Damage (1992) - full transcript
A member of Parliament (Irons) falls passionately in love with his son's fiancée. They pursue their affair with obsessive abandon despite the dangers of discovery and what it would do to his complacent life and his son. Completely obsessed, he wants to give up his current lifestyle to be with her. She has no intention of allowing him to do this, preferring to have her marriage to the son as a cover. They are eventually discovered, and must deal with the damage. Based on the novel by Josephine Hart.
I don't mean to hurry you.
The prime minister did ask...
to see you at once.
He doesn't have long, sir.
It's all right. I'm on my way.
- Stephen. - See you later.
Dr. Fleming, Prime Minister.
- Welcome. - Good afternoon, sir.
I owe you a debt of gratitude...
from what I'm told.
You saw off this backbench rebellion...
over the finance bill.
Rebels went in breathing fire.
Then they came out...
purring like lambs.
That's not quite true.
How did you do it?
Same time tomorrow, Raymond.
Very well, sir.
I'm sure she's very nice. They all are.
Very funny. You'll like her.
Are you in for dinner?
Your father's here. I have to go.
- Good evening, Beth. - Good evening, sir.
- Seen Sally? - She's upstairs.
I'm cooking, believe it or not.
I've got the evening off.
- Enjoy it. - I will.
Bye, Martyn. Speak to you soon.
He's got a new girlfriend.
What does that mean?
Why can't women see through him?
He just wants to get his leg over them.
By the way, Edward phoned.
I don't believe your father.
He said the prime minister had summoned you into his office.
So... he just wanted to chat.
He asked me whether power meant anything to me.
What did you say?
I said my family was far more important.
Can you come and help me?
God, this is rough. Does anyone speak English?
One or two.
Why are the French always so good at these things?
We should be making tracks.
One for the road.
You know my situation.
These days, I don't hurry home.
and then I really must go, Donald.
You're Martyn's father.
I'm Anna Barton.
I felt I ought to introduce myself.
How do you do?
How long have you known him?
Not very long.
We've been close just a few months.
I've heard about you.
I bumped into Tubby Haycroft.
He's just been clobbered in the spending review.
Hang on a minute.
Apparently, the treasuy's way out of order.
He says they're simply out of control.
Poor old Tubby, he's hopping mad.
Of course, he says he's bored with his department.
I think the problem is he can't stand his minister.
I know. Don't make me feel bad.
It's been hectic at the paper.
Lovely to see you.
You must be Anna.
Anna Barton, my mother.
How are you?
Come on through.
Hello, Sally. Hi.
What are you doing here?
This is my horrible little sister.
Lunch is all ready.
We're only here for a drink.
We can't stop for lunch.
Say hello to your father.
Hi, Dad. This is Anna.
Let's have a drink, and I'll show you around.
Nice to meet you.
Have you been all right?
Tied up a lot with the children's home.
It's turning into a proper job.
People ask me to do things. I find it difficult to say no.
Is she all right?
She hasn't said anything.
Are we going to go around the garden all day?
We have to go.
Thank you for the drink.
Not at all.
It's always nice to meet Martyn's friends.
It was lovely.
It was nice to see you, Ma.
It was funny.
The great joke was he didn't spot it at auction.
It was staring him in the face.
It was Delft.
He would have thrown it away.
Thank you, Tommy.
- I'm off to London. - See you later.
Miss Snow here.
My name's Anna Barton.
I'm a friend of the minister's.
I was wondering if I could have a word.
Hold on. I'll see if the minister's here.
A Miss Barton for you.
Put her through.
Give me your address.
I'll be there in an hour.
Mind you, hysteria is perfectly treatable.
I'm not very pleased about it.
We'll get the bill through. No doubt about that.
We've got some worried masters.
Excuse me, Dr. Fleming.
This is a rare pleasure.
I was hoping we might have a word.
I've got a new job.
I've been made the deputy political editor.
That's extraordinary. You got it so young.
I know. I'm going to have to write about you.
Try to be kind.
I'll try to be objective.
Ma insisted I come down and tell you.
She said you'd be thrilled.
She's right. I am.
Who else knows about this?
It's great news.
Ma's saying we all have to go celebrate.
She's right. We must.
Nothing too rich.
That's very safe.
Here they come. Welcome the hero.
You don't know Edward.
Gracious. Is this your new friend?
I'm honored. I've read all about you.
Please. Mine was a very overrated career.
Let's face it, we look to Stephen.
I'm afraid it was me that forced him into politics...
me and Ingrid, at least.
I don't think he'd have chosen the life himself.
What will you drink?
Well done in every respect.
I was brought up abroad.
My father was a diplomat.
We almost never lived here.
My mother's sort of...
She's very French.
And now, she's with her fourth husband...
and lives in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs? Good gracious.
So it was quite an odd childhood.
We moved about, yes.
The Argentine, Africa.
For a long time, we were in Rome.
Then, I don't know, I moved to Paris.
I wanted to be free.
I even had a spell as a waitress.
When you're young...
Then I'd ended a relationship.
I moved to England about three years ago.
You live by yourself?
Do you see your mother?
It's turning into a grilling.
Not at all.
Anna's here to have a good time.
But I am.
Were you an only child?
I had a brother.
Anna's brother died.
He killed himself when I was 15.
- How old was he? - Sixteen.
Did you see his body?
What was it like?
Why did he kill himself?
I've got to go back to the office.
I've got work to finish.
Could I have the bill?
Thank you for such a lovely evening.
Good night, everyone.
I don't trust her.
Don't worry. I don't think it's anything serious.
I'll take the car.
You go home with Raymond. I've got to go vote.
How's that tummy?
Will you be all right?
I'll be all right.
I'll see you tomorrow.
We've got to find a structure for this.
All through dinner, I just...
I wanted to touch you.
I wanted to hold you.
You must never worry.
I'll always be there.
Who are you?
Tell me about Aston.
My brother and I?
We were always together.
Every few years, there was a new country...
or there was a new language to learn...
so, of course, Aston and I grew closer and closer.
We had nothing else, just each other.
I loved him...
but he couldn't face the fact that I was going to grow up.
He couldn't let go of me.
He wanted me all for himself...
so it's made me terrified of any kind of possessiveness.
if you can imagine...
the worst thing that could happen ever...
in the whole of your life...
well, that happened to me.
My brother killed himself over me.
I had to decide.
I made up my mind because I could have gone under...
but I wasn't going to.
damaged people are dangerous.
They know they can survive.
I'm going to Brussels this weekend for a conference.
Come with me.
I'm spending the weekend with Martyn.
You know I'll do anything.
I've shown you.
Please let it be.
Don't change it.
Morning, my dear.
You all right?
Very much so.
Are you all packed?
Raymond's out there.
You two be all right on your own?
I expect so.
You can always call Martyn...
get him to come over.
Didn't I tell you?
They're going to Paris.
I told you it was serious.
The Lutetia Hotel.
In my experience...
people only go to Paris for one thing.
I'll tell you what that is.
We don't need to know.
Are you off?
Without a kiss?
I'll see you Monday.
I'll get breakfast on the plane.
Gentlemen, it is 5:00 in the morning.
It is clear we'll get no further agreement.
Therefore, I would like to suggest...
a resumption after a short time...
To rethink our position after some much-needed sleep.
The meeting is now adjourned.
Thank God for that... 12 hours recess.
I think I'll walk.
Are you sure?
Absolutely. See Brussels at dawn.
Really. I need the exercise.
It's up to you.
See you later.
La gare, s'il vous plait, pour Paris.
Hotel Lutetia, bonjour.
Mademoiselle Barton, s'il vous plait.
Elle est avec un Monsieur Fleming.
C'est pour Mademoiselle Barton.
Turn left outside the hotel.
Take the first street on the left.
Go to the end.
I'll be by the church.
I love you.
I can't see past you.
I think you've never seen much at all.
I have to go back.
He's still asleep.
Don't follow us... please.
Hotel Lutetia, bonjour.
I would like a room for the day.
For one person?
Et une petit dejeuner...
Des oeufs de jambon...
du cafe, du pain, des croissants.
Et aussi, s'il vous plait...
une bonne bouteille de vin rouge.
Look who's here. How are you?
Brussels all right?
I was bringing Raymond in for some breakfast.
He had to meet me so early.
I can do without.
I'll do anything for you.
His name is Henry.
He slept over this weekend.
Sally's in love.
That's the last time I leave this house.
Check the mark.
Will you hand me that?
- Hold on. - This one?
There's a call for you on three.
That's the one.
I need to see you.
Oh, my God. Again?
It's not what you're thinking.
It's a different matter.
It's difficult to explain over the phone.
I'll tell you more when I see you.
I'll call you back later.
Would you sign these for me?
I brought some sandwiches.
I thought it was going to be a nice day.
I've been thinking about what we should do.
I have to leave Ingrid.
There's no doubt about that.
It's the right thing for everybody.
I can't go on...
not like this.
What happened in Paris...
The way I behaved.
I've never had feelings like this.
I have to get them into some sort of...
I know it'll be hard for Martyn. He's fond of you.
He loves me.
I know, but he's young. He'll get over it.
He's your son.
He'd hate you.
He'd hate me for a while, but...
You'd lose him. You'd lose your own son?
You'd also destroy the life you've made with Ingrid.
It's a good life.
What you say doesn't make sense.
How come you're so sure?
Because in your heart, you don't even want it.
You want us to start eating breakfast together?
I'd like that.
You'd like it if we lived in the same house...
read the papers together?
What would you gain if you left Ingrid?
I'd gain you.
You'd be gaining something you already have.
When can you see me?
Thursday at five o'clock.
I feel very optimistic about these new developments.
We set some new targets in the area of industrial waste.
These are not just talk.
These are targets which are sensible and realistic.
Are you saying that some serious commitments...
actually emerged from the Brussels talks?
Brussels was good.
It laid out a European agenda.
We have to face the fact that toxic waste...
is no respecter of national frontiers.
Problems such as acid rain, ocean pollution...
the diminishing ozone layer...
cannot be tackled by one country on its own.
There must be cooperation...
between the member states of the community.
Are you really trying to make out...
that for once Britain isn't dragging its heels?
I don't think we ever were.
It's an image we became saddled with...
but when is an image ever the truth?
That was pretty good.
Don't tell me you were watching.
I never miss a performance.
You are extraordinary.
So are you.
It's a real gift.
Being good at things.
Somehow I remember what I first saw in you...
when you were a doctor...
doing simple things well.
I do love that.
I still love that.
I was expecting you. Please come on in.
Do you know Peter Wetzlar?
This is Martyn's father.
Peter stopped by.
He lives in Paris.
What brings you to London?
What particular field?
The Han dynasty.
He hasn't changed.
He never warns you when he's going to drop by.
I didn't know until the last moment...
so I'm riding my luck, as usual.
I'll go and get your book.
Stephen's come around for this book.
It's out of print.
I won't be a moment. I put it aside.
You know Anna well?
we've been through quite a lot together.
She's still my best friend, I guess.
I liked your son.
You met him?
It was important, I think, for Anna.
How do you mean?
You know how it is.
You feel you have to bring all the bits together.
I don't think I quite know how you mean.
She's getting pretty serious with Martyn.
She loves him.
I'm sure it's a very good thing...
because he seems to know how to handle her...
to give her the freedom she really needs.
I never could.
So perhaps she'll be happy.
God knows she deserves it.
- What's the book? - Book?
You came to pick up a book.
It's just something I...
Here it is.
This is it.
I couldn't get it.
Have it for as long as you like.
I won't intrude any longer.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bust in.
Not at all.
Very nice to meet you.
Nice meeting you.
I hope we all see you sometime.
Thank you for the book.
What was that all about?
Who is that man?
I was with Peter the night Aston died.
Peter's someone I'll know forever.
Our parents were friends.
We'd had the same life.
One evening, he took me out dancing.
I was 15.
Peter brought me home in his car...
and he started to kiss me.
I didn't know Aston was watching.
Aston was watching from a window upstairs.
When I went in, he started to go mad.
"You're going to let him fuck you. They're all going to fuck you," he said.
"It's the end for us."
He came to my room.
He wanted to sleep in my bed.
All I knew was I had to get him out.
I locked the door.
I heard him outside.
He started imploring me, begging me...
saying he was sorry, would I forgive him?
I just listened.
For hours, I listened.
Then it stopped.
I went to sleep.
Next morning, I woke, and... I heard owing.
I went down the corridor.
They all told me not to go in, but I did...
and I saw Aston.
He'd cut his wrists.
I took his head in my arms.
His face had been under the water...
and the water was red.
They said we had to leave.
They took me and my mother to stay with Peter's parents.
They wanted us out of the house.
Peter was waiting.
He took me upstairs.
My nightdress was still covered with blood.
It was then...
I had to. I knew I had to.
I asked him to fuck me.
"Fuck me," I said.
It's all right.
I don't mind her being there.
I really don't mind.
It's just... I wish Martyn had asked us.
Suddenly she seems to be part of our lives, which is fine.
It's just this weekend.
It's Hartley, which Martyn knows is my favorite place on Earth...
and it's my birthday.
It makes me sound mean, which I hate.
I don't know. She brings out the worst in me.
Don't worry. It'll be fine.
This is a portrait of Ingrid's great-great-grandmother.
Was Ingrid brought up here?
There have been Lloyds here for over 200 years.
Ingrid's my only child, so it falls now to Martyn.
Martyn and his family will inherit this place.
Meanwhile, I'm by myself.
That's why these weekends are so wonderful.
I assume you'll be back many times and always be welcome.
Won't she, Ingrid?
Thank you, darling.
This is the most extraordinary place.
You're not convinced?
I was always made to come here for the holidays.
That isn't fair.
While, of course, the company was fine...
I should hope.
My childhood wasn't all wonderful.
As a matter of fact, it wasn't.
Perhaps... I don't know, perhaps it was...
Perhaps it was too perfect...
nothing was to disturb the surface of things.
Everything was fine...
It isn't healthy.
That's all I'm saying. It's not a big issue.
But it's good to have roots.
But roots aren't that great...
unless something else comes with them.
- Like what? - I don't know.
Warmth, I suppose.
It was probably my fault.
It came more from Dad, if I have to name anyone.
They make a wonderful couple, don't they?
Good night, you old devil.
You'll sleep well in this room.
It's one of my favorites.
Right, now concentrate.
Put your arm here, hand on there, and look there...
and look up.
Come on here.
Had a good walk?
I think Martyn is winning everything.
This house was full...
It was full every weekend.
There we are.
I thought Bob Marley was dead.
Of course he's dead.
Ingrid's mother loved entertaining.
Politicians, of course, and artists came, writers also.
My wife understood that.
Life's pretty empty without her.
That's why I'm so pleased...
I'm so pleased for both of you.
Am I going too far?
Not yet, but you may soon.
I doubt it.
Come along, I think we've all guessed.
I assumed that's why you brought Anna along.
Can't you see you're embarrassing Martyn and Anna?
Not at all. Far from it.
Since Grandfather has said...
I've just asked Anna to marry me...
and I'm pleased to say she said yes.
Oh, my God.
It's really marvelous.
We both think that's wonderful.
Congratulations, my dear.
Thank you. It's very sudden.
We're taken aback.
But you're pleased?
I do mean for both of you.
Congratulations... I'm sorry.
Clumsy. All right.
I was always sure you two had this in mind.
I'm pleased I've hastened the announcement.
Let's drink a toast.
Come on, children... to Martyn and Anna.
When did you ask?
When did you ask Anna?
It was a few days ago.
She accepted straight-away?
I know I've hurt you.
All that stuff at dinner last night.
I don't know what that was.
It's all right.
The funny thing is that today I feel very close to you.
Heads or tails?
And Mum... I know I'm hurting her, but...
whoever I married, it was going to be hard.
I can tell she's worried about Anna.
I think she's worried you're taking on a lot.
But you have to see that that's why I'm drawn to her.
There's a sadness... in her.
I don't know why, but it's very interesting.
I've discovered I can help her, and that's great.
It's the best feeling.
Makes you sound like a nurse.
I'm not trying to stop you.
I like Anna. I really do...
but are you sure she's really what you want?
You don't know her.
There's a whole side to her...
that's only there when we're alone.
If you could see that, then you'd feel differently.
When we're alone, she's like no one else.
Sir, I tried to find all the people you asked for.
I hope so.
- Sir, will you need me? - I need everybody.
Good morning, sir.
Do you know what I think of that?
Sir, before we start, I'd like to apologize...
This is supposed to be a final draft...
a ministry position paper...
and it's full of major factual errors.
But what really irritates me is that I'm the one...
who has to stand up in Parliament...
and if I've been wrongly briefed...
then it's me that gets it in the neck.
It's all very well for you lot. You shelter behind the woodwork.
You wander in here and say...
"Sorry, we slipped up on the ozone figures..."
but it's my job!
Has that occurred to you?
If I hadn't spotted your hall's up...
then my job would've been on the line.
Do you know that?
- Already. - Good.
That's it. I'm done.
- Good evening, sir. - Good evening.
Where's your mother?
Work, I suppose. I haven't seen her.
No Henry tonight?
Sal... I wanted a word.
You know when I saw you at Hartley the other night...
on the stairs?
I'd had to talk to Anna.
That's what I was doing.
Your mum's a bit upset.
You've probably sensed that.
I was trying to bring all the parties together.
I'm going to bed.
Oh, dear. Not a bit.
I just love it.
Would you at least choose the music for the wedding?
I suppose so.
She doesn't trust me, though.
I'm so sorry I'm late.
That's all right.
- We started without you. - Good.
Mrs. Prideaux, welcome to London.
Thank you. How do you do?
How are you?
I was just saying I am so thrilled at this occasion.
Thrilled for Anna, of course.
One way or another...
I haven't seen much of her lately...
so it always moves me so much when I do.
And one look at Martyn...
- My goodness. - I know.
I feel flattered.
Though, of course, he's not Anna's usual type.
If I may say that.
Anna's first boyfriend did set a sort of pattern...
And all the others have followed from there.
Are you talking about Peter?
I've met him. He seems very nice.
I miss him.
Mother, everything's fine.
How's the salmon?
When Peter and Anna broke up...
Peter got married to a brilliant young lawyer...
a striking-looking girl...
but it only lasted eight weeks.
I can't boast.
My own record isn't much better than that.
You've been married a few times?
And one nearly in Reno.
We went as far as the Chapel of Love...
and then I got cold feet.
Thank goodness. Otherwise, it would have been five.
Of course, it's hard for us.
I'm sure Anna has told you.
About the brother she had.
Of course, it strikes me.
It had to strike me, looking at Martyn.
He does look so like Anna's brother.
I don't know if you realized that.
Not, of course, that Aston was as handsome.
Why do you always make it worse for me?
Do you think it isn't bad enough?
Do you think I constantly need to be reminded?
I'm sorry, I'm sure.
Perhaps this is why we shouldn't meet.
It's all right.
Really, it's fine.
I think I made a bad impression.
I'm afraid your wife didn't look very pleased.
I was nervous. That was the trouble.
It was fine, really. We both enjoyed meeting you.
But I'm not nervous now.
You must realize, this is a chance for Anna.
At last, with Martyn, she has a chance.
She can make a new life.
It would be too bad if anything prevented her.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
I think you do.
I watched you throughout the meal.
You can't even look at her.
You must get out of the way.
I'm asking you.
I won't speak of this again.
The ministry, sir?
Just drive around for a while.
I need to get out.
I won't be a minute.
It's me. Don't say anything.
I don't want you to say anything.
I have to let you go.
It's the right thing to do for Martyn and for you.
We both know it's the right thing.
It's got to stop.
I am sorry.
- To the ministry now, sir? - City Road.
Do you know where I can find Martyn Fleming?
- Thank you. - I'll tell him you're here.
Why don't you have it?
Are you sure?
What brings you here?
that I haven't behaved as I should.
You know what you were saying in Hartley about... passion?
You were right.
I was distant.
I know I was.
I thought you could control life...
but it's not like that.
There are things you...
There are things you can't control.
Somehow you know that.
I came to wish you both good luck.
Are these for me?
I really appreciate this.
It's very kind. Thank you.
The piece doesn't fit, that's the problem.
We need something out... 200 words or so.
Sorry. I see.
I love all this.
I think it's wonderful. I love all this.
You're still there.
Everyone's here. We're just about to go in.
We're struggling with this redrafting.
Everybody's here... Donald, Trevor...
We've got to get it done tonight.
I'll keep your food hot.
I'll get back as quick as I can.
I just heard from Edward.
He says the word is they're going to offer you Health.
That means you'd be in the cabinet.
When did this happen?
It was rumored a couple days ago.
What will you say?
I don't know.
I really don't know anything.
Maybe it's what you always say.
Maybe I just don't want to get to the top.
Is that all?
I can't explain.
It's all right. I'll get it.
This has just come up for you.
It's been passed by security.
They've put it through the machine. It's quite safe.
I have to go out for a while.
I'll be back as soon as I can.
Beautiful wedding cakes.
- Wedding cakes. - You look at those.
You look at the banqueting brochures...
and I'll look at plum-duff.
Your mother should be choosing the caterers.
She's happy to leave it to us.
And the church.
She's had enough.
She said she's tried them all.
No one service is better than any one else.
I suppose she should know, if anyone.
But you know, Stephen and I know St. Anselms.
The groom's father. Good evening.
We were just discussing the wedding.
We're not having a white wedding...
as I've already moved in with Anna.
Come on. You said we'd go through the guest list.
I will as long as I can weed it out.
It's actually quite fun.
Do you think I would have married Martyn...
if I couldn't be with you?
We've done everything we can.
As soon as possible.
Couldn't be too soon for us.
Everything will be fine tomorrow.
It's Martyn. Can I speak to Anna?
I'm afraid she's left.
Excuse me, please.
Miss Barton was to marry your son?
You were here in the flat?
Your son didn't know...
He didn't know of your relationship?
You were careful?
We were careful.
Where did Miss Barton go?
Do you know why she left?
Do you have any comment to make at this time?
Have you got a statement for us, please, sir?
Stay right behind the line of the gate, please.
There are people living here.
How are you feeling now?
What does your wife think, sir?
What have you done?
The pain was unbearable.
I was beating myself.
The owner of the flat called at the mews...
to give Anna instructions on how to work the boiler.
It just happened that Martyn was there.
He'd never heard of the flat.
Never heard of it.
He took the address.
It was chance.
Why didn't you kill yourself?
You should have killed yourself when it began.
Didn't you know?
You thought you could go on?
Every day into the future?
Go on betraying us both every day?
You are not an evil man.
You should have killed yourself when you first realized...
and then I would have been able to mourn.
It would have been hard, but I would have buried you.
And I would have wept.
Want pills. I want him back!
I want my son back!
I want Martyn!
Give me my son!
Martyn is dead. Your son is dead.
Give his death to me. Give it to me.
Give me his death.
Give it to me.
It's true, isn't it?
What a pity we ever met.
I think for everyone there's just one person.
it was Martyn.
For you, Anna.
Were you ever in love with me...
Not enough for you?
For a moment there, I thought of making love to you.
Time. Grand healer, time.
Time, not a day and a night.
Come through, gentlemen.
Gentlemen, in order to protect my family and my colleagues...
I am this morning tendering my resignation.
I tried to warn you. I did try to warn you.
Do you know where she's gone?
She came here last night.
She wanted to stay with me.
I wonder, did she leave a message?
I do need to know where she's gone.
I think you know.
You must remember.
She told you the stow of what happened last time.
She'll go back to Peter.
You must know that.
I must go.
I am sorry.
Good-bye. We shan't meet again.
She's here, isn't she?
It takes a remarkably short time to withdraw from the world.
until I arrived at a life of my own.
What really makes us is beyond grasping.
It's way beyond knowing.
We give in to love...
because it gives us some sense of what is unknowable.
Nothing else matters, not at the end.
I saw her once more only.
I saw her by accident at an airport, changing planes.
She didn't see me.
She was with Peter.
She was holding a child.
She was no different from anyone else.