Hope (2019) - full transcript

The relationship between artist-partners Tomas and Anja is put to the test after Anja gets a life-threatening diagnosis.

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This is my story
as I remember it

HOPE

Thank you.

-Bye.
-Goodbye.

Hi!

-We're making a gingerbread castle!
-I can tell.

-Look at this.
-Oops.

-Hello?
-Hello!

Hi.

Hi, dear.

-Hi.
-Good to see you.



Wow! Look at this!

Hi!
How's it gone here?

-Henrik and Ada took care of us.
-What about me?

Haven't I taken care of you?
And made dinner?

-Hi.
-Yes, twice in four weeks.

If you're that ungrateful, I don't mind.
I'm leaving.

-I'm going out with some friends.
-Okay. Bye. See you.

Where's Dad?

-He's working late.
-As usual.

Bye!

Will you help decorate the tree tomorrow?

-When are we going to buy the tree?
-Tomorrow.

How are you doing?

Okay.



-Okay?
-Yes.

Her heart is broken.

-I heard her tell Dad.
-Were you spying again?

How else am I supposed
to find out anything?

Hey...

What's going on here?

But hey...

We agreed that you wouldn't work evenings.
I never do when you're away.

Take it easy. Everything went fine.

I took care of it my way.

Using the older kids as babysitters?

Seen any reviews?

Yes, there have been a couple.

-And?
-They were pretty short. But favorable.

Not like in theatre,
where they're neither?

Could you turn off the light?

-You want me to go to the study?
-Not really.

I can't seem to get rid of this headache.

It's just as bad in the morning
as when I go to bed at night.

Right, lousy hotel beds.

And stress.

The day before Christmas Eve

I got these after an optical checkup.

-Right, reading glasses?
-Yes.

Custom-made prism lenses.

-But I still can't read. I just get dizzy.
-I see.

I want you to take an MRI scan.

-When?
-Now. Before they close for Christmas.

I read a review of
your latest performance.

You did? Where?

In a newspaper in the living room.
A foreign newspaper.

That was just a write-up, Dad.
Not a review.

Write-up or review,

it's still your first production abroad.

It's a huge deal. Really.

Was Tomas there?

-Was Tomas there?
-He stayed home to look after the kids.

Yes, I understand. But...

-It's good to be here.
-Just a moment, Dad. Hello?

I'm coming.

It's me.
How quickly can you get to our physician?

Don't ask. Come as soon as you can.

-Hi.
-Hi, Tomas.

I'm afraid I have bad news.
Anja's diagnosis,

her lung cancer operation a year ago,
evolved the way I feared.

The MRI images reveal a major tumor
surrounded by a large amount of fluid.

An edema.

It's most likely a secondary tumor,
a metastatic growth.

It's not unusual for lung cancer
to spread to the brain like that.

It's incurable.

No words can express how sorry I am.

Feels like I've known it for ages.

You often have some premonition.

Before you came, I spoke to the oncologist
on call at the Cancer Center at Ullevål.

She's waiting for you
with more information.

Where did you park?

I don't know.

How long have you felt something
was wrong without saying anything?

I don't know.

A couple of months, maybe.

Why didn't the doctors realize
something was wrong?

-Why didn't they say anything?
-You never came to the control checkups.

You didn't want me to come.

Said you could handle it yourself.

-Was it the kids?
-I don't know. I can't read.

You can't read?

So you have a cohabitant, three children
and three stepchildren?

Could you say anything about my prognosis?

Don't you want to sit?

It's too early for any prognosis.

The specialists are on vacation
for the next four days.

But the tumor might be in a favorable
location in terms of surgery.

We don't know if it's a primary tumor,
or if it spread from your lungs.

But how much time do I have
if it's spread?

I can't give you an answer.

Initially you'll receive medication.
The edema, the fluid around the tumor,

is so large that you'll need high doses
of steroids to avoid brain death.

The medication, Medrol, will relieve
the swelling and the pressure.

But if your headache, nausea
or visual impairment increases,

you'll have to be admitted.

I want to stay home.
I was in hospital last Christmas.

-Don't want my kids to hate the holidays.
-I understand.

But if it gets too difficult,
you need to call us.

I don't advise you
to read about the side effects.

Just remember that some people experience
a kind of high with lots of energy.

While others get irritable and impatient.
It varies from person to person.

Excuse me.

Julie.

Hi.

We're just shopping.

Could you make sure Grandpa
gets something to eat? Yes.

And could you empty the laundry
and put in a new load?

Yes. Okay. Thanks. See you.

-What is it?
-Nothing.

Excuse me? I recommend that you
take the first dose right away.

And here's your medication.

-What do we tell the kids?
-Nothing.

Not until we have some answers,
know more about what to expect.

What about your father?

-Mom? Mom?
-Yes?

-Did you find it?
-Yes.

-Here.
-Thank you.

Alright? Ready?

Can you reach it?

There!

Oops!

-Toddy.
-Great!

-I'll have one.
-Nice!

-No. Not for you, young lady.
-I'm sixteen.

-Exactly. Here you go.
-Fine.

How old is that Belgian girl who's coming?

She's a little older than you.
Maybe eleven. Isn't that exciting?

I've invited a Belgian producer
and his daughter.

Have you lost your mind?

-We always have an open door at Christmas.
-You could have asked.

You were away.

-Extra toddy for the kitchen assistant?
-Thank you.

Don't you understand? I'm not ready
to meet new people right now.

Okay.

When I'm gone...

What?

When I'm gone,
I want you to find someone new.

I mean it.

I don't think the kids
will make it with you alone.

Just promise me you'll find someone.

Christmas Eve

-Haven't you slept at all?
-No. I'm too nauseous.

My entire body's tingling.
It's awful.

-Do you want to call the hospital?
-What? No.

I thought I'd buy those last presents
and get some groceries. You should rest.

I want us to have a real Christmas.
I'm not tired.

Has everyone tidied their rooms?

Have you tidied up?

I hate it!
Can you please pull yourself together?

-You never do any housework!
-Erlend and I have to do everything!

-Can you stop that and help me instead?
-He never does his share!

-Come on, you guys. It's Christmas Eve.
-Jesus!

Isak doesn't do anything, Mom!
He's turning into a spoiled brat.

He isn't three anymore. He's nine.

I'm ten.

Okay, I'll try to shape up.
Now could you please tidy your rooms?

God, I can't wait to move out.

Mom...

Mom!

Promise me you'll never start smoking.
I won't let you. Promise me.

-Okay? Don't lie to me!
-I don't. You don't get it.

Stop lying!

I was a damn fool.
You don't have to be.

You're a godsend, Isak.

Did you know that?

-How many wine glasses do you need?
-For everyone. Nine.

-Aren't those Belgians coming after all?
-No.

-They aren't coming?
-Where are they going?

-To Dag and Eline, I think.
-Who's that?

-The theater manager.
-I see.

-But they don't have kids.
-And they're dull as hell.

Yes, why couldn't they come to us?

Well, I don't know.

Maybe...

Maybe it's too much for them.
Many new faces.

Your dad doesn't know them
that well either.

Did you say they couldn't come?

That's really mean.

Mom?

Mom?

Anja!

Are you there?

May I come in?

Please?

I can't keep it a secret.

You don't have to love me just because I'm
dying. But I need to know you'll help me.

We're useless at sticking together.

We always have been.

We couldn't even stick together
when times were good.

I don't want the kids to remember us
like this when I'm gone.

Like I remember my parents,
and you remember yours.

I want to give them
something else to believe in.

I can't do it on my own.
You have to help me.

-Get out!
-We just need a breather.

-Get out of the couch, I said!
-Do we have to?

Yes, Julie. For once in your life.

My god, we've never been to church
on Christmas Eve before. What about Simon?

-He's an atheist. You can't force him.
-Atheist or not.

Get out if you want dinner later.

-Grandpa's waiting.
-Okay.

Am I speaking with the oncologist on duty?
Yes, I'm a patient.

Anja Richter.

I'm afraid.
My head feels like it's about to explode.

No, I've never had anxiety like this.

I'm nauseous absolutely all the time.

I've got relentless stomach cramps.

And I can't sleep at all.

No, I don't want to go to hospital.

But I don't know how long
I can go on pretending.

Is there anyone there in the meantime
who can help me break it to the children?

Yes?

-How do you feel?
-Blind.

-You look nice.
-Thanks.

No, no, no. Put it away.

Wait. Take the starters.
It'll be ready in a moment.

I just need a tiny piece of ham.
It's just decor, right?

-Dad?
-Grandpa?

-So tell me, how was church?
-The sermon was ridiculous.

So farfetched it was almost funny.

-I just recruited an atheist! Any others?
-Poor preacher. She was so nervous.

No wonder, with that bowl haircut.

-I don't think it'll become a tradition.
-Probably not.

Here's to Christmas... and Grandpa!

Cheers!

Merry Christmas!

And here's to Anja.

Back in great shape. Cheers.

-Cheers!
-Cheers, Mom!

-We want everyone in the picture.
-Make room for Grandpa.

-Come here.
-Mom will sit there. Just move over there.

-Sit down as well, Tomas.
-No.

You sit in the middle.
I'll take care of it.

Sit in the middle.

Looks great. Let me see...

-A, F, E...
-May I?

-You sure are bossy, Martin.
-True enough.

Sit next to Anja, okay?

Everyone ready?

Five, four, two, three!

One!

Smile.

Well, there's one last present. No card.

It's for Mom.

-Can I open it?
-Sure.

"India"?

It says you're getting

a trip to India.

-From Dad.
-Wow.

-Haven't you always wanted to go there?
-Yes.

-Can I come with you? As your Sherpa?
-Nice move, Erlend.

So it'll be you and Mom?

Are you going together, or...?

Well, that's up to her.

What's a Sherpa?

It's like a tour guide.

Are you coming?

Dad? My turn.

No, no, no!

You're nuts! No!

-Come on, Mom!
-Mom, come!

-No, Mom!
-No!

I'll throw up!

-Hey, come on, Grandpa!
-Nope.

Here.

Do you have everything you need?

-Was your evening as good as mine?
-It was a lovely Christmas Eve.

-But...
-Goodnight, Dad.

Are the two of you struggling?

I do wish that you and Tomas

were happier together.

We do what we like.
What we do best. We work.

At least I try to work.

I guess we're as happy as we deserve.

Well, Anja...

You choose the life you get
to a great degree.

I'll never be able to go to India.

You don't know that yet.

I can't even read about India.

I can read for you.

I had this great-aunt.

She used to tell her husband:

"When one of us dies,
I'm going to travel the world!"

Have you never imagined
I could die before you?

Of course I have.

Christmas Day

Yes, I'm excited.
It'll be fun.

No, me first. It's my turn!

Isak! Come in! Ready to party?

Hi, Erlend. Hi, Leif Martin.

We followed the sound of Christmas carols.

Thanks. Hi.

-Survived Christmas?
-Yes. Did you?

I'm okay, but Arthur and Christmas...

I love Christmas.

You can hang it there.
Congratulations on the great reviews!

We won't stay if it's too much for you.

If it gets tough,
we'll stick together.

-Okay. Go on in. I need to take my Medrol.
-Are you sure?

Yes, I won't be long.

They're dying of thirst.

Did you see the doctor?

-Should I be worried? Everything okay?
-Yes.

That's great. You see? Hey...

Your father is so proud of you.

Really. But you haven't told him
anything about the show.

Not Tomas either. I told him everything.
About the festival invitations.

The grant for the new project.
They're so proud of you, both of them.

Why haven't you told them? Huh?

Thanks.

-Come on. Vera's waiting.
-I'm coming.

-Anja!
-Hi.

Oh gosh. What is it about me
that turns Pollock on?

You're in heat.

You're embarrassing me.
Stop it!

-How was Amsterdam?
-Great.

Let's go outside. Come.

Oh my god!

If only that mutt Pollock
had been human,

there'd be hope for me too.

I can't find anyone who's single.

They're either married, gay or minors.

Enough about me.
Tell me about Amsterdam.

It's spread.

To the brain. It's incurable.

My doctor says I should pray
for a miracle. No one survives.

We'll know more in a couple of days.

-Can't they do anything?
-No.

You sure?

Pretty much.

They just don't dare say so until all
the specialists have examined the images.

Jesus Christ.

It's so unfair.

If it had only... been me.

Or Arthur or Tomas.

I don't have kids.

You've been alone with everything.
Tomas, he...

-The kids need you more than him.
-Don't say that.

-Just when it's your turn to...
-Stop it, Vera.

What can I do?

For you? For all of you?

I don't know.

I don't even know how to tell the kids.

Only you and Tomas know.

What does he say?
How's he taking it?

I don't know.

I haven't asked.

I thought it was supposed to be a secret?

Does Arthur know as well?

No.

It isn't always easy to help you, Anja.

Anja...

Anja.

Anja! Anja!

Anja!

There.

Second day of Christmas

-Thanks for now.
-Let me take your suitcase.

I can cope.

I'm no use if I can't even
carry my own suitcase.

No.

-Thanks. I'm going to the airport express.
-I'll get the door for you.

-Have a nice trip!
-Thank you.

What are you doing?

-Are the boys asleep?
-Yes, in front of a bad Christmas movie.

You can go to bed.

I'll stay up until Julie comes home.

No, I can't sleep anyway. I can stay up.

Oh, I hate Medrol!

I feel so high.
Like I'll never come back down.

-It's so weird.
-What is?

Before, if I tried to describe my life...

My memories were never
in the right order, like...

They were always tied to places I'd lived,
boyfriends I'd had, dance projects,

journeys, childbirths, deaths.

But I never remembered
what the years were.

But now, when I see the end...

My life's laid out in chronological order.

Almost like...

A PowerPoint presentation
with a graphic timeline.

Where the middle of my life is like...

It looks like this thick gray graph

of postpartum apathy.

So how do I feature in the graphics?

-Like a dot?
-No.

Like many dots.

Coming and going on the timeline.

Right. Uplifting.

Julie? Hi.

Hi.

Are you okay?

Sure.

What are you doing here?

Hi. Why are you home so early?
Wasn't it any fun?

Oh, sure.
It was fun.

I really have to pee.

-It's not the first time.
-Oh, hush.

She's adventurous.

Lusts for life. Like you.

She's got you under her thumb.

Yes.

Promise me you'll take good care of her.

I will.

December 27

I'll be there as soon as I can. Okay, bye.

-Yes?
-The images from Aleris.

Thank you. The team
will review them tomorrow morning.

We need some advice about what to tell
the children. We need to prepare them.

Yes, it says so in your medical record.
It's not a good time.

The specialist nurse
won't be back until January.

Titles aren't that important.

Yes? I'm on my way. I see.
Like I said, I'm sorry.

-Is there no one here with experience?
-Not during the holidays.

Don't people die during the holidays?
Do you ask them to wait?

I'm sure you see the challenge,
with so many children involved.

Not getting any certainty, no help.
Someone must be qualified.

-Not like that. We're specialized.
-But you are human?

Don't you have any experience
with next of kin?

I realize this is difficult.
We've made out a prescription

for sleeping pills and a sedative.

It'll help you relax. Okay? I'm sorry.

Hi. Welcome to Hospice Lovisenberg.
My name is Bente, I'm a nurse.

-Hi.
-Hi. Welcome. Let's go in there.

Well, my advice is to not shield
the children from the truth.

But try to convey it to them according to
their age and maturity.

Your children won't be as vulnerable
as the children you have together.

Because they'll still have a mother.

Anja has taken responsibility for
my three oldest children too.

She's a key part of their lives, it's...

Tomas. That's not how it works.
The youngest kids will lose their mother.

They're all I think about
and care about protecting right now.

You always expected me to feel and act
the same way to your kids as to our kids.

Not just treat them equally,
but feel equally about all of them.

I always thought it was the natural thing,
that I was unnatural and heartless.

It's never been clearer to me
how misguided I was.

I've always loved my own more.

It's like we're at work together.
In a whole new field.

-This doesn't look like a hospital.
-That's what you said last Christmas.

I often say you should give children
10 % more hope than you have yourself.

Not matter what age, you should never
take their hope away.

-But I haven't been given any hope.
-We don't know that for sure.

They say it's probably a metastatic tumor.

It's incurable,
but they hope it's operable.

Okay. Good.

And they have highly competent
neurosurgeons at Ullevål.

And all statistics
should be read with caution.

Meaning?

A patient with lung cancer
and brain metastasis

has little chance of survival
in statistical terms.

But in my three decades in the field,
I've seen patients

who have survived brain metastases.

They're just too few to show up
in the cancer statistics.

How many?

I can count them on one hand.

Can I really just call him at home?

Wouldn't I be jumping in line?

This isn't a good time
to be politically correct.

-Do you want me to call him?
-No.

That wouldn't be right.

I've made a few calls, asked around.

He's said to be the best neurosurgeon,
not just at Ullevål, but in Norway.

-Okay, I'll do it. But I want to be alone.
-Okay.

I'll wait outside.

Can I borrow your eyes first?

Good luck.

Hi.

You don't know who I am.
My name is Anja Richter.

Am I interrupting anything?

Right. Okay.

I'm a patient at Ullevål
in a difficult situation.

He was at a Christmas party, but
will perform the surgery if it's possible.

I mean it. That's enough.

There. Stay down.

They're waiting for us.

Dad, Mom's tired of us
always being late, and...

Everyone has to be here.
Just tell her

that it's a family crisis.

-You're breaking up?
-No.

No, Ada. We're not breaking up.

-Who should start?
-I'll do it.

Okay.

Good.

Gather around the couch.

Right, Anja...

-Are we having a family council?
-Sort of.

I've been informed that I have
a tumor in my brain.

It's most likely spread from my lungs.

The good news is that the tumor is seated
where they think it might be operable.

Well, they say it's serious, but...

We still don't know what
the outcome will be.

We'll find out more
at the hospital tomorrow.

They're going to operate on your head?

Inside your brain?

Yes, maybe.

The good news is that if they do operate,
I'll have the best surgeon in the country.

But...

Last Christmas you told us
that everything would be okay.

Everyone thought so.
The doctors as well.

But despite that, this happened.

We spoke to a doctor today
who knew of several similar cases

that had gone well.

-Were there many?
-Quite a few.

The milk.

-Bye.
-Goodbye.

Bye.

I'm sorry.

Sorry for what?

Sorry for being so mean.

You have nothing to apologize for.

-I do.
-No.

Sure?

Absolutely sure.

-I'll never forgive myself.
-For what?

-For being a smoker.
-Don't say that.

No one knows
that that's the reason.

-But I know.
-Stop torturing yourself.

What are you taking?

Vival and Imovane...

December 28

I brought some extra clothes just in case.

And some proper coffee.
I don't really like that instant stuff.

-Where are the kids?
-They're still sleeping.

-Nothing eases the nausea except food.
-It's the medication, steroids.

-The same stuff they give to anorectics.
-How do you know?

Good morning.

Hi.

Good morning.

Good morning.

We're going to the hospital.
Vera will stay here with you.

Hi. Good morning.

Knut Åsdam?

Hi. I'm Dr. Thea Falkentorp.
Please come with me.

I realize that you're anxious,
so I'll get straight to the point.

The specialists have held a meeting
and studied your MRI images.

We've given your brain surgery top
priority and scheduled it on 2 January.

In five days.

I understand you've contacted
a surgeon here at the hospital,

and that he's agreed
to perform the surgery.

The images also show that the tumor

is a metastasis from the lungs.

That makes it incurable.

So how much time do I have left?

It's very hard to determine.
Cancer is like peeling an onion.

-An onion?
-Yes.

The picture is complicated.
It depends on the outcome of the surgery.

The result of the CAT scan
of your lungs today

will reveal whether it's spread
to other organs in the body.

They'll determine your treatment
moving forward.

Could you be more specific?
This isn't just about me.

I need to...

I need to know the worst possible outcome
to find out how to prepare the children.

Anja...

All cancer patients are different.

There are some who refuse to face reality.
It's too exhausting.

Fine, but I want to know.
How much time do I have left?

In the worst case,
I'd say three months.

But we hope the operation
will give you more than that.

Is the operation itself dangerous?

All operations involve a certain risk,
brain surgery in particular.

The surgeon is more qualified
to answer that question.

Can you get married before the surgery?

Married? Well, yes.

We do have a hospital chaplain
who can perform weddings.

Normally, with all the paperwork,
I'm not sure it would be possible.

But there's room for exceptions.

Was that a proposal?

I don't understand why
you want to do it now.

I thought you wanted to.

Years ago, sure.
But why now?

It just feels...

Like signing a death warrant.

Otherwise we could have waited
until after the operation.

It just feels right.
It's the only thing that feels right.

If we're going to get married...

We both have to love each other.

The dentist.

Hello?

Right.

No, I don't need an appointment.
My teeth don't matter.

I have terminal cancer.

You can just delete me from your list.

Breathe in.

Hold your breath.

Breathe normally.

-Can you breathe?
-It's like a burning claw around my chest.

Try to breathe calmly and deeply.

Breathe with your belly.

Are you more relaxed now?
Breathe with your belly.

It'll be fine. You can do it.
You'll get the answers you need.

We'll roll you in and start.

I don't know.

I don't know what's the medication, what's
her fear of dying, and what's just Anja.

She's so volatile and intense.

As if she didn't have enough energy
to begin with. I don't know.

Yes, she's here now. I have to go.

I will. Bye.

How did it go?

Not too good?

Who was that?

I'm calling friends and family.
Like we agreed.

That was Frans.

What about Dad?

He's the only one
I think you have to call yourself.

I can't do it.

Okay.

What are people saying?

Well, that they don't know what to say.

They feel sorry for you and the kids.

Frans told me to say he's thinking of you.

-Was that all he had to say?
-No.

He said he's sorry for me too,
having to take care of all the kids alone.

It wasn't a problem.

I managed to postpone
the production indefinitely.

Hey...

I need to know.
Have you been faithful?

I'd like to know if there
have been others while we have...

It wouldn't be a big deal,
so don't be afraid to tell me.

Think of it as my last wish.
A truthful exchange.

-Is this a good idea?
-Does it have to be?

I had a flirt. A fling.

Completely idiotic and meaningless.

Quickly done and quickly forgotten.
Many years ago.

During a job in Germany.

I remember.

Your fling sent you a present, right?

The ugliest leather jacket ever.

Stone-washed.

She'd designed it herself.

I didn't know you knew.

The funny thing was,
I wasn't jealous at all.

I was immersed in Julie, my baby.

But what really drove me crazy
with jealously,

was your work and your endless
need for acknowledgement.

It's been my greatest rival.

I thought it was unfair you got to work
so much, kept producing all the time.

But it's no longer important.

Any more?

-Anything else to confess?
-No.

Aren't you curious about me?

I'm not sure I want to know.

You can relax.

I've been so faithful it's ridiculous.

All I've kissed is our kids' necks.

But I've seen something
much more dangerous.

I fell truly in love.

If I'd followed my heart,
I wouldn't have been here now.

Do you regret it?

No.

He wouldn't have been worth it.

Should we get home to the kids?

Yes.

One more thing.

I take back what I said
about you finding someone else.

Hello!

Hi. Sorry we're late.

-Help yourselves to some pasta.
-It was delicious.

-Really.
-Thanks.

How did it go?

We're getting married.

What happened?

Anja is going to have the tumor
removed on 2 January.

We have to do it before that.

When?

-New Year's Eve.
-Right.

In three days?

But that's your birthday, Mom.

So it's your birthday, wedding
and New Year's Eve all in one?

-That'll be great.
-But...

Where will you get married?

We have a hospital chaplain.

But we're not sure whether we can find
a church on such short notice.

-Do you have to get married in church?
-Either that, or the hospital chapel.

It has to be done by a hospital chaplain
to cut through the red tape.

We're not getting married in a hospital.

-No.
-But we're going to have a party?

Of course we'll have a party.

-I don't think we'll be that many.
-Just your hundred closest friends.

I know how to party.

But I'm not a great organizer,
so we'll need help.

December 29

Hi.

-You didn't get any sleep.
-No.

Tomas!

We're meeting a researcher
at the Radium Hospital.

He's only given us 20 min.
Tomas has googled treatments in the US.

We need to know what
the researcher thinks. Tomas!

He's so slow it drives me crazy.

Are you sure this isn't too much for you?
I mean...

Do you have to get married now?
Just before the operation?

When should I otherwise do it?

What do you think? With my wedding
and birthday on the same day,

you'll only have to remember me
once a year.

And you'll get fireworks too.

We have to leave.

We're fifteen minutes early.

I have to admit that you're
an interesting case, with complex issues.

Whether and how to treat someone
with your diagnosis.

Most lung cancer patients these days
are truck drivers.

Except for the odd trial lawyer, right?

Let's sit down over there.
It's too far to go back to my office.

As I'm sure you already know,
there's no cure in your case.

All we know for sure is that
you will die from this cancer.

My advice is not to waste time
searching for miracle cures abroad.

They don't exist. Or alternative treatment
with no proven effect.

Or brutal life-extending treatment
that will reduce the quality

of the life you have left.

I think all my international
colleagues would agree.

What would you have done if it were you?

I guess it's easy to say
when you're not in this situation.

I don't think I'd put up a fight.
I'd try to enjoy life,

with wine, good food.

Be with my family. The children,
the four weeks or so that are left.

Instead of four months alone in painful
life-extending treatment at a US hospital.

That's what I'd do.

That was a pretty clear message.

No use searching for a miracle cure.

You didn't have to ask that fool
what he would've done.

-You wanted to know everything.
-You're not dying. You don't get to ask.

This one's available.

We've actually proposed
to each other several times.

But Tomas was still married
the first time. Then he got separated.

We wanted to have children.
Then we moved.

And had more children.

And work, lots of work.
And sick parents.

Then there was a time when
we both wanted to get married.

But Tomas wanted a big wedding,
and I wanted a small one.

So we never managed to agree. Or rather,
we did set a date many years ago.

Then Tomas got a job on some project.

Well, I can't remember.

There's always been something.
Someone's needs always got in the way.

Before everything turned sour, and we
no longer knew if we wanted each other.

But we decided to try a little longer.
That was last Christmas. Then I fell ill.

Then I recovered, then relapsed.
And here we are.

-Could we get married in church?
-On New Year's Eve? That won't be easy.

Because I don't think Anja
wants to get married in a hospital.

Maybe we could find a chapel?

We won't be that many.
Maybe thirty people.

I'll try to pull some strings.
But I can't promise anything.

I'll get back to you when I know more.

-I'll call you as soon as I can.
-Thank you.

How crazy was that? He didn't ask
one single question about who we are.

Maybe he didn't get the chance.

He doesn't need to know all the details of
our lives to perform a wedding ceremony.

-Details?
-Maybe it doesn't matter.

I think you describe us in a shabby way.

You paint our life like a complete grind.
That's not how I remember it.

Then how do you remember it?

I don't know what you see, Tomas.
Give me some new images.

-Don't do this to us.
-We haven't lived the same life.

Life's not... It's not perfect.

All the times you talked about leaving.
But I never wanted to leave you.

It's not easy being where you are now.

But right now you're just ruthless.

December 30

-Pancake?
-Yes please.

-That's your third one.
-No, it's my second.

-Are you sure?
-I had one, then this one.

Relax, I'll make some more.

Vera? Would you be
my maid of honor, with Arthur?

I'd love to.

But what do I have to do?

Walk behind you and hold your veil?

I wouldn't know.

But you'll wear a white dress?

Good.

This is what it looks like,
the key to the house of God.

What do you think?

It's freezing cold in here.

Too big. Lacks soul.

It's all that's on offer.

I'd rather get married outside
in the cemetery.

It's simpler than it looks on the hanger.
It's beautiful. You have to try it on.

You can try it.

There's a mirror here.
You can step up on this box and see.

Are you feeling sick?

Yes.

Maybe you should take a Vival?

I left them at home.

-Anja? What are you doing here?
-Hi.

Hi.

Hi.
I got your message.

-I'm all yours tomorrow.
-Are you home already?

I just have to fetch something.
Tomas is waiting in the car. Hi, Frans.

I can't even imagine what it's like
to be you right now.

-Hi, boys. I just have to fetch something.
-Don't peek into my room.

It's a secret!

Mom? What are you doing at home?

I just had to take care of something
before we go to the hospital.

-Why aren't you out there with the others?
-They're fussing about.

Like it's a perfectly ordinary wedding.

But you're my mom.

I have to run, Julie.
We'll be getting the results.

Can't I come with you?

I'm afraid not.

Hi.

Anja...

Your CT scans are clean.
No metastases in your lungs.

Anja?

Let's see. I think...

Take hold of her.
Come over here.

Take a deep breath. Okay?
Take my hand. Breathe.

The surgeon was supposed to tell you,
but I just couldn't wait.

Yes.

No, no.

He's older than me,
but I'm the one who's ill.

We're getting married.

Hey, I no longer want to know
how much time they think I have left.

So I'm not going to ask.

You can sit here.
There's room for you on the bench.

Sorry I called you at home
during the holidays.

Don't worry about that. It's not hard
to understand in your situation. Alright.

I assume you aren't well,
but how is your headache now?

Is it better or worse than before?

-It's better.
-Good.

What I'm going to do now, is explain
what'll happen during the operation.

So you won't have to speculate.
So you'll both know.

Here are the MRI images from December 23.

And this is where
the metastasis is located.

It's to the right in the image, but it's
in the back of your left hemisphere.

And... May I touch you?

We'll enter through a 20 cm incision
in the back of your head,

up to about here,
to remove the metastasis.

The grayish, dark area around here,
that's the edema, the fluid.

It should be substantially smaller now
as a result of the Medrol treatment.

If the operation is a success, the results
of the CAT scan of your lungs

might give us a reason
to perform a PET scan

to see if it's spread to
any other areas in your body.

But it all depends on the operation.

May I ask a question?

Yes.

What's the risk involved in the surgery
besides the metastasis itself?

At worst, the operation
may damage the visual cortex

and your peripheral vision permanently.
You won't be able to drive.

I don't need to. But I don't want to be
a zombie bride. I must sleep.

I want to be myself. All I want now
is to sleep one whole night through!

Can I please get off the Medrol?

You can't go to zero, but if you halve
the Medrol dose, you'll sleep better.

-Thank you.
-The reduction may lead to depression.

So make sure she doesn't start
talking nonsense before the operation.

-"Nonsense"?
-It probably won't happen.

But high doses can trigger a psychosis.
Based on what I see and hear now,

she should halve her dose immediately.

This was my mom's wedding dress.

I've kept it.

Thanks, Vera, but no.

I want to wear my own dress.
The dark green one.

It's too somber.

No.

It's dark, not black like in a funeral.

Vera...

I'm sorry.

You're not the one who's
supposed to comfort me.

Did you halve your dose of Medrol?

-And took a sleeping pill?
-Yes.

You need to sleep now.

You need to sleep
for tomorrow to be a good day.

New Year's Eve

Hurray, hurray, hurray!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday, Mom.

What would you like, Anja?
French toast, yoghurt?

I'm not that hungry, but thanks.

But you do want
a cup of Vera's fancy coffee?

Thank you.

Happy birthday.

You slept the whole night through.
Like a log.

-Really?
-You look rested.

My batteries are dead.

Anja, I have to leave now.

Arthur will pick you up here in two hours.

Where's Mom going?

-We've got secret plans for Mom.
-I hate secrets.

I can imagine.

It won't be a white dress, Julie. I tried
to get one, but it didn't work out.

It's not that important.

It's not.

-Are you disappointed?
-Aren't you?

No.

Maybe it's not that kind of wedding.

I'm not saying it's a shotgun wedding.

Just...

-Are you nervous?
-Anja? Phone call.

-Is it Arthur?
-No, unknown number.

Hello?

I don't think we've spoken earlier.

Maybe you should speak
to Tomas yourself? Tomas!

I see.

Thank you, but that's enough. I've already
agreed a date with the operating surgeon.

This is about my life, not yours.

Do you have some sort of agreement
with a crazy surgeon called Ulseth?

He says you agreed
he'd perform the operation.

We spoke informally via phone
while I was doing research.

-It was before I knew it was operable.
-He chewed me out for jumping in line.

Said the timing didn't matter
because there's no hope.

My god, how can he say that?

Anja, I haven't agreed anything
with that humiliated surgeon.

I've got the jitters.

Vera and I know nothing about weddings.

-You're the only one with any experience.
-It's been a while.

I was four years old
the last time Tomas got married.

-Shall we go?
-Yes.

Google says the groom shouldn't see
the bride until she comes up the aisle.

We'll take care of her.

-You take care of yourself.
-Thanks.

Have you thought about how you want it?

You really have wonderful hair.

Hi.
I finally found something white for you.

Or rather for Julie.

The shop wasn't really open. Look!

-Isn't it beautiful?
-Very. Thanks.

Tomas is downstairs with Frans, who wants
to say hi. Didn't know he was best man.

-Are they here now?
-Yes.

Yes. Tomas...
He wanted a haircut.

All the other hairdressers are closed,
so I got an appointment for both of you.

-It's on the house.
-Thank you.

Hi. How's the bride doing?

Anja...

Didn't you hear what Arthur said? You're
supposed to leave me alone until church.

Can't you see that all this is too late,
this whole ridiculous setup?

Did it take a death sentence for you
to forget about yourself,

and suddenly do everything right?

Now that it's all over anyway?

How can I walk down the aisle
without thinking it's my own funeral?

I've been such a coward.
I should've left you ages ago.

But I've been too exhausted.

I've been eaten alive
by you and the kids.

And now I'm stuck here,
feeling like an ungrateful fool.

Unable to accept anything from you.

You don't want to?

Anja...

Yes.

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God
our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Anja and Tomas. You have come here
to enter into matrimony.

We have gathered to celebrate with...

...to have and to hold, for better,
for worse, for richer, for poorer,

until death do you part?

I do.

Thank you.
Thank you so much, everyone.

Shit!

Hi, Isak.

About twenty years ago,
I saw two people fall in love.

Something both those involved denied.

But I was convinced
they were having an affair.

Though I was also certain
it would soon blow over.

I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Their love seemed impossible.
And I...

I seem to remember that you, Anja...

You were furious that
you'd fallen in love with Tomas.

It didn't suit your plans at all.

But it's never been more evident
that you're meant for each other.

No, what the...?

Darn it. Right.

Let's take it from the top.

This is my gift to you.

You can start it now.

My ruminations and sad songs are gone

They never helped me get nothing done

All the good will and love in the world

Is what it takes for my little girl

Should I just cry out? Would it help?

When I close my eyes, I see myself

In acrobatic, euphoric high

Heading to see my

Cutie pie

You'll never miss the good old lies

We're gonna kiss till Jesus cries

You're afraid that it's too far to go

How fast I'll run, you'll never know

If you would give me right of way

I'd grant you access every day

And I can smile
Beat up myself

I've got theatrics

If nothing else

When you bring me all of you

Unbearable, for still

My heart is split in two

Romance makes me ill

-I don't know what to say.
-What about "Happy New Year"?

I have to say it. I hope for the best.
But I'll be here if I'm needed.

Ready to take care of the kids.

I shouldn't have said that.
But I can't stop thinking about it.

Thank you, Vera,
but the kids have a father.

Julie?

I didn't know you existed.

I wish I could take you with me
in the afterlife.

New Year's Day

I'm trying to imagine who you were.

Why haven't you told us
about any of this before?

There's so much I didn't know.

All those secrets before I was born.

All the grown-ups were so different.

More direct than I've ever seen before.

At least you two.

Different how?

I didn't know you could be
so loving to each other.

Like I've never seen before. I mean...

Maybe once, one summer, ages ago.

Just like two kids.

January 2

Just a moment.

There. I'm afraid you can't enter
the operating theatre.

I'll be here when you wake up.

Subtitles: Erik Grønvold