Jacob's Paradox (2015) - full transcript

From the writer and producer of the award winning short film, A Handful of Pennies, Michael Peake has created a gripping story that asks the question: How far would you go to change the past? Professor of Quantum Physics, Jacob Matthews, is faced with such a question. After suffering the loss of his murdered wife, Sarah, Jacob's life begins to tailspin out of control. Unable to perform his duties, he's asked to take a leave of absence from his position with the University. Soon after, Jacob locks himself in his home, shut off from the outside world. There, in his solitude, he begins a dangerous and maddening journey to go back and save his beloved Sarah.

What was Rene Barjavel
telling us

with his grandfather paradox?



Rene proposes this.

Let's say that a traveler goes
back in time to a point

when his or her grandfather was
not yet married with kids.

At this time, the traveler
kills his or her grandfather,

thus preventing the traveler
from ever being born

when he or she was meant to be.

In essence, the paradox has
been used to argue that

backwards time travel
must be impossible.

However, a number of
hypotheses have been

postulated to avoid
the paradox altogether,

such as the idea that
the past is unchangeable.

Therefore, the grandfather
must have survived the

attempted killing, or
the traveler creates

or joins an alternate
timeline or parallel universe

in which the traveler
was never born at all.

And I'll let you marinate
on that until the next class.

Thank you.

Good day.

How are you, Jacob?

I'm fine.

Jacob, I think I can tell you
with all sincerity that you

are indeed not fine.

And that's OK.

It's OK that you're not fine.

I can't imagine the kind of pain

that you must be experiencing.

However, I feel compelled
to do something,

something that's
within my power.


Something that may
aid in your healing.

Jacob, I'm asking
you to go home.

I understand you've been
living in a hotel

for the past few weeks.

Jacob, do yourself a
favor please and go home.

You never gave yourself
time to process the loss.

You came right back here,
you started teaching again.

I'm fine.

Don't insult me, and
don't insult yourself.

Look at yourself.

You look like you
haven't showered in,

in days.

Jacob, you reek.

You reek of alcohol.

Greg, don't ask me to leave.

Jacob, this is not
something I take lightly.

You need this time to heal.

And it's only temporary.

Don't make this any
harder than it has to be.

I care about you, Jacob.

And I do want you here.

Just not like this.

I understand.


I'm sorry.


Old fashioned, please.

Good evening,
Professor Matthews.

Look, I heard about
what happened today.

I'm really sorry.

It's alright.

You know the dean.

I'm sure he has your best
interests in mind.

I know that he does.

You know the person

who wrote this is
full of it, right?

I do.


Didn't I give you that
copy like years ago?


What's it doing in your bag now?

I guess I figured I have
all this time now,

I can afford to do a
little mindless reading.

I see.

You know, you of all people
should appreciate the ideas

in that book.

Such as?

Such as the blurred
lines that science

and reality often
meet each other at.

The choices that need to be made

when you physicists
decide to play God.

So you philosophizers
aren't out there doing

the same exact thing?

Now you lost me.

You don't see what
you do as setting

some kind of moral standard?

Not at all.

Common sense and inner decency
set the moral standard.

Oh, so we physicists,
we don't have our

own sense of inert decency?

All I'm saying is science
often asks can it be done

much more than
should it be done.

Uh huh.

And I say if it can be
done, why not?

You should really
read this book.

Mm hm.

Fortunately for mankind,
the only thing that

I'm interested in right now
is scotch or whiskey.

You're going to
be alright, Jacob.


Sarah please,


wake up.



Now don't get upset.

I know we said we weren't
going to get anything

for each other, but I lied.

You are such a tricky boy.

What did you get?

Oh, honey.

It's so cute.

Is that the one you wanted?

It is.

I got just the place to put it.


It's gorgeous.

You like it?

I love it.

I have it engraved
with your initials.

It's gorgeous.

Thank you, thank you.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you.



Jacob, come on and
answer the door.



What are you doing here?

God, what are you doing?

You need to go.

What's going on here?

This is, talk to me, Jacob.

Tell me what's going on.


This is insane.

It's not a good time.

Look, I'm working on,
you just got to go.

What are you talking about?

You're not making any sense.

None of this is
making any sense.

Why haven't you called me back?


I just needed to be alone.

I'm your sister, Jacob.

You can't just shut me out.

You, you think that
you're the only one

that misses Sarah.

I miss her too.

I loved her.

She was like a sister to me.

I can't, I just can't.

Can't what?

Can't let her go?

I, I understand.

You have to find a way.

She's gone, Jacob.

You need to figure
out how to Jamie.

It's you, you need to go.


Let her go, Jacob.

Philosophy is a love of wisdom.

Sure, philosophy is a lot
of other things that you've

probably seen in the movies,
read in your textbooks.

But when you boil it down,

philosophy requires you to love.

Love is like, um, Gorilla Glue.

It's the glue that
holds the universe together.

You think I'm kidding,
but I assure you I'm not.

Love is a binding agent,
the majority of science.

It's needed to unite
the fields of mathematics,

biology, physics, chemistry.

And as a student of philosophy,

it is your duty to understand
how important love is to

understanding the mysteries
of the universe.

Love is, hell,
love is the reason

you're all here, just
ask your parents.

And in the meantime, if
you need more than love,

please see Mr. Scott.

Until next week.

Jacob, it's good to see you.

Andy, I need to talk to you.

Can we go somewhere?



I have to go back to my
office to get a few things,

but I'll meet you at
Bella Vino in 30 minutes?

Yes, yes, yes.


Old fashioned, please.

Jacob, how are you?

Are you still on leave?

I've been meaning to call
but I've just been...

You uh, you talk
about a morality,

talk about playing God.

I, I need to know if it's OK.

Jacob, of course
it's going to be OK.

It's just going to take time.

These things take time.

I'm, I need to know it's
OK to go back.


Go back to what?

I can, I can fix things.

I can fix everything.

I can fix it,

I can fix it.

I can fix it.



Jacob, look at me.


I found a way to go back
and save Sarah.

Jacob, you can't do this.

You can't go down this road.

She's gone, Sarah's gone,
and I'm sorry,

I'm so sorry.

You're not listening.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Andy.

I know I can't bring her back.

I'm not, I'm trying
to tell you I,

I can go back.

I can go back and save her.

And save her.

Jacob, what are you telling me?

I can't, I can't
tell you anything.

Not in here.

I got to show you.

I forgot my cell phone.


It died because I
forgot my cell phone.

Jacob, I don't know what
you're talking about.

I've never been a
forgetful person.


I went back into the office.

I found it under a
stack of papers.

I missed three calls.

No voicemail.

So I called her back.


Called her again, nothing.

I figured if it was important
she'd just call me back.

You didn't do anything wrong.

Found her propped up with a
bullet hole in her chest.

I missed saving her by a
matter of minutes.

Jacob, you've got to stop this.

This is not going
to bring her back.

You're absolutely right.

But this will.

Jacob, are you telling me

what I think you're telling me?

Is this a time Yes.

No way.

It's not possible.

This is not possible.

It is.

Indeed it is.


How do you know
this thing even works?

I know.


How do you know?

I've tested it.

I've sent something back.

You sent something back?

This is insane.

You can't do this.

Write the name of your childhood
pet on this pumpkin.

Come with me.


How is this even possible?

I need your help, Andy.

Need my help to do what?

You can't do this, Jacob.

You can't change the past.

Why not?

What would you do if it
was someone that you lost?

Would you do anything?


Would you still care
about balancing morality?


I know this is crazy,
but I know what I'm doing.

Hey, I can save her.


will you help me?

Help you do what?

Once I'm gone, I need you
to destroy the machine.



You have to promise me.

You have to destroy it.


You should burn it.

And when is this
supposed to happen?

Right now.

Can you ever come back?




Are you sure?

Are you sure this is
what you want to do?

Did you mean what you said?


Does love really hold
the universe together?


Yes, it does.

Once I'm in the machine,
hit Enter.

Jacob, no!

No Jacob.

Oh my God, I
didn't know it was you!

Where were you?

I didn't know it was you!

Sarah, Sarah.

It's OK.

I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry.

Stay with me, stay with me.

I love you, I love you.

It's OK.

I'm going to get you help.

You just got to hang on.

Just hang on, I'm
going to get help.

No, no, no, Jacob.


Wake up!




They say history will
find us on the last train,

and we'll make all the
same mistakes that they made.

And we will never rule
tomorrow our way out.

Love, it's too late now.

And they say nothing comes
from going against the grain.

And though we are the
diggers of our own graves,

and we will crash and
burn before our train

leaves this town.

Love, forgive me now.

Forgive me now.

They can burn in hell, hell.

They can burn in hell, hell.

They can burn in hell, hell.

They can burn in hell, hell.

Forgive me now.

Forgive me now.

Forgive me now.

Forgive me now.

Forgive me now, forgive me now,

forgive me now.