink?
- Yes.

Kali, come.

So you're back?

Yes, until I find a job
and a place.

I asked your mother about you.

Kali, come.

I was worried about you.

The spoons are in the drawer.

I don't understand why you did it.

I'll be honest about it.

So here I am.


I made a mistake. That's it.

I was a truck driver too.
We got such offers all the time.

Smuggling things
across the border.

But you shouldn't be fooled
by them.

They hide their weed in the truck

but if someone gets caught,
it's not them.

You needed money?

Yes, like everyone else.

You should've asked me.
I would have loaned it to you.

What's wrong with the coffee?

What a fool.
I forgot to turn it on.

Shit, the fuse again.

Do you need help?

No, it's okay.

- Are you sure?
- Yes, I'll put it back on.

Kali, come.

Kali, come.


I don't know what's wrong.
Sometimes it's the vacuum cleaner,

sometimes the coffee machine,
sometimes just a lamp.

I need to look into it.

The dog got scared.

- I'm happy to see you.
- Me too.

Your mother gave that to me:
apple compote.

Last year was good for apples.
I still have some.

I'm sure your mother
- and she won't tell it to you -

is happy to have you back.

Happy for what?

She came to see me twice
in one year and a half.

Yes, but wait:

it wasn't easy for her
during that time.

She got sick.

I can tell it's tiring for her.

I also think

it made her sad to see you there.

Sad? She was ashamed.

What are you looking for?

Something to sleep.

It's not in the kitchen.

Where is it?

Kali, stay in your basket.

It smelled of cigarette in your
room. You didn't open the window?

I did.

If you did,
smoke outside in the garden.

I'll put the mask on you,
Mrs. Evrard.

Breathe slowly.
See you in a minute.

Don't let the dog come in alone!

- You didn't clean her paws!
- I did.

No, you didn't!

I'm tired of your never doing
anything right.

- Her paws are clean!
- They're not.

She walked in the dirt
and brought everything inside.

You're not the one who has
to clean up. Kali, come here!

Don't go in your basket now.

Come here so that
I can clean you up.

Sit. Give me your paw.

This isn't your home!

I know that. Don't worry,
I won't be here long to annoy you.

Lower your tone!

Talking like your father did
doesn't make you right.

I just want my house to be clean.

Your house is clean!

You're pissing me off!

Watch TV and finish
your stupid jigsaw puzzle.

I didn't come here
to get pissed off.


I'm very happy to see you.

- Glass or no glass?
- No glass.

No glass?

Come on, you don't need
to cry so much.

What's wrong?


Daddy is happy to see Alain,
his friend.

Say hi to Alain.


- What's his name?
- Enzo.

Your name's Enzo, right?

When they're this small,
they're a lot of work.

I don't work these days,
but he's keeping me very busy.

Are you thirsty?
Do you want a drink?

Are you thirsty?

- Where's your eldest daughter?
- At her mother's.

It's difficult with Cathie.
They don't get along.

Cathie tells her things,

but since she's a teenager,
she flies off the handle.

It upsets me and I tell her
to be polite.

Then the girl is like:
"You're not my mother."

Then they start screaming.

They cry, wake up the baby...

It's coming, it's coming.

I'll go get your bottle.

Take him. Be careful.

Like this.

Daddy is coming back.

Do you have news from Carole?

- What?
- Do you have news from Carole?

No, why should I?

I don't know, when you were there.

It was over before that.

I liked Carole, she was nice.

Come to Daddy.

She was a nice chick.

His sock.


Like this. Slowly.

About what you asked me,
I told Cathie about it.

It won't be possible.
There's no way.

She says that my daughter
is already here often enough

and that we don't have
enough space.

This really sucks.
I know it gets you in trouble.

I'll find a way.

I said it was only for a couple
days, but she wouldn't listen.

She said: "It's not possible
right now."

I don't work these days.
lfl did, I'd tell her:

"I'm working and all that."

But I can't do anything.

Come on.

Like this.

- I'll find a way.
- This really sucks.

No, you've already eaten.


Come here, girl.





I'm okay.


We'll meet there?

Okay, see you there.

I have to go.
The sitter will not understand.

We'll meet again?

I don't want to go at all, though.






I'll put them on the table.

I'll make real coffee this time.

That's an electric coffee machine.

Alain didn't like my coffee,
so I bought this.

Come here, Kali.

Come here, girl.

Come here. Yes, come here.

I don't know what you put
in the compote you gave me,

but it was delicious.

- I did as usual.
- It was even better than usual.

You'll have to do the same
this time.

You cut your hair?


I like to do it sometimes.

It's pleasant.

- Me too.
- You feel clean.

I want to try the one that opened

in the shopping arcade
of the supermarket.

At the last moment,
I decided to go where I usually go.

It's nothing special.

You were right.

I'll have to go there too.

There isn't much to cut,
but it feels better afterwards.

It freshens you up.

That's snow, not cloud.


I always get white mixed up.

You can put all that's white
in a washing machine. But not here.


I'm sorry. I wanted to meet you
right after you called,

but things got busy.

I heard your question about your
mother's choice in Switzerland.

We'll talk about it.

First, I'd like us to talk
about your mother and her disease.

I'd like to know what she told you.

Back then, she told me
she had had a mole there

which had changed
and had gone to her head.

That's about it, yes. She had
a melanoma under the collar bone.

It looks like a big mole.

It went bad

and became malignant,
cancerous cells.

It then went to the brain.

Since your mother didn't worry
about it early enough,

we are where we are today.

It can be treated, right?

I was honest with your mother:

at this point,
there is no turning back.

We're doing an X-ray treatment,
she takes medication

so that the metastases
won't develop and grow.

Sometimes, when you give medication
to someone, and we don't know why,

that medication
stops being effective.

For instance, if suddenly
the tests you told me about

show that it's gotten worse,

how long will she have left?

I can't answer this question.

What could happen then?

Since the disease
is located in the brain,

from the moment
the metastases start to grow

and touch parts
of the nervous system,

symptoms will appear.

They could consist
of fainting spells.

Sometimes, she might be unable
to recognize her relatives.

There might also be
incontinence issues.

Also, at some point, she might have

sudden cerebral hemorrhage.

Everything could be over then.

What's difficult with this disease
is that the person in front of you

doesn't look sick.

So it's a good idea to do
a CT-scan, which she'll do soon.

It will allow us to know
how far the disease has progressed.

About Switzerland,

what do you think about it?

That's not the way I see things.

I told your Mom a lot about
palliative care in the hospital.

Here, in the hospital,
we have what we need

to assist patients,

ease their pain,
and be with them until the end.

Your mom knows everything I can do.

But that's not what she's decided.

She wants to go through

that assisted suicide protocol
in Switzerland.

It's her decision.

It's very personal.


You searched
the living room's drawer.


You searched
the living room's drawer.

It's not as it used to be.

I didn't search it.
I needed something to sleep.

- There are no more hand towels.
- The dish towel's there.

You looked at the documents
next to the medication, right?

You shouldn't have left them there.

I would've told you.
It's not a secret.

I certainly hope so.

Who told you
about that Switzerland thing?

I watched a TV show.

I got interested
so I did some research.

What do you mean?

That's not research. That's
a signed document in your drawer.

Yes, it means it's something
I want to do.

But signed is a big word:

you can do whatever you want.
There is no obligation.

Why seek treatment
if you've decided it'll end badly?

I haven't decided that.

I know what I have.
I shouldn't fool myself.

It's gone up and that's it.

It went up because you did
nothing to prevent it.

You let it get worse.

I didn't know.

Right, you didn't know.

I didn't decide it on a whim.
I thought about it.


I didn't decide it on a whim.
I thought about it.

At least it's my decision.

I don't know.

You're beautiful.

It's good to see you
during the day.

I didn't hear from you.

I thought you didn't care.

I told you I wanted
to see you again.

I was waiting.

You didn't call me.

I would have called you.

- You would have if I hadn't?
- Yes.

- Really?
- Yes.


It's funny to be here,
the two of us.


I don't know. Because

if you had been three lanes farther
at the bowling alley,

we wouldn't have seen each other
and we wouldn't be here.

Do you have regrets?


I work at four in my restaurant.

- Where is it?
- It's the Chambollet.

- You know about it?
- It's a fancy restaurant.

No, it's not fancy.

It's very nice.
The owners

are nice.

What about you? What do you do?

- I'm a truck driver.
- Truck driver?

In France or far away?

Far away.

In other countries?

Yes, in countries.


What countries?

I don't know. Countries in Europe,
all over Europe.

- What's your next country?
- I don't know.

- It's not interesting.
- I'm interested.

I'm interested.

I'm not.

Did I say something
I shouldn't have?

You don't want me
to talk about this?

No, but we can have secrets.

It's weird.

I just don't want to answer.

- Why?
- It's my right, isn't it?

Yes, it's your right.
You have every right.

Still, it's weird.

- What's wrong?
- Nothing.

- There is something.
- No.

- You're getting all worked up...
- No, I'm not.

I don't like to talk about myself.

I'm not getting all worked up.

I don't understand
why you won't tell me.


We had good sex, it was great.

Now we're eating
and you won't talk?

What's wrong with you?

Why won't you talk to me?

I can leave if you want.

Do whatever you want.
You're a big boy.




This one's all blurry.

Where was this taken?

What is that house?

You didn't see this house,
only the other.

I'll write down the date.

Look how cute you were.

I have to go get
my medication tomorrow.

I can give you a ride.

- You don't have to work?
- No, I quit.

You quit your job?

Stupid jobs like that are not
something you can do for long.

What are you going to do?

I don't know, I'll see.
I'll find something.

It's not that easy to find a job.

You don't have
the luxury of choice.

- Maybe it was a stupid job, but...
- Not again.

- It was well paid.
- Leave me alone.

I'll find something better, I said.

You had a good job.
I'm not the one who ruined it all.

You think it's funny to be here
looking for crappy jobs?

Talking like your father
doesn't make you right.

What the fuck do you want?!

You want to drag me down?

Yes, I'm an asshole.
Your son is an asshole.

Are you happy now?

- Your being upset means I'm right.
- Will you shut the fuck up?!

You're pissing me off!

You criticize everything I do.

I'm fed up with it.

Die with your fucking cancer.

I won't have to see
your ugly face anymore.

- I'm fed up with this!
- This isn't your home!

I know that.
You say it all the time!

This place makes me want to puke.
I want to puke when I see you eat,

clean up everything,
wear your slippers.

You're crazy.
You're completely insane!

What's wrong with you?

What's the matter?
You want to piss me off?

What's wrong with you?!

You want me to go back to prison?

You want me to get in trouble?
I'll punch you!

I'll punch you!
I don't give a damn.

Stop pissing me off!

Stop pissing me off!

You want to stay here?

I wouldn't mind tonight.

You can stay as long as you want,
you know that.

It's just that...

It makes me sad
to see you like this.

I don't care. She can die.

You shouldn't say that.

And she's right to piss me off
the way she does?

We know what we'll eat for lunch.

I'll tell you something.
Don't take it the wrong way.

I'm getting embarrassed
about your mother.

I've seen her a few times
since last week.

I have to lie to her.

I can go to a hotel if you want.

Don't say that, Alain.

You don't want to go see her?


It must be hard for her,
I'm telling you.

She shouldn't have started it.

Did you know that Mr. and Mrs.
Trufflet were going to move out?

I heard about it last week.

I wonder for how much they'll sell.

Their house. It's a big one.

Yvette, I have to tell you.

I know Alain left.

He told me not to tell you,
but I will,

because I don't feel good about it.

Don't worry about it.
He's staying at my place.

I told him he should come back,

but you know him, he's so stubborn.

You have to talk to him.
Don't stay like this.

I don't mind.
He can do as he pleases.

Honestly, Yvette,

don't take this the wrong way
because I like you a lot,

but you two are behaving
like idiots.

Come on.

You don't want
to tell him something?

Or otherwise,

I could tell him something
on your behalf.

No, it's fine as it is.

- Give me another.
- Here it is.


You'll be okay.

- When did she say it'd be?
- In 45 minutes.

- Hello, Mr. Evrard.
- Hello.

- So, how are you?
- I'm good.

No dizzy spells?

A little bit, but...




The news is not as good
as last time.

A couple lesions have grown,

with an edema around them.

When the metastases want to grow,

they create edema
to get more space.

We found some at two
or even three places.

So it's not good?


it's true it's progressing.

Does that mean
my medication is useless now?

We use medication to prevent

the metastases from spreading.

It keeps them from growing.

So now it can only go one way?

I'd like to ask you something.

Maybe you don't have an answer.

Do you think...?

How long can I still be fine?

What I mean is:

how long do you think
I can still be fine

before I am

where I don't want to be.

It's difficult to answer
this question,

because we don't know
how things will progress.

You think it'll be okay
until next month?

Yes, I think so.

Good then.

I can take an appointment
with the people of the association.

You must understand I don't want
to be taken by surprise

and to suddenly end up lying
on the floor

without being able to do
what I want to do.

Of course, I'd prefer
not to be forced to do it.

Do you feel forced?

That's not what I mean.
It's for the best.

You know how I feel about it.

Yes, I do.

Your job is to treat people,
not to encourage me, I know.

I hear what you're saying.

It's not what I would've chosen,

but I hear you.

And I respect it.


It's the people
from the association.



Thank you.

Thank you, it's very nice of you.

Very well.

Mrs. Evrard, I received your file.

I also have the results
of your CT-scan.

We'll talk about them later.

First, I'd like to talk
about the letter you sent me.

To me, it's very important to know

whether you're still determined
to do this.

Since the situation
has gotten worse,

I think it's the right time.


First, I'd like to pretend
I don't know anything.

Would you agree to tell me again

what motivates this choice
of assisted auto-deliverance?

It's as I told you in my letter:

I heard about your association

a few years ago already,
and I didn't forget about it.

It was right after my husband died.

Since he suffered a lot,

I thought that should it
happen to me too,

I didn't want to end like that.

I see.

You know that no one has to suffer
in the hospital.

There is very efficient
palliative care

with specialized personnel
trained to dispense it.

- Did you know that?
- I know, but...

I think that at some point,
you must be honest

and accept

that it's the end
and that it's over.

Could you tell me
how your husband was?

I don't know how to put it...

He had quite a temper.

He wasn't always pleasant.

- How long were you married?
- 45 years.

That's a long road
to travel together.

Could you tell us

whether you've had

a good life?

I don't know. It's my life.


Exactly. It's your life.

It's a life like any other,

with hardships,
like everyone else has.

But it's a unique life.

In this life that was,
you are very precious.

Are you, if I may ask
this question,

a believer?

I am baptized, but I haven't
gone to church in a long time.

Even though you haven't gone
to church in a long time,

do you believe
there is something after this?

I don't know.

I hope so, but I don't know.

Did you tell someone about what
we are going to do together?

I told Mr. Lalouette, a neighbor.

And my son, of course.

Your mother told us you agreed
to accompany her.



Very good.

I think it's good if relatives
are there. It's essential.


I'd like to talk about you,
Mrs. Evrard.

You are absolutely right.

Your health has gotten
markedly worse.

That's why, after the latest
test results I got,

I think it'd be good to do it
in three weeks.

Before we set a date,
I'd like to ask you

whether you know
how things will take place.

I know we're going to...

After setting a date, we'll go
to a house in Switzerland;

it's especially meant for that.

- You'll be there and we'll do it.
- Right.

Mrs. Godard will welcome you
and will be with you

because I won't be there.

Could you tell her, Mrs. Godard?

You're right,
it's exactly like that.

You'll join us in Switzerland

because as you know,
it's not allowed in France.

I'll be there, in the house.

I will welcome you. The association
will have everything ready.

As we told you,
the process is transparent.

The association
will take care of everything:

of the medical examiner
who will certify your death,

of the cantonal police...

We'll take your body
to the institute to dress it up.

All is planned and organized.

I'd like to tell you
one more thing,

which is very important to me:

until the very last second,
you can still change your mind.

It's open.


I don't think
it'll make a difference,

but I wanted to apologize
for last time.

You couldn't call me to tell me?

Is it a habit of yours
to hide everything?

It's my fault.

I got carried away.

I just wanted to do it.

Me too.

- You're going to shop?
- Yes.

You want to know what I do?

I was in prison for 18 months.
I live at my mother's.

I'm looking for a job.

Why didn't you tell me?

I could have handled it.

- I don't know.
- What?

I didn't know.

You're stupid.

You're so stupid.

I have to go.

How far did you go
with the jigsaw puzzle?

I'm close to the end.

Only a few pieces left
and I'll be done.

I'm speechless.

I wanted to tell you I was happy
to be your neighbor.

I will think about you
until Monday.

After that too, I hope.

But after that...

We don't know anything.

Me too.

I was very happy to be your neighbor
for all those years.

Very beautiful years.


Let me give you a hug.

I'll take this little
piece of cake.

It got damaged by the heat.

Still, it's very good.


Was it easy to find?


Hello, Mrs. Evrard.

After you.

This is it:

our little house.

Please, come on in.

Here it is.

I'll give you your fist pill.

You have about 15 minutes.

What you gave me will prevent me
from vomiting?


Can I see what you'll give me next?

Of course.

This one first.

- It has no smell.
- No, it's odorless.

Then this one. Please, smell it.

It smells of orange.



We'll mix it with the first
because it can be bitter.

Have I given you the house's keys?


Make yourself comfortable.

I'll prepare the product
and I'll come back.

See you in a minute.

I'll remove my shoes.

Here it is, Mrs. Evrard.

- Do I drink it now?
- It's up to you.

Goodbye, Mrs. Evrard.


I'll leave the two of you together.


Are you alright?

I love you, my boy.

I love you so much.

I love you too.