Lay the Favorite (2012) - full transcript

Beth, who lap dances to make ends meet, leaves Florida for Las Vegas hoping to be a cocktail waitress. She meets two women who introduce her to Dink, a gambler with a system. He hires her - she's good with numbers - and she promptly falls for him, even though he's married to a woman who seems to do nothing but spend his money. Beth tries to entice Dink whose wife, Tulip, tells him to choose; he does and promptly goes on a losing streak. The repercussions of his choice play out with a heavy gambler who has a parole officer, a cheesy bookmaker in Curaçao, Beth's desire to keep a friend out of prison, and help from an unlikely source. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food

How was my speech?

You were brilliant.

- ANNE: Did I lisp?
- You don't lisp.

I know. That was what was
so troubling about it.

- The thought that I suddenly did.
- No.

Sarah, you must say hello
to the little ones.

No. It is macabre.

ANNE: Please.


I love you,
but that I will not do.

- ANNE: If you love me...
- Love has limits.

It should not.



You do not lisp,
but you are mad.

Giving me a palace?

I've been wanting to give you
something for quite some time now.

Seemed like the perfect opportunity
with Marlborough winning.

It is a monstrous extravagance, Mrs.
Morley. We are at war.

We won.

It is not over.
We must continue.


Oh, I did not know that.





WOMAN: Take a hunk of bread.

And then Sally will take you to
clean up and then to Her Ladyship.

WOMAN: This mud stinks.

SALLY: They shit
in the streets round here.

"Political commentary,"
they call it.

Go through here.

Clean yourself up.

Thank you so much.


Lady Marlborough.

I didn't know the new sewer
ended in here.

It is I, Abigail.

Dear cousin.

I have a letter from our aunt...


I'm sorry, I did not mean
to present as a...

I fell out of a carriage.


And a man was pulling his...

Never mind the man.

The letter from our aunt.


Friends of yours?

I'm sorry.

Your name, girl.
If we are blood, name it.

- I did not? Abigail Hill.
- SARAH: The Somerset Hills?

The one who went mad and burnt
his own house down, himself in it?

Lost all his money at whist.

No one bets on whist.

My uncle was one of a kind.

ABIGAIL: I apologize
for my appearance.

The staff led me here. A harmless
prank of some sort, I suspect.

SARAH: And you want...

I hoped I might be
employed here by you...

as something.

A monster for the children
to play with, perhaps?

Yes, if you like.









A palace.

You seem angry
at my good fortune

and I thought we were friends.

I really doubt
you've made that mistake.

I was actually just teasing.
I thought you'd see that.

It will not stand.

Well, it will if I build it using
the finest craftsmen in the land.

I hope it will stand
for 100 years

as a symbol of my husband's
gallant victory.

Listen, I applaud your
husband's gallant victory,

but considering the parlous
state of the treasury,

it seems something the queen should've
taken advice from her loyal opposition on.

Oh, but then it would've lost
its delightful surprise element.


MAN: Horatio has done it again.

Prime Minister, we need to
discuss who will go to the French

with the peace treaty proposal.

We do not need
a peace treaty proposal.

We have them on the run.

So they will give in to us.

One battle will not win the war.

I have held my party together,
as we the country landowners

have essentially paid
for this entire war...

And grateful we are, too.

While city merchants
enrich themselves from it.

And yet I do not see
your fat tweedy dead

when I look out
upon the battlefield.

We're out of money. My point.

The French are chastened,
but not defeated, Harley.

We must destroy them.

Make them sue for peace

with broken hearts
and begging backs.

- How sweet your wife is, Marlborough.
- Sweet and right.

I cannot agree.
We must take it to the queen.

If you'd be kind enough to
arrange a time, Lady Marlborough.

SARAH: Of course.




I'm ready
for the Russian ambassador.

Who did your makeup?

We went for something
dramatic. Do you like it?

You look like a badger.


Are you going to cry? Really?

Well, what do you think
you look like?

A badger.

Do you really think you can meet the
Russian delegation looking like that?


I will manage it.

Get back to your rooms.

Thank you.

Did you just look at me?
Did you?

Look at me! Look at me!

How dare you? Close your eyes!

SALLY: Hello.


Mrs. Meg says you are
to scrub the floor

until she can see
her toothless, fat face in it.



You might need gloves.

Lye is dangerous. It burns bad.




ANNE: Sarah!

I'm here.

I'm here.

You! Grab the bandage box
off the shelf.

The queen's had an attack
of gout. Hurry!


SARAH: Mrs. Meg, brandy.

ANNE: It hurts.

SARAH: My dearest, I know.


Cousin, the beef.

SARAH: Tell me a story.

I can't.


SARAH: Gently.

- ANNE: I can't.
- SARAH: Yes, you can.

Cousin, start wrapping.

Everyone else, leave please.


SARAH: How we first met.
Tell me that.

The wretched Cheever boy
had me on the ground

and he was holding me and
dropping spittle in my face.

He is still a pig. Then what?


And then I heard footsteps.

Fast footsteps.

Ow, ow!


And I saw these pink shoes
running towards me.

And then they disappeared.

And then I heard a crack.

And then he fell off me.


And you held my hand and said,
"Hello. I'm Sarah.

You're covered in spittle.
Let's wash you off."


SARAH: Do you remember
how his jaw just hung there?


- SARAH: You must try to sleep.

SARAH: You may go.

- ANNE: Don't leave me!
- SARAH: I won't.

- Are you still there?
- Yes.

- Are you still there?
- Yes.


ABIGAIL: For the queen. The
doctor's ordered it immediately.

It's a matter
of extreme urgency.

She's sleeping.

Shall I tell the doctor you
imperiled the queen's health

and let you rue
the ramifications?

What does "ramific..."

It means he will
have you whipped.


What are you doing?

This is peleatis, the herb.

I cut some this morning.

It reduces swelling
and inflammation.

I thought it may help the queen.

You cannot just walk in here.

Why did the footman
let you through?

It's not his fault.
I lied to him.

FOOTMAN: The prime minister
and Mr. Marlborough.

I just wanted to help her.
She seemed to suffer so much.

Footman. Take her downstairs.

Tell Mrs. Meg she is to
receive six of the birch. Go.

It's peleatis, the herb.

Anne, you must focus.

MARLBOROUGH: We gather our forces here.
The Austrians mass here.

Which country is that again?

SARAH: Listen. Marlborough.

This is the town of Lille,

in a valley in France.

We lure them in by sending
a small force to engage them.

They give chase.

We descend in numbers
from above.

- ALL: Hear, hear!
- Hear, hear! It is an excellent plan.

Queen Anne, do you agree?

The people expect it to be over.

Well, we all want it to be over,
but wishing does not make it so.

We could sue for peace,
but we will not get it.

It does help.

- What?
- There's something soothing on my legs,

it takes the burn out.
What is it?

Oh, herbs, of some sort.

ABIGAIL: Please, please.

What is going on?
Do her in the barn,

if that's what it is,
not in my kitchen.

Her Ladyship says six
of the birch for this one.




SARAH: Stop.

Let her go.

Come with me.


So, you are perhaps too kind
for your own good.

It has been said.

Which leads to stupidity.

The queen is soothed
somewhat, so I thank you.

You will get me some
more of those herbs

and not overstep again.

My father always
spoke highly of you.

I liked your father.

He had charm to burn.

Then I guess he did.

You have fallen far.

When I was 15, my father
lost me in a card game.

You are not serious.

This one here.

He was very upset about it.

Took off into the forest with
nothing but a scullery maid

and a dozen bottles for solace.

SARAH: And you went?

ABIGAIL: I wanted to do right
by my father.

The debt was to a balloon-shaped
German man with a thin cock.

Thankfully, I managed to convince him a
woman has her blood in 28 days a month.


What happened to your hand?

ABIGAIL: Some of my... colleagues
are immune to my charms.


Earl Stratford, do not
come near me whining today

or I will crush
your tiny heart to liver.

Madame Tournee. You may have the
tapestry budget you asked for.

Spend one penny more and I will
take your fingernails in lieu.


Abigail, get a platter of oysters
sent to the Dutch ambassador.

Yes, Your Ladyship.

SARAH: Colonel Masham.

Lady Marlborough.

The queen will ride
on Wednesday.

Yes, Lady Marlborough.

Would you like a bite of my
new maid before you leave?



Must the duck be here?

Fastest duck in the city.

Horatio is a prize worth stealing.
He does not leave my side.

Keep him away from me, or I will pull his
liver out and eat it with a cornichon.


You should know
I've canvassed my party.

They're waiting for us to
announce an attempt at peace.

We shall both make our case
to the queen.

Yes, where is the queen?
We've been waiting an hour.

- FOOTMAN: Lady Sarah Marlborough.
- I'm here.

HARLEY: Might I remind you
you're not the queen?

No, she has sent me to speak for her.
She is unwell.

PRIME MINISTER: What says she?

That Harley is a fop and a prat

and smells like a 96-year-old
French whore's vajuju.


Well, I really doubt
you're quoting.

She has decided
to continue with the war.

She feels another victory in

will put us in a stronger
position for a treaty.

Her letters.

HARLEY: And how are we going
to pay for this?

The land tax is to be doubled.

This is madness.

The war you will be fighting
will be in our own countryside.

She relies on you and your love of
England to hold the Tories together.

- There are limits.
- SARAH: The love of your country?

To me,
there is no limit on that.

Our last farthing to protect
England if we must.

HARLEY: And our last man, too?

Look, the dead pile up,
as do the resentments.

- Or that does not concern you?
- SARAH: I grieve them all.

In my heart, a scar for each, and I send
my own beloved with them, chest bared.

So do not lecture me
on the cost.

HARLEY: A treaty would save money
and lives. A win for all Englishmen.

PRIME MINISTER: We go to them after
one victory, they know we are scared.

We bury more of them,
they know we have them.

The queen has decided, Harley.

I disagree.

A lot. I'd like an audience with
the queen where I may state my case.

State it to me. I love a comedy.
Is there cake?

HARLEY: This is a disgusting
distortion of the system.

You have no place in this.

Your mascara is running.

If you'd like to go
fix yourself,

we can continue this later.



SARAH: You will need to pay
for the repair of that.

We have a war to finance.
Every penny counts.

PRIME MINISTER: Come on, old bean.
One more victory.


Must you rub it in?

A man's dignity is the one thing that
holds him back from running amok.

Sometimes a lady
likes to have some fun.

We need to be careful, Sarah.

He's a useful ally,
but a dangerous enemy.

SARAH: Borrow anything you want.

Thank you.

And thank you for the job.

I have a thing for the weak.

FOOTMAN: Lord Marlborough.

MARLBOROUGH: It is time.

SARAH: You must be safe.

You must not be
foolish and brave.

Be smart and safe, I beg you.

I will.

SARAH: Stay with me tonight.

MARLBOROUGH: I must sleep with my men.
It is only right.

I had a dream that this

very small Frenchman
covered in blood...

was carrying Marlborough's
head around, feeding it Brie.

He's a great soldier.

He will be fine.

- We will prevail.
- Of course we will, Mrs. Freeman. [CHUCKLES]


I'm sorry, Your Majesty.

I think I caught a chill
picking the herbs for your leg.

- ANNE: That was you?
- Abigail.

Let's shoot something.


ABIGAIL: It's sad really.
They're so pretty.


SARAH: You're really
doing damage to the sky.

Can I ask you something?

As long as you are aware
that I have a gun.

You fought hard for this war and
your husband is at the front of it.

His life is at risk.

- How can you do that?
- SARAH: It is right.

If we don't do it, they will
gather force and be over here

cutting us all
into chops within the year.

You are of a sweet disposition
and have suffered blows,

so desire safety and favor
above all else.

If he dies?

SARAH: Did you not sacrifice your cunt
to fatty German to save your father?

- Yes.
- SARAH: There's always a price to pay.

I am prepared to pay it.

- Throw.


SARAH: Just relax and aim.

When it crosses your eye,
pull the trigger.


SARAH: Perfect.

I will make a killer of you yet.

MASHAM: Are you following me?

I said, are you following me?

You seem to be
following me, sir,

as I am in front of you.

That was you I saw
on the horse that morning.

I am a servant.
Where would I get a horse?

Perhaps you dreamt of me?

Perhaps it was you,

and I should have you
stripped and whipped.

I'm waiting.

Going to ride that one, are we?

She does make my blood hot.

She's Lady Marlborough's
new one.




Excuse me. Move. Excuse me.

- Your Majesty. How lovely to see you.

It seems you have allocated
even more money

into the abyss that is
this fool's errand.

Oh, uh, yes. We will win.
Sarah's sure we will win.

It's the landholders' tax. You
have no idea the firestorm of rage

you have set loose
in the countryside.

- Really? Are they angry?
- Dearest queen.

How do you like my stockings?

SARAH: Festive.

Very. I was just
explaining to the queen

the mistake this tax is.
The war as well.

We should sue for peace.

Oh, Harley, you are such a bore.

That is for parliament.

A ball is for dancing

and eating those horseradish
and venison puffs.

Have you tried them?

I'm having trouble swallowing
at the moment. Your Majesty...

I'd like to enjoy the music now.

Oh, yes. I love this music.
I must dance.




Stop it!

- Stop it! Stop!

- What has happened?
- I would like to go back to my room now.

Stop. Mr. Harley.

I agree I went too far
with the tax for the war.

- SARAH: What?
- It will stay as it was.

We are your servants, my queen.


I'm sorry.

It's okay.

Shall we go fast?







Fuck me.


Abigail, isn't it?

Yes, sir.

Stolen a book, I see.

Why, one could be stripped
and whipped for that.

My mistress lent it to me.

Shall we go ask her?

- No.


Come and take the night air
with me.

So, you once were a lady,
and now you are nothing.

A bit of scullery scraps.

How very sad.

Well, I'm still the lady
I was, in my heart.

No doubt. It is important to
make new friends, is it not?


If that's what's
actually happening here,

and not veiled threats
under the guise of civility.

Am I to understand
you are smart?

You want something.

To fuck me?

I will leave that
to my friend Masham,

who is completely
cunt-struck by you.

So, tell me about
Lady Marlborough,

Godolphin, the queen.

Anything going on?

I love gossip.

It's a failing, I know.

Marlborough has been good to me.

She saved me.

I will not breach
her confidence.

Of course. You are in favor.

But favor is a breeze that
shifts direction all the time.

Then in an instant, you're back
sleeping with a bunch of scabrous whores

wondering whose finger's
in your ass.

You cannot have
too many friends in court.

I need a friend, Abigail.

One with cute ears
and wide eyes.

I'm often blindsided by the
distorted situation at court.

As leader of the opposition,
I should not be.

I would merely like
to know of any plans.

Her Ladyship, Godolphin,
or the queen may have.

I will not betray
my mistress's trust.

Oh, look. A wren. How cute.


You all right?


Anyway, think on it.

There's no pressure.

SARAH: You will have to tell Harley
you've changed your mind about the tax.

ANNE: Are the people really
angry about the land tax?

SARAH: They'll be angrier when the
French are sodomizing their wives

and planting their fields
with garlic.

ANNE: The Tories must not be
rode roughshod over, though.

And more dead if we do it.

It is painful to lose men,

but we cannot
be halfhearted in this

or they will see our weakness
and take us

and we will lose thousands more.

None for the queen.


You cannot have hot chocolate.

Your stomach,
the sugar inflames it.

- Abigail, hand me that cup.
- SARAH: Do not.

I'm sorry,
I do not know what to do.

SARAH: Fine, give it to her.

Then you can get a bucket
and a mop for the aftermath.

Take me back.


You will pronounce the tax in parliament.
I will set the date.


I must tell you something.

SARAH: Go on.

Mr. Harley came to me

and asked me
to betray your confidence

about what goes on between you
and the queen and Godolphin.

I see.

And what will you do?

I'm not going to, obviously.

Not obviously.

You may tell me of his
approach to encourage my trust

and still work
both sides of the street.

I am a person of honor,
even if my station is not.

Even if I were the last one
left in this wretched place,

I would remain a lady.


You're pretty when outraged.

So my secrets are safe with you?

All of them.


Even your biggest secret.



If you forget
to load the pellet,

the gun fires, makes the
sound, but releases no shot.

It is a great jape.
Do you agree?


Maybe we will think of
a use for it one day.

Sometimes, it is hard to remember whether
you have loaded the pellet or not.

I do fear
confusion and accidents.

I'm sure people will be careful.



SARAH: Beef, 12 guineas.


Mrs. Meg, your cream bill
is outrageous.

Are you bathing in it
to help your hemorrhoids?

No, Your Ladyship.

HARLEY: May I examine?

Of course.

It's perfect,
Lady Marlborough, as always.

It is rather urgent.

Shall we sign off?

Of course.


Aim for the flagstones.

The lawn might break your fall.

You do not care.

Mrs. Morley.

- Please!
- No!



ANNE: Stay a while.

No! Take the day off.
I command it.

Someone must run things.

I am not food.

You cannot just eat and eat.

Yet you are tasty and salty.

[SQUEALS] If I grilled you,
you'd make a delightful meal.

Very well.

I will come and
see you this afternoon,

and we can play whist.



The opposition asks us

- to be halfhearted in this war!

- We will not!
- MAN: Hear, hear!

We must wear our griefs,

for England is worth our all,

and suffer we must for her!

Mr. Harley,

control your rabble!

I am, therefore,
announcing today

- that, at Her Majesty's...

About time, Mrs. Freeman.
This fucking leg.

It's like a monster attacking me.
Cut it off for me, will you?

ABIGAIL: I don't think
so, Your Majesty.

Why are you here?

Lady Marlborough sent me, as
I am an excellent whist player

and she has been unavoidably
detained with business of state,

but will be here posthaste.

It's my state.

I am the business of state.

Did she actually
send me her maid?

ABIGAIL: Your Majesty,
I wasn't always a maid.

I'm educated,
I speak Latin, French.

My family fell on hard times.

- I'm also her cousin.
- It's all very fascinating.

You shall leave, regardless,
and tell her to come.

They're gorgeous.

They're my babies.
Let them out, please.

How many are there?

ANNE: Seventeen.

It's Hildebrand's day today.

Which one is he?

That one there.
Shy, but stubborn.


ANNE: He likes you.

I lost some 17 children.

Some were born as blood,

some without breath...

and some were with me
for a very brief time.

Oh, my dear.

Today is Hildebrand's day.

The day you lost him.


Each one that dies, a little
bit of you goes with them.

Would you like to join me?

ANNE: Oh. Lovely cake.


ABIGAIL: You like it?

- ANNE: Delish.
- ABIGAIL: You do like it.

ANNE: Hello, Sussy.

Happy birthday.

Come on.
There's some for you, too.

Don't eat Mummy's foot.


What an outfit.

Thank you.

I thought it might be too much.

Have you come
to seduce me or rape me?

MASHAM: I am a gentleman.

So rape, then.


No, you are...

You have intrigued me.

And you, me.

I'm intrigued by what you
look like under all this.

You're handsome.

No wonder you cover it up.

Who are you?

No ordinary maid.

It could be said
I have fallen far.

It could be said
I aim to catch you.


I might allow it.

Now good night, sir.


Uh... She, uh...

- She bit me.
- Oh.

This wig's ridiculous.

A man must look pretty.

I'm not entirely sure
she approves.

Try again in your own way,
old boy.




SARAH: Apologies regarding
sending Abigail in my stead.

ANNE: She was perfectly darling.

Hildebrand really took to her.

Is that a rabbit?

Anne, you are too sensitive.

And you are too mean
and uncaring, some days.

Some days, I'm quite lovely,
though. Let's think on them.


You're such a child.

ABIGAIL: I guess all the
rapes were the hardest.

Made me feel at their mercy.

That I was nothing.

You are not nothing.
You're a dear person.

Thank you.

You're so beautiful.

Stop it. You mock me.

I do not.

If I were a man,
I would ravish you.

- Ravish.
- Enough.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.


Oh, look.


Make them stop.





Be gone!

I command it!


I don't want to hear it!

- ABIGAIL: Your Majesty?
- Now I must rest.

- Shall I...
- Leave me be!



Give me that.

Give me that.


Thank you, Your Majesty.


Where am I?

Where am I?

PAGE: Your Majesty,
you are in the west hallway.

Don't speak to me like that!


ABIGAIL: Your Majesty.

- Stupid girl! Where have you been?
- ABIGAIL: I'm sorry.

Take me back.




Perhaps we should dance.

You mock me.

No. I just believe you can.

That it would be cheery.

I would dearly like
to dance with you.


BOTH: Back.

Together. And click.


- SARAH: Throw.

- Back, front, back.


SARAH: Throw.


Off with her head
and off with her head.



- SARAH: Throw.

ABIGAIL: Spin, spin, spin, spin.






SARAH: It's 12-11.

You're shooting
exceptionally well, Abigail.

ABIGAIL: You've taught me well.

I hope you haven't found your
time with the queen too tedious.

Oh, not at all. And if it
gives you rest, I'm happy.

- Did you sleep well?
- Like a shot badger.


The queen is...

an extraordinary person...

even if it's not
readily apparent.

She's been stalked by tragedy.

She seems quite lovely.

I will not burden you again.

- I'm quite happy to...
- I know you are.

She will be angry
if I do not appear soon.

Take your shot.


ABIGAIL: Thirteen.

SARAH: The queen?

I will be there directly.

The queen... asked for her.

I have sent for some lobsters. I thought
we could race them and then eat them.

- Oh, hello.
- Oh, hello.

I hope you have three.

You sent for Abigail to try
and make me jealous, I think.



They'll be in with the lobsters.

You scared?


Oh, I think a moat is
a bad idea.

It's just...
It's too old-fashioned.

Your lobsters, ma'am.
Where should I put them?

Uh... here.


Hello. Remember me?

ABIGAIL: Mr. Harley.

You always unbalance me.

So what's been happening?

The queen and Lady Marlborough are
to race lobsters and then eat them.

Do you want to get punched?

The queen's going
to announce the doubling

of the landholders' tax
to parliament.

Do you jest?

I don't think
she's certain of it, though.

But Lady Marlborough
is providing that certainty.



That is all.

Why do I feel that is not all?

I'm trying my best.

I am.

All right, turn off the tears. Thank you.
Have a pleasant evening.

May I speak a moment,
with Her Majesty's pleasure?

May I exhort the chamber to roar
a mighty hurrah for Her Majesty

in her brilliant decision
to not raise the land tax.

- CROWD: Hurrah!
- HARLEY: For the doubling

of the tax would have been
a disaster,

and the fields
would have run with blood

as the countryside rose up
against our city friends,

to add to the piling dead of our sons
already on the field of this war.

Again, to our queen,
for her deep wisdom

in knowing where to draw the line
in holding our country together.

For there is no point
winning a war abroad

if we are to start one at home.

- CROWD: Hear, hear!
- CROWD: Hurrah!

HARLEY: I apologize for the
interruption, Your Majesty.

The floor is yours, of course.

We look forward to hearing
what you have to say.





Men should not
sneak up on women.

You look scared.

MASHAM: I'm hurt.



ABIGAIL: Wait, wait!

Kiss me properly first.


I have just now decided
to marry you, Masham.

I cannot marry a servant.

I can enjoy one, though.

I know it would ruin you
to marry me.

I will fix things for us.

Don't you think
we are a good match?

I think a very good match.


I looked like a fool.

They were all staring,
weren't they?

I can tell even if I can't see,

and I heard the word "fat." Fat.

- And ugly.
- Anne.

No one but me would dare,
and I did not.

I felt for you. He set you up.
It is our fault.

I didn't know what else to do.
I couldn't go through with it.

It's fine, Anne. It's fine.

He was ready for us.

He probably just assumed

that you've been working on her.

A minor hitch.

We will reset the date.

ANNE: What are you doing?

Oh, Your Majesty.

Lady Marlborough asked me
to wait for you, and I was...

The bed looked so beautiful,
and I was overcome...

with foolishness. I'm sorry.

Well, you may get out now.

Apologies again, Your Majesty.

What happened to your dress?


Her legs.

ANNE: Rub my legs.

Does it hurt a lot?

They're agony.


Oh, the pain.

Marlborough has written.

He's in position.

The battle will begin any time.

He will prevail.

Of course.

I imagine you will not
sleep tonight.

I can stay and sit with you.

I'm all right.

Good morning, Lady Marlborough.

SARAH: Did you see that book of
poetry from the Dryden fellow?

I... have not.






I don't understand.

Did you take it? My book.

- I think you are a pretty little liar

that I have misjudged.

I did not mean
for this to happen.

The queen, she's forceful.

SARAH: You are dismissed
from my service.

Go back to Mrs. Meg and tell her to
find you a position in the scullery.

And if she asks why, tell her "Because
I am a disloyal little bitch."

Yes, Your Ladyship.

It has been an honor
and privilege...

If you do not go,

I will start kicking you
and I will not stop.





- You have become close to Abigail.
- She's been a dear. Yes.

It is such a shame, but I've
had to dismiss her for theft.

She's a liar and a thief.

Your tongue seems
uncharacteristically still.

I heard you.

She's my servant.
She's not dismissed.

I've made her my maid
of the bedchamber.

Did you not hear what I said?

Yes, you regard her
as a liar and a thief.

- Yes.
- I do not, obviously.

You will dismiss her.

I don't want to.

I like it when she puts
her tongue inside me.



It feels so strange
to be in this.

It's good for you. The doctor
says it'll leach the toxins.

What if I should fall asleep
and slip under?

Just imagine it's hot chocolate.

- Oh, then I shall die happy.



SARAH: After you left, I thought,
"What a grand idea to take to the mud."

To get whatever poisons
one carries with one out.


SARAH: Abigail, could you
fetch me some refreshment?

I would like to,
of course, but...

I must be at the queen's side
and behest at all times.

It is my role.

Such loyalty.

How delightful it is when
one tries to cultivate

a new trait in one's character.

- Do not scratch at her.

Mr. Freeman.

Mr. Morley.

Oh, how handsome you are.

ANNE: How handsome you are,
Mr. Freeman.

SARAH: Oh... But I...

I forgot my glasses.



You will be back in the street.

SARAH: Do you remember
when we were young,

and we were not allowed
out in the snow,

and we opened all the windows
in the ballroom

and sat there as the snow
flurries just wafted in?

And when your governess came in,

we were making a snowman
and our hands were blue.

- ANNE: Oh, it was such fun.
- ABIGAIL: Sounds marvelous.

SARAH: So many things
we have done together.

I do love ancient history.

Sorry, Abigail,
did you say something?

Oh, I was singing.

I cannot get a tune
out of my head.

SARAH: Well, there is
so much room for it.


Lady Marlborough,
you're such a wit.

Oh, Abigail, you are a dear.

I think I shall retire
for the evening.

Shall I prepare your bed,
Queen Anne?

Or shall you and I adjourn to
your apartments for some sherry?


Sherry sounds just the ticket.

- Good night, Abigail.
- Yes, good night, dear Abigail.

You are enjoying
all of this, aren't you?

To be beloved? Of course.

To see you trying to win me.

Why, what is not
to love, my dear?

You will stop this
ridiculous infatuation.

You have made your point.

Perhaps I was not
making a point.

Perhaps because of my past,

perhaps a malformation
of my heart.

I blame my father,
of course. Cunt.

I must take control
of my circumstance.

I will need to act in a way that
meets with the edges of my morality.

And when I end up on the street selling
my asshole to syphilitic soldiers,

steadfast morality will be a fucking
nonsense that will mock me daily.

I'm not quite following.


I apologize. But do "shh"
when I'm thinking.

Your hair is so lustrous.

It's something people
in court comment on.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

I always thought of it
as rather nest-like.

Not at all.

FOOTMAN: Lady Marlborough.

I shall make you tea.

What a lovely idea.
Thank you, Abigail.

- ABIGAIL: Of course.
- ANNE: Pat the kids hello.

Of course.

You will give that speech on the tax
increase in parliament next week.

ANNE: I dreamed of the man
on the roadside with one eye.

SARAH: What man?

We drove through town.

He looked at me in such a way,
it made my blood chill.

- So kind.
- ANNE: Abigail, do you think the people are angry?

Anne, she does not know.

We should ask people. Get some people
in from the villages and ask them.

SARAH: That is not how matters
of state are dealt with.

People are led.
They do not lead.

Would you leave Marlborough exposed?
He needs another battalion

ready to join him,
and that means money.

Do not shout at me.
I am the queen.

Then for once act like one.


Is the queen not riding today?

Do not speak to me.






I have thought on the terms
of our friendship.

I thought
it was unconditional love.

I will get you an audience with the
queen if you ask her a favor for me.

- Wench. You...
- Harley, you do not need me as an enemy.

As it turns out, I am capable
of much unpleasantness.

- As am I.
- ABIGAIL: You're so tiring, being like this.

The queen
has taken a shine to me,

and I will drip poison
into her ear regarding you

until she is mad
with hatred for you.

Or we could have a mutually
advantageous friendship.

Count of three. Yes or no?

Well, if you're so close
to the queen,

why not just
ask this favor yourself?

I do not want her to ever think

I want anything from her.

- Have you counseled her for our side?
- No.

HARLEY: The country's future
hangs in the balance.

Mm-hmm. My thing is
what I wish to talk about.

You do not care?

I thought you were on our side.

I'm on my side.


Sometimes, it's a happy
coincidence for you.

Like now. You'll get a
chance to save the country.



HARLEY: What tremendous luck
to find you in the garden.

ANNE: We were taking the air.

You do not like
the war, I know that.

No, I do not, but we must
fight for what we fight for.

Godolphin and Lady Marlborough
seem to have corralled you

so you do not get to hear
from your loyal opposition.

I am briefed appropriately.

Were it in person,
I'd believe it.

- ANNE: I am often ill.
- HARLEY: True.

Sadly true.

The war with the French will
bleed us dry even if we win.

We are in our strongest
position now.

If Marlborough loses
this next battle,

we could lose all.

The people hate the war,
you realize,

they begin to hate you.

Lady Marlborough has not told
you of the riots in Leeds?

No, she has not.

- All I ask is that you search your heart.
- Of course.

Not Lady Marlborough's heart,
your own.

I must talk to you
of your maid also.

- Abigail?
- I believe that is her name.

It seems Colonel Masham has fallen for her.
He wishes to marry.

ANNE: She's just a maid.

HARLEY: It is irregular
and inexplicable,

but being sentimental, I am
moved to help if possible.

What do you mean
she's not been seen?

MASHAM: She took a horse, Your Majesty.
It did not come back and nor did she.

GODOLPHIN: I shall send riders.


I think she means to vex me.
Do not send riders.

GODOLPHIN: In case she
has fallen, though.

She's too good a rider for that.

I know what she is.
Do not seek her.


Where am I?

You're in heaven.

That's God.
You'll meet him later.

- I must go.
- I don't think that's happening.

WOMAN: Lie back.


WOMAN: Stop infection.

ANNE: Get Lady Marlborough.

Now! Take me to her!

Find her.

Find her!

ANNE: There are wolves
out there, are there not?

GODOLPHIN: No, Your Majesty.
I don't think so.

Perhaps she's gone
to Blenheim, her palace?

There is no palace yet.
It is the woods.

We should check in the trees,
just to be sure.

- ANNE: Mr. Harley!
- I apologize.

I hope we find her,
and she's not dead in a ditch.

The business of state,
however, cannot stop.

Your Majesty, there has been no
word from the front in two weeks.

There is no doubt that
Marlborough is in trouble.

We need to send a division
immediately to help him.

Costing a fortune, built on your
paranoia, and walking into God knows what.

We need to wait.

I will think on it for a while.

GODOLPHIN: This cannot wait.

We need to act now.

Is it a bit like going
late to your party?

If the party's going well, they did not
need you, and they resent the intrusion.

But if it's going badly,
you cannot save it,

and you tend to regret ever
putting on your nice gown for it.

It is not like a party.

ABIGAIL: I'm sorry, Prime
Minister, a passing thought.

I think it is like a party.

- A perfect analogy.
- ANNE: We will wait.

Make sure they have their best dresses
on so they're ready at a moment's notice.

Shift a division to the coast
and have a boat at the ready.


I worry something
has befallen her.

It's night. Out there alone.

ABIGAIL: She's strong.

- And she'll be fine.
- Yes.

She saved me my whole life.

Without her, I'm nothing.

That is not true.

- You are the queen.
- I'm tired.

It hurts. Everything hurts.

Everyone leaves me.


Finally her.

If she's not dead,
I will cut her throat.

She may be doing this
to hurt me,

make me dissolve
and dissemble. I will not.

She will be fine.
They will find her.

ANNE: I don't care.

You are a beautiful person.

You glow with loveliness.

We will marry you.

- What?
- Colonel Masham wishes to marry you.

- He does?
- Yes, you've quite captured him.

That is absurd.

I have nothing to offer.

I'm a penniless servant.

It would be career suicide
for him.

Your first thought is for him?
Oh, you are a darling.

I care for him.

Not in the way I care for you,

but enough to marry.

I will not lie, I would like
to be a lady again.

Yes, yes, this is right.
While she is gone.

If we wait, she'll return
and yell and stomp about it.

But you must have this. This is my
gift to you, and I demand you take it.

Of course. When...

Let's... Now.


I, Abigail Hill, take thee, Samuel
Masham, to be my lawful wedded husband.

MASHAM: I, Samuel Masham, take thee,
Abigail Hill, to be my lawful wedded wife.


It is most generous.
I am overwhelmed.

- Shall we say "gambling debts," Mr. Harley?
- Excellent.

ANNE: Oh, and you are to take
apartments in the east wing.

- MASHAM: Thank you, Your Majesty.
- ABIGAIL: Thank you.

ANNE: Oh, it is fun
to be queen sometimes.

Hmm. One can only imagine.


You're looking the wrong way.

Where could she have gone? You
sent riders looking for her?

I have told you before.

She would be sick
for several days,

but she would be
near recovered by now.

She probably
went back to Southampton.

To do what?
To plan what? To get ready?

I am as hard as a rock,
and it is our wedding night.

Lie still.


Now that she is gone, I find myself
more concerned than when she was here.

For it is like she could strike
from anywhere at any time,

and I will not see it coming.


I must be calm.

She's gone.

I'm married.


But I must be ready.
And yet, how to be ready

when I do not know
where my enemy is?

My life is like a maze I continually
think I have gotten out of,

only to find another corner
right in front of me.




Boy, fetch me a carriage.

Mae says no.

I'm leaving. Help me up.

Mae says no.

Are you feeling better, then?

SARAH: Is my horse alive,
or did you eat it?

I sold it.

You still owe me, though.

You can suck for your supper
from now on.

I'll take 20%.

You seem posh.
Gents will like that.

- SARAH: Have you ever seen ten gold sovereigns?
- MAE: In my dreams.

SARAH: Go to Hyde Park fountain
at 9:00 in the morning,

and you will see a man
walking a duck.


What happened?
Are you all right?

That cunt, Abigail, poisoned me.

Mary Magdalene here found me.

Did they rape you?

No, they didn't.

But gainful employment is
on offer should I need it.

GODOLPHIN: Abigail did this?


How goes the kingdom?

♪ Music ♪

♪ Music for a while ♪

♪ Shall all your cares beguile ♪

♪ Shall all ♪

♪ All, all ♪

♪ Shall all ♪

♪ All, all ♪

♪ Shall all your cares beguile ♪

♪ Wondering ♪

♪ Wondering ♪

♪ How your pains were eased ♪

♪ Eased ♪

♪ Eased ♪

♪ And disdaining to be pleased ♪

♪ From their eternal ♪

- ♪ Eternal ♪

SINGER: ♪ Eternal bands ♪

♪ Till the snakes ♪

♪ Drop, drop ♪

♪ Drop, drop ♪

♪ Drop, drop ♪


Lady Marlborough.

Oh, dear.

The servant is dressed
in the clothes of a lady.

How... whimsical.

My dear friend and cousin,

how good to see
you've returned from...


I'm sure you shall
pass through it one day.

You've missed a few things.

My marriage.

It was a simple affair,
but beautifully done.


Everyone leave.

If you offer me tea, you will
forgive me if I don't accept.

I have searched my heart, and I did not
have trust in it, and that is my shame.

I could not just stand by
and let you destroy me.

You have perhaps taught me that.

But it's over now.

I have won. I am safe.

We do not have to fight anymore.
Is that not grand?

If you just forgive me,
we can be happy together.


Obviously, you still have
some anger to expiate.

I'll allow it this once.

SARAH: Congratulations
on your wedded bliss.


ANNE: Your face.

Do I look that bad? If I were
a man, it'd be quite dashing,

a scar like this.

Where have you been, Sarah?
Why did you leave like that?

SARAH: I went riding.

Some bandits attacked me.

It took me a while
to fight them off.

Oh, your poor face.

SARAH: You should see them.

And you've been well
taken care of, I trust.

Some men were eventually
sent to find me, I hear.

I was worried for you.
I thought you...

You did not do it
to try and hurt me?

I do not play games with you.

ANNE: No, I know, I know.

Look at me.

I will say this once and
plainly, my dearest one.

You must send Abigail away.

From my heart,
Mrs. Morley, do it.

I do not want to.

SARAH: She is a viper.


You're jealous.

- You will do as I say.

- FOOTMAN: The prime minister and Mr. Harley.
- SARAH: What is it?

HARLEY: A thousand pardons, Your
Majesty, but word from the front.

- SARAH: What has happened?
- Marlborough is ready. He has them outflanked.

He needs a garrison
to attack the coast.

Let them go to the party now.

Of course, Your Majesty.

SARAH: What party?

It happened while you were gone.

Thank you, gentlemen.
Keep me informed of progress.

It is good to see you home and
looking so well, Lady Marlborough.

Now, you did very well
with the divisions.

- ANNE: Yes, I know I did.
- However, the two new cabinet positions,

they must stay with the Whigs.

I am the queen. Do not try
to do that thing you do.

Do not try to manage this,
as you cannot.

I know that Harley has been in
your ear and Abigail in your bed.

Enough! You will be as I wish
you to be from now on.

Do you understand?


ANNE: Don't. No, don't.

No, your face frightens me.

- Good night, Lady Marlborough.



What a strange sight you are,
my dear.

It is better, though.


I think I'm becoming quite
sentimental as I get older.

ANNE: Didn't think you had the
capacity for sentimentality.

I didn't think so either...

but so much
is surprising me lately.

I started looking over some of the many,
many, many letters you've written me.

"I long for your embrace.

I long for the heat from
your naked body on mine."

It's very intense,
very explicit.

I thought I'd misplaced some of them
the other day. It was quite a fright.

What if, say, that son of a bitch,
Jonathan Swift, got his hands on them?

In his newspaper the next day.

You would be ruined.

You would never.

You have no idea what
I would do for my country...

and for you.

Ruin me? You would do that?

I will use these letters,

unless you announce
the tax rise,

change the cabinet as I wish,

and get rid of Abigail.


Do you not wish to know
what I've decided?

I wish to know
that you are happy,

and that your spirit will
lighten once this is done.



The queen requests
the return of your key.

You will return it
and vacate court today.

Where is she?

You will hand over the key.

The queen will not grant you
an audience.




SARAH: Anne?

I handed over my key.

Mrs. Morley,
you are angry, I know.

I am sorry.

I went quite mad for a moment.

Just open the door.

- Please, just... Could you just...

Mrs. Morley, open the door.

I burned the letters.
I burned them.

Oh, do what you will.

SARAH: But I will not come back.

Do you understand?

I will go and be gone.

Abigail has done this.

She does not love you.

ANNE: Because how could anyone?

She wants nothing from me,
unlike you.

She wants nothing from you,

and yet somehow she is a lady,
with 2,000 a year,

and Harley sits
on your knee most nights.

I wish you could love me
as she does.

You wish me to lie to you?


"You look like a... a...

an angel fell from heaven,
Your Majesty."


you look like a badger.

- And you can rely on me to tell you.
- Why?

Because I will not lie!
That is love!

ANNE: I have
my duties to attend to.


I have...

I have, over the last several months,
been unhappy with the government.


Lord Godolphin
has lost my confidence.

Therefore, I am announcing
a new prime minister...

will be Mr. Harley.


I thank you for your service.

We will sue for peace
with France immediately.

I have spoken!

All depart!


Leave that. I like it.

The mirrors stay, too.

Oh, my God. You actually think
you have won.

Haven't I?

We were playing
very different games.

All I know is,
your carriage awaits,

and my maid is on her way up with
something called a pineapple.




Do it again!




I'm here.

Will you do my legs, please?

Of course.

Hot towels, now.

Are you drunk?

I've had wine.

Very good wine.

You should have some. I'll get you some.
It would ease you.


I don't understand these papers.

I'm feeling unwell.

Excuse me a moment, please.



Sorry. I am unwell.

Why, lay down. I'll call
the doctor for you, my love.

Thank you, thank you.


ANNE: Doctor.

- SARAH: What goes on?
- GODOLPHIN: They've brokered a peace with the French,

giving up too much, of course.

Of course.

Marlborough returns in a week.

Harley will move
to have him replaced.

- Now that peace with France has been made...

HARLEY: Marlborough's return back to England
is imminent. I wonder, Your Majesty,

whether it is right that he
is left as head of our forces?

I will rip his mole from his face.
You must stop it, Godolphin.

He is a hero
who won the peace for us.

Indeed, but he would have
launched us into a bloody war

that would have ruined us,
so there's that.

It would be easier to pull my
strings if you were back at court.

A new era of peace
and prosperity, a new day,

a door to a new future.

There's metaphors abound.

I'm tired. I will think on it.

Thank you, all.

Obviously, you have chosen

to keep the particulars
of your dismissal from me.

I shall leave a gap
in the conversation

for you to remedy that.

I do not know of women
and their feelings,

but I know they nurse their
hurts like wailing newborns.

Godolphin, I feel a surge of
desire to see your nose broken.

Your point?

Your Majesty,

may I broach the matter
of Lady Marlborough?

No, you may not.

in a dear friendship.

Surely this could be healed.

Some wounds do not close.

I have many such.

One just walks around with them,

and sometimes one can
feel them filling with blood.

A letter. An apology of some sort
that facilitates your return.

There are limits
to what one can give.

Perhaps she could write you,
and we could attempt to repair

at least one wound in our queen?

Cannot stop her.

I imagine it'd be pointless,

and I would dash the letter
into the fire,

but I cannot stop her.


"You... cunt."

"My God,

I miss you."

Are you sure
this is all of the mail?

ABIGAIL: You seek something?

No, I... A fabric piece
from my cousin in Florence.

I'm sure it will come.

"I dreamt I stabbed you

in the eye."


This cannot be all of it.

- It is, ma'am.
- Don't lean at me!

Shall we request another
fabric piece

from your cousin in Florence?

Perhaps it was lost or eaten
by mice on the long journey.

No, I just want to know
that all my mail is here.

ABIGAIL: Of course.
Footman, go and check again.



"My dearest..."

Mrs. Morley...



I am in a quandary...

and you are my dearest one.

I do not know
whether to speak of it.

What is it?

- I'm not sure.
- I don't like this.

You'll lodge this unknowable
thing in my brain,

and it will eat me
with horrible possibilities.

It is not horrible, dear Anne.

It is just money.


I have found in the books...

large sums of money seem
to have flowed to Marlborough,

but are not reflected in the
forces' receipts of expenses.


It is gone.

Shall I request it back
on his return?

Quietly, perhaps?

Are you saying that Sarah
diverted money to him?

It does seem so.

Some 7,000.

ANNE: She would not.

- It is just...
- She would not.

I'm, of course, perhaps
mistaken in the bookkeeping.

Sometimes all these numbers are dizzying,
and they're as fickle as humans.

They often do add up on the
second or third attempt.

There's a simple explanation
I'm not seeing.

We shall banish it
from our minds.

Shall we take the children
for a walk in the garden?

No, thank you. I need to rest.

You may leave.


Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!



I need to put it back.

Be gone.


Marlborough is at Southampton.
We need a decision.

Your Majesty, if I may...

There was very little mail

HARLEY: Quite. If I may, the
situation with Marlborough?

He is stealing from me.


Your Majesty,
that is preposterous.

Lady Abigail, privy purse,

is it not true they have
stolen from me?

Damaged us?


It is all there
in black and white.

She must be ruined,

banished from their
beloved England.

They are not loyal.

They would hurt us,
our country, the queen.

- Your Majesty, if I may...
- No, you may not!

He will be charged.
They will be banished.

I have spoken. Get out!

Ah, the mail is here.

I suddenly feel so tired
of England, my darling.

Perhaps we should go
somewhere else.





- [THUD]


Darling Anne?

Let's get you in a chair.

How dare you touch
the queen like that!

- ABIGAIL: I'm sorry.
- I did not ask you to speak.


Rub my leg.


- You should lie down.
- You shall speak when asked to.


I feel dizzy.

I need to hold on to something.






MAN: ♪ Turn me loose ♪

♪ From your hands ♪

♪ Let me fly ♪

♪ To distant lands ♪

♪ Over green fields ♪

♪ Trees and mountains ♪

♪ Flowers ♪

♪ And forest fountains ♪

♪ Home along the lanes ♪

♪ Of the skyway ♪

♪ For this dark ♪

♪ And lonely room ♪

♪ Projects a shadow ♪

♪ Cast in gloom ♪

♪ And my eyes are mirrors ♪

♪ Of the world outside ♪

♪ Thinking of the way ♪

♪ That the wind
Can turn the tide ♪

♪ And these shadows turn ♪

♪ From purple into gray ♪

♪ For just a skyline pigeon ♪

♪ Dreaming of the open ♪

♪ Waiting for the day ♪

♪ That he can spread his wings ♪

♪ And fly away again ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Skyline pigeon, fly ♪

♪ Towards the dreams ♪

♪ You've left
So very far behind ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Skyline pigeon, fly ♪

♪ Towards the dreams ♪

♪ You've left
So very far behind ♪

♪ Just let me wake up
In the morning ♪

♪ To the smell of new-mown hay ♪

♪ To laugh and cry ♪

♪ To live and die ♪

♪ In the brightness of my day ♪

♪ I want to hear
The pealing bells ♪

♪ Of distant churches sing ♪

♪ But most of all
Please free me ♪

♪ From this aching metal ring ♪

♪ And open out this cage ♪

♪ Towards the sun ♪

♪ For just this skyline pigeon ♪

♪ Dreaming of the open ♪

♪ Waiting for the day ♪

♪ He can spread his wings ♪

♪ And fly away again ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Skyline pigeon, fly ♪

♪ Towards the things ♪

♪ You've left
So very far behind ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Skyline pigeon, fly ♪

♪ Towards the things
You've left ♪

♪ So very ♪

♪ So very far ♪

♪ Behind ♪