Synecdoche, New York (2008) - full transcript

Theater director Caden Cotard is mounting a new play. Fresh off of a successful production of Death of a Salesman, he has traded in the suburban blue-hairs and regional theater of Schenectady for the cultured audiences and bright footlights of Broadway. Armed with a MacArthur grant and determined to create a piece of brutal realism and honesty, something into which he can put his whole self, he gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in Manhattan's theater district. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a small mock-up of the city outside. As the city inside the warehouse grows, Caden's own life veers wildly off the tracks. The shadow of his ex-wife Adele, a celebrated painter who left him years ago for Germany's art scene, sneers at him from every corner. Somewhere in Berlin, his daughter Olive is growing up under the questionable guidance of Adele's friend, Maria. He's helplessly driving his marriage to actress Claire into the ground. Sammy Barnathan, the actor Caden has hired to play himself within the play, is a bit too perfect for the part, and is making it difficult for Caden to revive his relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel. Meanwhile, his therapist, Madeline Gravis, is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counselling him. His second daughter, Ariel, is disabled. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one. As the years rapidly pass, Caden buries himself deeper into his masterpiece. Populating the cast and crew with doppelgangers, he steadily blurs the line between the world of the play and that of his own deteriorating reality. As he pushes the limits of his relationships, both personally and professionally, a change in creative direction arrives in Millicent Weems, a celebrated theater actress who may offer Caden the break he needs. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
# There's a place
I long to be #

# A certain town
That's dear to me #

# Home to Mohawks
And GE #

# It's called Schenectady #

# I was born there and
I'll die there #

# My first home
I hope to buy there #

# Have a kid or
At least try there #

# Sweet Schenectady #

# And when I'm buried
And I'm dead #

# Upstate worms
Will eat my head #

--7:45 on this beautiful,
almost balmy

22nd of September
in Schenectady.

And it's the first day of fall.

So in honor of that fact,
we have Elke Putzkammer,

professor of literature
at Union College,

to talk about autumn
in poetry and literature.

Good morning, professor.
- Hi, Alex.

So, what about it?

Why do so many people
write about the fall?

Well, I think it's seen as

the beginning of the end,

If the year is a life,

then September,
the beginning of fall,

is when the bloom is off the
rose and things start to die.

It's a melancholy month

and maybe because of that,
quite beautiful.

Is there something
you might read to us?

Oh, I'd love to.

Whoever has no house now
Will never have one.

Whoever is alone
will stay alone

Will sit, read,

write long letters
Through the evening

And wander the boulevards
Up and down, restlessly

While the dry leaves
are blowing.

Goodness, that harsh,
isn't it?

Well, perhaps.
But truthful.

Mommy, done.


Good morning.
- Good morning.

I tried not to wake you.
Well, thanks.

You didn't. I just--
You know, I couldn't get up.

Caden, can you get that?

It's Maria, I don't want to.

Caden-- Oh, that's weird.

Hey, it's me. How are you?

Mommy, is something wrong
with my poop?

No, honey, it's just green.
I'll try your cell.

You probably
ate something green.

I didn't. What's wrong with me?

I have to get that, Olive.
You're gonna be fine, okay?

But, Mommy--

Yeah, I'll be right back, Olive.

Oh, nothing.
Just wiping Olive's ass. You?

An earthquake in Kashmir--

Oh, you're kidding.
Holy fuck.

--has killed an estimated

I don't feel well.

Oh, my goodness.

--march in Washington, D.C.,
today, October 15th.

Harold Pinter died.

Well, he's old, right?

No, wait.
He won the Nobel Prize.

- What, honey?

Do you need
to look at my poop?

You sure it's all right?
- It's fine, Olive. Just flush.

What if it's alive?
What if I kill it?

It's green like plants.
- It's not alive, honey.

Remember the production
of The Dumb Waiter

I did at Albanyfest?

Have your oatmeal, honey.

I want peanut butter and jelly.
- You said oatmeal.

This isn't a restaurant.

I don't want oatmeal.

Okay. Fine.

Mommy, I'm sorry.
- They found avian flu in Turkey.

In the country Turkey,
not turkeys.

Can I watch TV till school?
- In some chickens. Yeah.

There is a secret something
at play under the surface,

growing like an invisible virus
of thought.

But you're being changed
by it--

Milk's expired.
- Okay.


You better eat this.
- I will.


How did I guess
you'd ask me that question?

Happy Halloween, Schenectady.

And how long have you
been in New York for?

The first black graduate of
the University of Alabama died.

Vivian Malone Jones.

Stroke, 63.


God! Somebody! Adele, help!

Jesus, Caden, what the fuck?

I was shaving
and the thing flew off!

Oh, my God!
Jesus, look at your head.

Oh, shit.

Oh, God, I can't turn it.

Oh, wait.

Mommy, Daddy has blood.
- Yeah.

Will there be a scar?

It looks like a mud flap.

I prefer there not to be a scar.
- Yeah.

That fellow is annoying.

He's in here every week,
like clockwork.

There. I think that should--
- Let's see.

- Change in bowel movements?

It's a little more yellow
than usual. Why?

Yeah, I'd like you to see
an ophthalmologist.

A neurologist?
- What? No.

An ophthalmologist.
I said, ophthalmologist.

Do you hear that?


And today is Tuesday.
Mommy, is today Tuesday?

No, honey, today is Friday.
So, what exactly did he say?

That my pupils weren't properly,
uh, opening and closing.


- Yeah.

I don't think that's what he said.
- Yes.

That's not what he said.
- Is it the bump to your head?

He doesn't know. Maybe.

He said he doesn't think so,
but maybe. But he doesn't know.

But maybe. Who knows?
Okay, Jesus, Caden, I got it.

He doesn't know--
- Sorry. I'm a little anxious.

Did you have to get
a shot, Daddy?

No, honey. It's the start
of something awful.

Do I have to get a shot?

Course not.

Did you tell him
I have green poo?

It's fucked timing.
- Call the plumber-- Hey.

Sorry. I have rehearsal.
- Fuck.

Hey, come on.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Everybody, sorry.

How many years
until I have to get more shots?

Not for a really
long time, babe.

A million years?

Remember what Dr. Woodman said--
- Dad, what's a plumber?

Um, he's a-- He's a man--
- Or a woman, Dad.

Right. He's a man or a woman who
fixes sinks and toilets and...

Do you know what pipes are?
- No.

Hey, Jim. I had an accident.
- Like to smoke out of?

A different kind of pipe, honey.
- All right, bye.

Houses have pipes,
and they're made of...

Um, they're like tubes,
and they're behind the walls,

and they're under the floors
and everywhere.

And, um--
- What's the matter?

Every single where?
- It's okay, honey.

They just carry water
to and from sinks and toilets.

It's like in your body.
You have veins.

Capillaries filled with blood.

I have blood? I don't want
blood. I don't want blood.

What are you doing?
- Trying to explain plumbing.

Well, stop.
- I can't do this now.

Don't worry,
you don't have blood.

Don't tell her
she doesn't have blood.

Caden, stop it.
- I don't want blood.

Thanks for getting me in
right away.

Was it the bump to the head?


Could be, but I think we need
to get you to a neurologist.

- It's a brain expert.

I know what a neurologist is.

I thought from the way
you asked--

I just thought you said

Why do I need to see
a neurologist?

Just for a look-see.

The eyes are part of the brain,
after all.

No, that's not true, is it?

Why would I say it
if it weren't true?

It doesn't seem right.

Like morally correct,
or "right" as in accurate?

I don't know.
Accurate, I guess?


Now, when you kick off, boy,
I want a 70-yard boot.

And get right down the field
under the ball.

And when you hit,
hit low and hit hard,

because it's important, boy.

There's all kinds of
important people in the stands.

And the first thing you know--


Ben, where do I...?

Ben, how do I...?

Willy, you coming up?


Willy, answer me.

Willy! No!

Oh, Jesus, come on.
Oh, crap.

Claire, are you okay?
What's happening here?

It's too late in the game
to have these problems.

I know, Caden. I'm sorry.
We'll get it.

Oh, my God.
- You okay?

Yeah, I think
the-- The wig--

The wig saved my life.

It's okay, honestly.

That was good, Tom.

- Yeah.

I was trying something

I was crashing differently.

- Yeah, I saw that. I liked it.


Try to keep in mind that a young
person playing Willy Loman

thinks he's only
pretending to be

at the end of a life
full of despair.

But the tragedy is that we know
that you, the young actor,

will end up in this very place
of desolation.



that's great.

Let's try it again.
How long, David?

I-I think 15.


Uh. Hm...

So now what?

- Hey.

In search of
the elusive signal.

The signal's good here,

That-- That is odd.

I know.
Cell phones, they're crazy.

See you in a few.


Yeah, Dr. Heshborg said
I should see a Dr. Scoriano.

My pupils don't work.

I think
I have blood in my stool.

That stool in your office?

When I was pregnant with Olive.

What was it like?

I don't know.
Hopeful or something.

Like something
was gonna change.

Yeah, something did. No?
- Yeah.

Yeah, of course.
- I mean, bigtime.

I mean, maybe not as much
as I'd hoped.

I'm sorry.
That's a terrible thing to say.

There are no terrible things
to say in here,

only true and false.

Can I say something awful?

Yes, please do.

I've fantasized about
Caden dying.

Being able to start again,

I know that's-- That's bad.

Caden, does that feel terrible?
- Yeah.

Okay, good.

It's a nightmare in there.

I'm sorry.

So I'm reading The Trial.

- Yeah.

You like?
- Love.

I'm such an idiot
for not knowing about this book.

It's famous, as it turns out.
- Yeah.

You're not an idiot.

Then you say:

"In fact, Hazel, you're very
bright, and I love your eyes."

In fact, Hazel,
you're very bright.

Oh, am I?

And I love your eyes.

Do you?
Oh, you're a darling.

Then what do I say?

I can't say what then you say.
- Why?

Because it's dirty.

Could you--?
Could you step out for a second?

Go ahead.
I've seen boy parts.

Can I take a piss in your sink?

Yeah, sure. I guess.

We're sold out.




How was rehearsal?


We have,
uh, 560 lighting cues.

I don't why
I make it so complicated.

Because that's what you do.


We got through it though.
- That's really pretty.

Caden, I'm sorry, I--

I can't-- I can't come tonight.
I'm sorry.

I have two canvasses I have to
get ready to ship for tomorrow.

I know it sucks--
- It's opening night.

I know. I wish I could come.
I would if I could.

I've gotta get ready.
- You know. Tomorrow--

I have to get ready. I don't
know what I'm gonna wear.

I have to figure out
what I'm gonna wear.


Oh, boy, oh boy.


It's all right,
I came back.

Oh. I hated myself tonight.

Plus, I'm so-- Excuse me.
- Hey, Tom.

I'm so bloated and enormous.

No, you look good.
You were great.

I was very pleased.
- You okay?

Sorry. A little bit
of a headache.

Willy Loman.


I just wanted to say thank you
for everything.

You've been absolutely

It's gonna be miserable
going ahead without you.

I'll be around. I'll check in.
- I'm such a baby.

Okay. I'm gonna go get drunk,
that's what.

Okay. Claire.

Mm. Sweetheart.

Good. Good job.

Oh, don't worry,
I'll get better.

Good work.
- Don't worry, it'll get better.

Hey. I, uh--

I figured I'd better
get in fast.

Hey, you wanna--?
You wanna sit?

Yeah, thank you.

Where's el wife-o?

Had to work.

Uh, her show in Berlin
is in two weeks.

We're gonna go there
for like a month.

Why do I like you so much?

I couldn't begin to guess.

Me neither.

Do you get high, my friend?

You know, sometimes.

Do you want to now?
With me, in my car?

I-I get kind of, uh,

something when I'm stoned.

What does "something" mean?

You know,


What does "bothered" mean?

You know.

Bothered. Horny.


And me with a station wagon
and all. Could be dangerous.

Yeah, could be.

You're absolutely zero fun.

When are the reviews
gonna get here?

Don't know.

His best friends finger two babies--

One this big, one this big.
--and two kittens.


Hi, Caden. How'd it go?

- Hi.

It's late.

Maria came over
to keep me company because...

And we just lost track.
I got everything done.

But I'm sorry
I missed-- Missed your play.

I'm sorry.
But, uh, how'd it go?

Great. We're a hit.

Reviews are great.

Times said it was brilliant

casting young people
as Willy and Linda.

That's great, Caden. Good for you.
- Great.

I can't wait to see it tomorrow.
- That's-- Tonight.

That's great.

Wow, it's really late--
- Early.


It's late.
- Hey, I would love to see it too.

Can we get Maria a ticket?

You're stoned.

I mean, a little.
- It's, you know-- I don't know.

But are you happy with it?

Yeah. Yeah,
I'd love for you to see--

To know what you think.

It doesn't matter what I think.

Absolutely. It's all about

your artistic satisfaction,



I've always loved this house.

Yes, it's a wonderful place.

The truth is, I never really
imagined I could afford it.

Well, the sellers
are very motivated now.

It's a scary decision.

I-- I never thought
I'd buy a house alone.

But, you know, I'm 36,

and I wonder what it is
I'm waiting for.

Home buying is always scary.

And with the fire and all

Well, it's a good size though,
2200 square feet,

not including
the partially finished basement.

Oh, I don't know.

I'm thinking I should go.

It's a perfect size
for someone alone.

I like it, I-I do.

I'm just really concerned
about dying in the fire.

It's a big decision
how one prefers to die.

Would you like to meet my son?

Derek's living in the basement
since his divorce,

if that's okay.

Hey, Mom.

Let's go, Ma.

I want just a minute.

I never...

Forgive me, dear.
I can't cry.

I don't know what it is,
but I can't cry.

It seems to me that
you're just on another trip.

I keep expecting you.
Why did you do it?

I search and I search
and I can't understand it.

I made the last payment
on the house today.

We're free and clear.
We're free. We're free.

Well done.
- Bravo.

Well done.
It was very successful.

I thought it was wonderful.

Why did the older people
look so young?

It was a choice, Dad.
I'll explain later.

I can't get excited
about your restaging

someone else's old play,
it just--

There's nothing personal
in it.

People are coming out
of the theater crying.

Great. Be a fucking tool
of suburban, blue-haired,


You didn't you think it was long?
- No.

But what
are you leaving behind?

You act as if you have forever
to figure it out.

When you're dead,
there's no time. The world is--

I don't know.
I slept maybe three hours.

So we're both tired.

No, I cuddled with Olive
all night. It was great.

Morning. Morning.

Morning, Caden.

I think I might have arthritis.

Friends on fire.

I'm going to.

No, I know exactly. Okay,
I will. I'll call you later.

I know. You're right. Bye.

My joints are stiff.

Who was that?

- Right.

- Three hours since you spoke.

Caden, I think I wanna go
to Berlin with just Olive.

I think it would be good
for us.

Oh, Christ.

Morning, kiddos.

Why don't you--?
Why don't you want me to go?

You know, I think
it would be a good thing

for the two of us to do alone.

How do you think
I'm supposed to respond

to something like that?

Want me to zip your coat up?
- Yeah.

What's wrong
with your face, Daddy?

Uh, it's pustules.

It's called sycosis.

Spelled differently than

but it sounds the same.

I don't know what that means.

Of course not.

Well, there are two kinds
of psychosis.

They're spelled differently.

P-S-Y is like if you're crazy,
like Mama.

S-Y is like these ugly things
on my face.

You could have both, though.

I could, but I don't.

Can I ask you something, Ad?

Have I disappointed you somehow?

I don't know what I'm doing.

We're just spending
a little time apart.

We'll talk when I get back,

Everyone is disappointing.

The more you know someone,
it just...

This whole
romantic-love thing,

it's just a projection
anyway, right?

I mean, I don't know.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I love you.

I don't know what I'm doing.
I don't know.

We'll talk when I get back.


Flurostatin TR
allows you to live life,

when it's your turn to face
the challenges of chemotherapy.

Ask your doctor if Flurostatin
TR is right for you.

--and I'm on the first
train out of Palookaville.

--the Miracle Brush can scour
everything from bottles--

Rise and shine--

Lift those legs--

# There's no real way
Of coping #

# When your parachute
Won't open #

# You're falling down
You're going down #

# You fell
Then you died #

# Maybe someone cried #

# But not your one-time bride #

I'm lonely.

Yes. Anything else?

I'm hurt.
- Yes. And?

I think Adele's right.
I'm not doing anything real--

What would be real?

I'm afraid I'm gonna die.

I don't know
what's wrong with me.

I wanna do something important
while I'm still here.

That would be the time to do it.

I have a book
that might help you get better.


It's called Getting Better.

Who wrote it?
- I did. All of these.

Wow, I never knew that.

Yes. Well, wow, indeed.

In conclusion-- Cats eat rats--

Within his own plumbing--
Me who am as a raw nerve--

Synthetic vaginal juices--
Substantial crease--

That's $45.

Five. Five.


Oh. Some fives.
That's not good.

Keep with the flossing.
We'll see you in three months.

Six. Six. Six.

I'm gonna recommend
you see a periodontist.

He'll probably recommend
gum surgery.


Hey, I'm so glad
I finally got you.

Hello, who is this?

It's Caden.


It's Caden. I can't wait to see
you and Olive on the 12th--

No, I have to go. I'm sorry,
there's a party. I'm famous.

Have fun--

911, state your emergency.

I'm sick! I'm sick!
- Ma'am?

Mr. Cotard?

Mr. Cotard.

Mr. Cotard.

You've had a seizure of sorts.
- What does that mean?

Seems to be some synaptic
degradation, fungal in origin.

Autonomic functions
are going haywire.

You'll lose your ability
to salivate, cry, et cetera.

Is it serious?

We don't know. But, yes.

We'll get you enrolled
in some biofeedback program.

Maybe you can learn
some sort of manual override.

We should get a drink.
It would be fun.

It would be weird.

I like weird. I like you. See?

Anyway, I don't wanna
make you uncomfortable, I...

Okay, so I do wanna
make you uncomfortable.

# I just don't know
Why someone #

# One person in a sea #

And what do we do
with all this?

You wanna come over
to my place, Cotard?

I won't let you off
the hook this time

by saying, "Never mind."

Adele is only on vacation.

She hasn't called since
she left. It's been a year.

It's been a week.

I'm gonna buy you a calendar.


Just for one drink.

Come on. Scraps
for my scrapbook.

I can't, uh-- I really can't

drink very much
because of my condition.

Did you put something in it?

If that's what it takes,
consider it done.


Love potion number 69.

It's good.

Does it make you wanna kiss me?

Kind of.

Tell me why.

Because I feel-- I feel
a lot of longing.

Beg a girl, why don't you?

Please, Hazel.
- On your knees.


I want you to beg me
on your knees for a kiss.

Just for fun.

Why am I doing this?

For fun, baby.

Will you help me
forget my troubles?

Oh, kiddo.

You don't even know.

No, no, no.

- I don't know.

What is it?
- I don't know, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

- I don't know, I'm just, um...

I'm just really confused.

I'm sorry.

I, um...
I'm sorry.

I'm really, uh--
I'm really sick.

And I think I'm dying.

I have a kid,
and I'm married.

I just thought this might
change things, you know?

I had a good time, and I think
you're a very nice person.

That is just the wrong thing
to say right now, Caden.

You should go.

Hazel. Uh. Leave a message or not.
It's your dime.

Hi. You know, I haven't
heard from you in a while

and I just thought
I'd call and say hi.

Hi, Hazel.

Now. Now. Be here now.

Olive wanted me to ask you
not to read her diary.

She left it under
her pillow by mistake.

Dear Mr. Cotard, it is
my pleasure to inform you

that you have been named
a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

It is our hope
that you will use

your newly found
financial freedom

to create something
unflinchingly true,

profoundly beautiful
and of unremitting value

to your community
and to the world at large.

So, I got this MacArthur grant.
- Oh, Caden.

Yeah, a lot of money.
- You know what you're gonna do?

Theater piece.

Something big
and true and tough.

I can finally put my real self
into something.

What is your real self,
do you think?

I don't know yet.

The MacArthur is called
"the genius grant"

and I wanna earn it.

That's wonderful. God bless.

I guess you'll have to discover
your real self, right?


I wanted to ask you, how old are
kids when they start to write--?

There's an absolutely brilliant
novel written by a 4-year-old.

- Little Winky by Horace Azpiazu.

That's cute.
- Oh, hardly.

Little Winky
is a virulent anti-Semite.

The story follows his
initiation into the Klan

his immersion in the
pornographic snuff industry

and his ultimate degradation

at the hands of
a black ex-convict

named Eric Washington
Jackson Jones Johnson

Written by a 4-year-old?
- Jefferson.


W-Written by a 4-year-old?

Well, Azpiazu killed
himself when he was 5.

Why did he kill himself?
- I don't know. Why did you?


I said, why would you?

Oh, I don't know.

Yeah, I wanna bring my
production to New York.


And to get it seen by people,
you know, who matter.

The sooner the better.

This theater,
centrally located.

Heart of the theater district,
so, you know, great for plays.

- Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

There it is.

What was this used for?


Like, theater plays?

Uh-huh. Shakespeare.

King Lear.

The storm.

You see, the idea is to do
a massive theater piece.

You know uncompromising,
honest. Uh...

Here's what I think theater is.
It's the beginning of thought.

It's, uh, the truth
not yet spoken.

It's what a man feels like after
he's been clocked in the jaw.

It's love in all its messiness.

You know, and I want all of us,
players and patrons alike,

to, uh, soak in
the communal bath of it,

the mikvah, as the Jews call it.

Because we're all in
the same water, after all.

You know, soaking
in our very menstrual blood

and nocturnal emissions.

This is what I wanna try
to give people.

Okay, here you go.
Here's your salad.

Here's your soup.
- Thanks. Ahem.

Thank you.
- Enjoy.

What are you doing?


The biofeedback training.

So I was wondering
if you'd help.

In your box office?

No, as, um, my assistant.

I'm not sure I can work
with you, Caden.

I'm kind of angry.

I just wanna normalize it.

I think we'd have
a lot of fun together.

I miss you.

Really disturbing.
- I know.

Dear diary, thank you
for being my new best friend.

My name is Olive Cotard,
and I'm 4 years old.

I like chocolate,
and my favorite color is pink.

This is pink.

Yeah, that's good.

- Hi.

We'll start by talking honestly

and out of that,
a piece of theater will evolve.

I'll begin.

I've been thinking a lot
about dying lately.

You're gonna be fine, sweetie.

I appreciate that, Claire--

You are, you poor thing.

Yeah, well, regardless
of how this particular thing

works itself out,

I will be dying.

And so will you.

And so will everyone here.

And that's what I wanna explore.

We're all hurtling
towards death.

Yet here we are,
for the moment, alive,

each of us knowing
we're gonna die,

each of us secretly
believing we won't.

It's brilliant.

It's everything.

It's Karamazov.

- I'm just asking.

You're so obnoxious.
- You're so obnoxious.

You do not wanna cross me.
- Don't I?

Hi, Claire.

- Hazel.

Yeah. No, no.
- I know, I know. Hazel.

You're the box office.

Yeah, I'm the box office.

How are you?

Wonderful. You?

Yeah, yeah. I'm good.
I'm fine. Thank you.

Actually, I'm meeting
Caden here.

You know Mr. Cotard, right?

Yes, I recall Mr. Cotard.

Yeah. I'm waiting--

- Oh.

Hey. Hey.
- Hi, Caden.

Hi, Caden.

Hi, Hazel. Hi, Claire.


This is Derek.

Hi, Derek.
- Hi, Derek.

Hi, Derek.



Oh, well, we'll leave you be.
It's nice to see you again.

Take care.

Why am I bowing? Okay, bye.

That was awkward.

Yeah, I guess so.

Do you like beaver--?

So could you tell me
maybe what it is

that you want from me?


You know, like,
from my character.

Oh. Uh...

Well, we'll build it
over time together.

You know, try to find
a real person, maybe,

to model it after.

That Hazel girl's
kind of interesting maybe.

You know, like, why--?
- Although--

Why is she still working
at a box office at her age--?

I don't know. Probably not
that interesting.

Maybe she wanted
to be an actress

but she lacked
the confidence.

Yeah, we'll talk about it.
- I'm so excited.

Really? Why?

Because I think that it's brave.

And I just feel like I'm gonna
be part of a revolution.

I keep thinking about Artaud,
Krapp's Last Tape,

you know, and Grotowski,
for chrissake.

I don't know what I'm doing.

But that's what so refreshing.

Knowing that you don't know
is the first and the most

essential step
to knowing, you know?

I don't know.

Well, I'm proud of you.


Don't say that, not to me.
- Sorry.

My mother died last night.

Oh, my God. I'm so sorry.
- What are you doing out?

Well, I-I... This is me.

Well, um...

Well, it was nice meeting you.

Oh, God, did I
just say "meeting"?

I'm sorry. I'm so stupid.

Slip of the tongue, is all.

Yeah, it's a Freudian slip,

I don't know how it's Freudian.

To meet, you know?
Like, to meet.


There she met Ralph Keene.
They fell in love, married,

and soon their first child,
Claire, was born.

I used to be a baby.

Claire Elizabeth Keene
was a joyous child...

I'm sorry.
- ...the apple of her mother's eye.

She made her parents proud

with her politeness
and gymnastic skills.

God, you're beautiful.

When she was 7, little Claire
was bitten by the acting bug.

She starred in almost
every school musical

playing Ado Annie in Oklahoma

Adelaide in Guys And Dolls,

and Maria in
The Sound Of Music.

I have to fuck you.
I have to.

There will be
no other before you.

I'd like to buy a ticket, please.
- Oh.

Okay. Hold it. Ahem.
- That'll be $40.

We're not really--
We need to investigate.

You know, to really discover
the essence of each being.


You know, I think I need to work
with both of you separately.

Davis, I'll start with you.

I liked the beginning.
- I don't wanna see a good scene--

"Davis, I'll start with you"?

There's a difference
between favoring me

and pretending we've never met.

We've had Ariel. I think people
know that we've fucked.

We'll talk about your character
after we put Ariel to bed, okay?


I think I made a breakthrough.

This character
is so beautiful--

Yeah, I have to go
find my daughter.

Your daughter's right here.
- My real daughter.

Excuse me?

I mean, my first
daughter, Olive.

I have to go find her.

Please don't do this to us!

She's tattooed.
She's tattooed.

Oh, everyone is tattooed.

Oh, I've never seen that before.

You have responsibilities.

Yeah, I'll be quick.
I'll do it quick.

Redundancy is fluid.
Life moves to the south.

There is only the now,
and I am always with you.

For example, look to your left.


When you canceled, it freed me
up, so I'm traveling too. Yipee.

You know, I'm not sure
I'm getting the book.

Oh, but it's getting you.

You're almost
non-recognizable now.

Thank you.

I show you my leg.
I stand close,

and you inhale my perfume.

I offer my ripe flower
to you and you deny it.

This book is over.


I don't speak German.

Yeah, yeah.
I may help you, mister?

I'm looking for Adele Cotard.
Adele Lack.

We must not give addresses
or other personal informations.

Oh. I'm her husband.

No, you are not her husband,

which is named
Gunther und Heinz.

I'm the father of
her daughter, Olive.

I'm sorry, I-I cannot help you.

Dear diary,

Germany is wonderful.

So many friends here.

My new dads are great
and handsome

and brilliant directors
of theater.


You're here?


I live with Adele and Olive
and Gunther and Heinz

and Uschi and Britt.

I'm everyone's nanny.

I wanna see my daughter.


Yeah, they sent me.


Who are they?

Who the--? Who the fuck
are Uschi and Britt?

Uh, yeah, they decided
it's not time to see you--

They decided? Who decided?

They had her tattooed.

Oh, I did that.

Olive is my project--

She's a four-year-old!

She's a fucking four-year-old!

She-- She's almost
over 11 now.

She's my muse.

I love her--

You don't love her!

Where is she?

What did you do
to my daughter?

Oh, God.

Death comes
faster than you think.

Dr. Williams, that was your
last patient for the day.

Jennifer, let's stop
the charade, uh?

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

You're actually
having an affair off set.

Palpable, huh?
Oh, okay.

Who told you?

I mean,
it's not good.

Not good,
oh, okay.

You're actors playing actors.

You're in this scene,
you're not just filming it.

You're in this scene.

Just like that--

As you're telling him this,

you realize that you're
attracted to him also.

And how are you
gonna let him know that?

And the guilt you feel
about telling him

about somebody else
knowing that.

Daddy, Daddy is mine.

Daddy can't play now, honey.

Daddy doesn't live
with us anymore, baby.

He had to go
find himself.

They still feel a
little tight in the toe.

Have an argument.

You're having an argument.

Have it.

I don't buy it.

You, sir,
are a horse's ass.

Just get the fucking shoe.

Two sizes--

Tom, don't turn
into another person

just because I say
change your action.

And this started just today?

- Never happened before.


Okay. Good.

You can get dressed.

I mean, you're a doctor,

Now, am I dying?
Can you tell me that?


No, you--?
You can't tell me?

I can't tell you.

No, you can't tell me
if you can't tell me?


No, you can't tell me

'cause you're
not allowed to?



What are you
doing here?

Oh, I-I-I was wondering
if I was gonna bump into you.

- You look great.


Is that a new haircut?

Yeah, for--
For a while now.

What are you doing
in New York?

Um, I'm here with Derek
and the boys.

Um, mini vacation.

The boys?

Yeah. I-I thought you knew.

How old?


Uh, twins.

Robert and Daniel
and Alan.



They're nice names.

Where are they?

Derek took them
to the Natural History

so I could shop.


It's so good
to see you, Caden. I--

How are things?

You know, I, uh--

I was with Claire.

And we--
We have a daughter and--

But we're separated.


How about with you?


I have a great job
at Lens Shapers.

Shapers. Great.

You wear a lab coat.

It's so good to see you.

Oh, good to see you, Hazel.

Hey! Hey!

I got you.
Let me go.

How I love Maria.

She is so much more of a father

than Caden ever was,

with his drinking

and unfortunate
body odor and rotting teeth.

I could only loathe him,

and perhaps pity him.

But Maria.

I wanna come back.

I wanna take care
of you and Olive.

Ariel. Ariel. Fuck.


No, no, no, it's so late.




My father died.

Oh, baby.

They said his body

was riddled with cancer

and that he didn't know.

That he went in
because his finger hurt.

They said he suffered horribly.

And that he...

That he called out for me
before he died.

They said that he--

He said he regretted his life.

And they said
he said a lot of things.

Too many to recount.

They said it was the longest...

...and saddest deathbed speech

any of them had ever heard.

There was so little
left of him...

they had to
fill the coffin

with cotton balls

to keep him
from rattling around.

I'm really sorry
for your loss.

Thank you.

Can you excuse me a moment?

Of course.

I need to use the bathroom.

All right.

God bless you and your family.

God bless you.

Will you excuse me?

It's Hazel.
Leave a message or not.

It's your dime.

It's left five people dead.



Hi, Derek.

In other news,
German pharmaceutical giant

has won its libel suit
against patients

claiming chromosomal damage

from use of the arthritis

You, uh...

Just tell me what to do?

In Pakistan today,
the government--

Caden, everyone has to figure
out their own life, you know?

I just want you to look at me

the way you used to.

Oh, honey, I can't anymore.

You know I'm sorry.

I-I screwed everything up,

and I-I don't have
any courage.

And I-- And I'm sorry.


I'm okay.

I don't want you to be okay.

I mean, I do, but I--
It just, uh...

It rips my guts out.

I'll help you through
any way I can.

And I'll--
I'll help you through too.

I'm fine.

I have Derek.

Okay, I'm going.

Honey, I'm coming.

Dear diary,

today I felt a wetness
between my legs.

Maria explained to me,
now I am a woman.

And being a woman is wonderful

with Maria to guide me.



Olive, it's Daddy.

Olive, it's Daddy.

Olive, it's Daddy!

Olive, it's Daddy!

Don't fucking stare at me!


Get off!

It's my daughter!

That's my daughter!

Get off!

Get off!

I won't settle
for anything less

than the brutal truth.



Each day I'll hand you
a scrap of paper.

It'll tell you
what happened to you that day.

You felt a lump in your breast.

You looked at your wife
and saw a stranger, et cetera.



When are we gonna
get an audience in here?

It's been 17 years.

All right, I'm not excusing
myself from this either.

I will have someone play me

to delve into the murky,

cowardly depths

of my lonely,

fucked-up being.

And he'll get notes too,

and those notes
will correspond

to the notes
I truly receive

every day
from my god!

Get to work!

They fired me.

I caused an outbreak
of conjunctivitis.

Oh, God.

I didn't wash my hands.

I had pinkeye hands.

Oh, God.
I'm such a stupid cow.

Fucking private Christian
school is killing us.

You know, it's not cheap.

It's Derek's thing.

I don't believe in that shit,
you know.

You try to be a good person.

I mean, that's all there is.

Do you have anything
for me, Caden?


I mean, I already
have an assistant.

You know, I don't have
a box office yet, but--

Please, Caden.

Please, Caden. I...

Please, Caden.

Sammy Barnathan?

This is Sammy Barnathan.

I don't have a résumé

or a picture.

I've never worked as an actor.


Tell me why you're here.

Well, I've been...

I've been following you
for 20 years.

So I knew about this audition
because I follow you.

And I've learned
everything about you

by following you.

So hire me,

and you'll see
who you truly are.



Hazel, I don't think
we need to talk to anyone else.

This guy has me down.

I'm gonna cast him right now.

And then maybe you and I
can get a drink.

And we can try to figure out
this thing between us...

why I cried.

'Cause I've never
felt about anybody

the way I feel about you.

And I wanna fuck you

until we merge into a chimera,

a mythical beast

with penis and vagina
eternally fused,

two pairs of eyes

that look only at each other,

and lips ever touching.

And only one voice

that whispers to itself.


You've got the part.

I've never seen
your shit gray.

It's new.

That's a good--
Good boy.

When is it opening?

When it's ready.

We need to get in.
It's bad out here.


You know, I was thinking
of calling it Simulacrum.

I-I-I don't even know
what it means.

Can I have a nickel

if I doesn't play
with my pee-pee no more?


How about The Flawed Light
of Love and Grief?

I'm not sure.

Claire, I want you
to play yourself.

Sammy's gonna move
into your apartment set as me.

It, uh...

It would be my honor
to play your husband, Claire.

You're an amazing actress.

No, I saw you
do Bernarda Alba

last year
at the Roundabout.


That was a fun play.

Emotionally, it was tough,

but fucking fulfilling.

Plus, I loved working with
so many strong female actresses.

I'm gonna start thinking
about myself.

Start, huh?

Claire Keen. Claire Keen.

Why did we
leave Adele, Caden?

She left us.

Now, you know that
better than anybody.

Except me.

An amazing
artist though.

The best living artist.

I mean, there's no one who
stares the truth in the face

like she does.

Sweet pussy too.

How do you know that?

Oh, I read it.


I mean, I don't know
where she is.

Well, maybe she's got

a sublet in New York.

Maybe she's got
a retrospective at the Met.



Why are you giving me this?

I wanna follow you there

and see how you lose
even more of yourself.


You know,
for the part.


Hold it. Hold it, please.

Hold it, please.

I asked you
to hold the door.

I'm sorry, I, uh,
pressed the button,

but I think it was too late.
You didn't press it.

Have a good night.

Yeah, thanks.

Are you Ellen?

- Ellen.

Are you Ellen Bascomb?


I'm to give the key to 31Y
to Ellen Bascomb.

Yes, I'm Ellen.

She said you should just
go ahead and get started.

And don't forget
to change the sheets.

Okay, thanks.

Oh, sweetheart.



Hi, Ellen.

Be a doll and do the sheets

and whatever's in the hamper.

Your money's under the toaster.

Kisses. Mwah, Adele.

P.S. Bag of stuff in bedroom
closet for Goodwill.

Take what you want.

Went for a walk.

I had to think.

All night?

You smell weird.

Are you wearing lipstick?


What do I--?
What do I smell like?

Like bad?
Like an old person?

I don't know.
Like mold and cleaning products.

Like you're menstruating.
I don't know.


You tell me.

I-I don't menstruate.

So I don't know how I could
smell like I'm menstruating.

I wouldn't know.

I don't like the guy
you got to play you.

You don't like Sammy?

Why? I-I think he's good.

I think you should fire him.

Fuck you. I'm 45 years old.

I don't wanna
do this shit anymore.

I won't fire him, he's the best
thing in the play except you.

He's coming on to me.

He's grabbing my ass
in rehearsal.

He's your husband.

Good, Jimmy.
He's not my goddamn husband.

You are. What the fuck
is wrong with you?

I'm going to rehearsal.

It's about the play. We're
getting at something real here.

That's great, you guys.

Beautiful, Sammy.

Caden? Time-out?
- Yeah.

What's up?

Well, I feel we need
a, uh-- A Hazel in here.

I mean, there's a whole
side of Caden

I can't explore without a Hazel.

I guess, yeah.

I get to be a character?



Hi, Ellen.

Crackerjack job last night.

Would you do sheets again?

We had quite a fuck,

and it's musky and gross.

Kisses, A.

Hi, Adele.

Relined the cabinets.

I just wanted to let you know
I won a MacArthur Grant.

And I'm mounting a play

which I think is gonna
be pure and truthful.

Best, Ellen.

I went for a walk.

I had to think.

Caden, what are you
doing at night?

I have a right
to fucking know.

I've been going
to Adele's place.

And cleaning it.

Do you have any idea
what I've given up for you?

For this? For you?

For you?
Could you please get that?

Uh-oh, this looks serious.
Am I interrupting?

What's going on, Hazel?

I just wanted you to know
that the actress playing me

is ready to start today.

That's great,

that's all we need
around here; two Hazels.

Okay, I'll take that
as my cue.

Maybe you could
clean her toilet.

Maybe I will.

This is over.

No, Claire--

I'm not
talking to you.

I didn't say I was gonna
clean Hazel's toilet.

He did.
But you thought it!

I thought it,
but I didn't say it.

I got an offer to do
Needleman in a Haystack.

And I'm gonna take it.

I want you
out of the apartment.

The real one.
You can keep this one.




Hi, yeah, we're gonna need
a Claire replacement.


I didn't say it!

I already
put out a call

for a Claire

But I'm afraid
I'm gonna have to move on.

Just like that?

You don't give a guy
even a chance?

I'm not a chance-giving girl.

I'm a fun-loving girl,

I try and be
fun-loving, see?

Ha-ha-ha! Sorry.

My analyst says
you have complexes.

Once you enjoyed
Needleman's complexes.

That's before
my analyst taught me--

This is the last of my stuff.

- Bye.

From the top?

Oh, Needleman,
you had such potential.

But I'm afraid
I'm gonna have to move on.

I'm sorry. Okay.

Oh, Needleman,
you had such potential.

But I'm afraid--

I'm going to have to move on.

Just like that?
Don't give a guy a chance?

I'm not a chance-giving girl.

I'm a fun-loving girl.

Once you enjoyed
Needleman's complexes.

That's before my
analyst taught me--

This is a lie.

Come here. I try to be
fun-loving, see?

She told me your hatred of--


Wall it up.

All of it.


Oh, Needleman, oh...

All right.

Good for you with your grant.

Listen, I fixed up the walk-in
as a sort of bedroom

if you want.
We'd love to have you

and you wouldn't have to schlep
all the way to Queens.

It's just a thought.
Kisses, A.

Dear diary,

I'm afraid I'm gravely ill.

It is perhaps times like these

that one reflects
on things past.

An article of clothing

from when I was young.

A green jacket.

A walk with my father.

A game we once played.

Pretend we're fairies.
- Pretend we're fairies.

I'm a girl fairy.
- I'm a girl fairy,

and my name is Lauralee,
and my name is Lauralee.

and you're a boy fairy,
and your name is Teetery.

Pretend when we're fairies,
we fight each other.

And I say,
"Stop hitting me or I'll die."

And you hit me again,
and I say:

"Now I have to die."

And you say,
"But I'll miss you."

And I say, "But I have to.
But I have to.

"And you'll have to wait

"a million years
to see me again.

"And I'll be put in a box

"and all I'll need
is a tiny glass of water

"and lots of tiny
pieces of pizza.

And the box will have wings
like an airplane."

And you ask,

"Where will it take you?"

"Home," I say.
- Home.

This is to hear.

So words--
English here, yeah?

I'm dying

as I'm sure Maria told you.

The flower tattoos have become

infected and they're dying.

So I am as well.

This is life.

It's Maria.

She did this.

Maria gave me a reason to live

once you left.

The flowers defined me.

Your mother and Maria
took you away.

I've tried for years
to find you.

I didn't leave you.

I want to talk to you
about your homosexuality.

I'm not a homosexual.

Maria said you would deny it.

Well, she's a liar.

She's lying to you.

I had the same struggle

when I first
fell in love with Maria

and we began to have
dirty, aching sex.

Maria is your lover?

Of course,
she introduced me to myself.

To my vagina and to hers.

But you have no idea

how evil she is.

I need to forgive you
before I die

but I can't forgive someone

who has not asked
for forgiveness.

I just want--
I have no time.

I need you to ask
for forgiveness.

Can you ever
forgive me?

For what?

For abandoning you.

For abandoning you
to have anal sex

with my homosexual lover, Eric.

I will, I'll say it.

For abandoning you...

to have anal sex

with my homosexual
lover, Eric.



No, I'm sorry.

I cannot.

I hope you are happy,

I'm not happy.

I'm not happy.

I've talked to you before.

This is not a play about dating.

It's about death.

Make it personal.
- Move along.

He doesn't need to
yell at them.

It is a play
about dating.

It's not a play
just about death.

It's about everything.

Dating, birth, death,
life, family...

...all that.

This doesn't look real.


It's not real.
I can't hear you.

Morning, Hazel.

Hi, Caden.

How was your night?

It was okay.

Ugh, Phillip was colicky.

I was up all night.

Oh, sorry.


Everybody here?

Sammy's not here.

Jimmy called and--

Said there's some
subway problem.

Sorry. Sorry.

Hi, Hazel.

Hi, Sammy.

Sammy likes you.

I need you to build this.

This is just the façade.

It's Adele's place.

We'll be casting an Ellen.

I can give you
the interiors later.

A few days?

Millicent Weems?

Caden, this is--

Hazel, what do you
think of this title?

Unknown, Unkissed
and Lost?


Anyway, uh, this
is Millicent Weems.

Have a seat.

How are you
at cleaning?

Very, very
good at it.

Because this part
requires a lot of it.

You'd be playing
a cleaning lady.

I played Egga,

the cleaning lady,
in Hedda Gabler

at the Roundabout.

Great. Okay.

And, uh, Mrs. Dobson

in Scrub-A-Dub
at the Pantages.

You're weirdly close
to what I visualized

for this character.

Glad to be weirdly close.

Sorry, everybody.

what's going on?

I'm sorry.

We have a couple
of new guys on.

We're not in sync yet.

We good to go?

Yes, sir.

I'm sorry.

Are you Ellen?

Are you
Ellen Bascomb?


Line, please?


Right, right.


I'm to give the key to 31Y

to Ellen Bascomb.

Yes, I'm Ellen.

Oh, dear.
It's the wrong key.

I'll be in, in a second.

Did you hear that?
- What?

Uh, Caden, you're breaking
the fourth wall.

This is the wrong key.

I can open--
- I'm supposed to open the door.

Hold on.

Are you in there?

There's no one
in there.

- Caden.

I'm jumping in the shower.

I'll be out in a second.

If you want some coffee

I can make a fresh pot.

Did you look at
the new painting on my easel?

What do you think?

Hey, thanks for the fuck
this morning.

People don't walk like that.

What? Too...?

No, just walk
like yourself.

Watch. Watch this.

I gotta go.

Watch this.

Where's, uh,
Hazel and Sammy?




Hi, Caden.

What are you doing?

I was being you, I...

You know, you like Hazel,
I like Hazel.

This Hazel
doesn't exist for you.

If you wanna like a Hazel,
like that one.

That's what I
tried to tell him.

No harm, no foul, Caden.

It's equity
break anyway.

Ten minutes,

- What?

Well, you don't
like him, do you?

Yeah, he reminds me of you.

I'm me.

You don't need someone
to remind you of me.

Oh, don't worry,

I like you more.

I do.

It's just, Sammy's fun.

I'm fun.

Oh, sweetie, no, you're not.

Hold on a sec. Yes?

Is this Caden Cotard?


This is Officer Melnin
of Schenectady P.D.

I'm sorry to inform you

your mother's been the victim
of a home invasion.

What does that mean?

She is dead.

Was my father standing with us?

I don't know what he looks like.

He's dead.

So he looks dead, I guess.

Probably wasn't him, then.

He was a big guy.


Thanks for coming with me.

That's okay.

I asked Hazel

but she was busy tonight,

and you're the next best thing.

I mean, it's not that
you're the next best thing

but because you play her,
it feels comforting.

Does that make sense?

Although the thing is,

off-stage you're
nothing like her.

But you play her
very well, though.

Did Hazel mention what
she was doing tonight?

Because I called
her house before we left

and her husband told me

she wasn't gonna
be back till late.

And I just thought
that was weird

because she said
Phillip was sick.

She's having dinner
with Sammy.

That's interesting.

He's supposed to like me.

I'll have another talk with him.

Will you excuse me?

I need to go to the bathroom.

Don't forget your phone.


Thanks, Yammy.

It's Hazel.
Leave a message or not.

It's your dime.

You can stay
in my parents' room.

I thought someone
would have cleaned it up.


I don't know. Someone.

This is my room.
You can sleep here.

Where are you going to sleep?

The living-room couch.

Don't you want to sleep with me?

It's just sex.


If you think it's okay.

How can you be like that?

I get undressed every day.

In front of someone
is different.

I don't see why.

Maybe because you have
a beautiful body.

Maybe that makes it easier.

Yeah, I suppose it might.

Do you want to fuck?

I do. Um, do you?

Take your clothes off.

I'm sorry.

I'm very, very lonely.

I don't, ah...

know what's wrong. I-I just--

I'm sorry.

Do you understand?

I mean, can--? Can you
understand loneliness?

Yeah. I mean--

I don't know, I--

I feel okay, mostly.

Fucking might help.

I'm sorry.

It's okay, I don't mind.

Take your clothes off.

You're very pretty.


Sometimes I wish
I could be pretty like that.

What, you wish you were a girl?

Sometimes I think
I might have been better at it.


It's kind of a drag
in a lot of ways.

Do you like guys?


I only love women.

Well, I'm getting cold.

You're pretty, Caden.

Thanks for saying that.

Come to bed, pretty Caden.

I shouldn't have drunk
so much fucking beer last night.

What are you gonna do about it?

Get lunch. What are you
going to do?

For chrissake.
- Good, Roland.

Thanks, Caden.

We need to fire him.

We don't need to fire him.

Jeremy's playing to us.

Tell him to talk to Donna
and we'll hear what we hear.

Sammy's explaining too much.
It feels expository.

It needs to be shorthand,
like, "Jeremy, big."

Caden, can we stop a second?


If Hazel's in love with Sammy,

and Caden's in love with Hazel

there would be a big

where Caden turns
to me and says:

"It's obvious he's
a substitute for me."

Then I think Hazel would have
a good moment where she cries

or gets ang--
Gets angry,

I'm not sure which,
but I think it's sound--

That didn't happen.

I think Hazel would do that.

But Hazel hasn't
done that, Tammy.

Caden, what do you think?

I-- I feel like we could--
We could try it.

- Fuck.

Let's try it.

Maybe it could happen
at the director's table.


You know, Tammy's right.

I don't understand
why you're with Sammy.

He's nice, he's available,
he fucks me without crying.

Since when are you available?

Derek left because of you.


How come you never told me?

I don't know, Caden.
- How come a lot of things, huh?


I gotta let go of the actor
who played Derek.

What's his name?

What? That is such
a romantic response.

I am touched.
- It's not my response.

Derek is played by...
It crossed my mind.

We have enormous
budgetary concerns here.

Oh, oh...


Stop. Okay? No, just stop.

I do not like Tammy,
and she's nothing like me.

How can you like her, anyway?

She looks like you.

Joe Abernathy.
No, she does not.

She offered to have sex with me.

- Abernathy?


Was it good?

It was nice.
- Oh.

I'm just being honest.

It was nice.
It wasn't earth-shattering.

Did you cry?
- No.

You're making progress.

Okay, I cried a little before.

Hazel, you've been
a part of me forever.

Don't you know that?

I breathe your name
in every exhalation.

What are we doing?

I don't know.


this is the place
- Yeah.

I stayed with Derek
and the kids.

Yeah, we're almost--




Caden. Caden, look at me.

What are you doing?

Sammy, stay right where you are.
I'm coming up.

There's nothing to talk about,
Hazel. It's not your fault.

What are you doing?

I've watched you forever, Caden.

But you've never really looked
at anyone other than yourself.

So watch me.

Watch my heart break.

Watch me jump.

Watch me learn that after death
there's nothing.

No more watching, there's
no more following, no love.

Say goodbye to Hazel for me.

And say it for yourself too.

None of us has much time.

Sammy! Come down!

Hazel, I love you!


I didn't jump, Sammy.

A man stopped me before
I jumped. Get up!

I didn't jump.

I know how to do it now.

There are nearly 13 million
people in the world.

I mean, can you imagine
that many people?

And none of those people
is an extra.

They're all leads
in their own stories.

They have to be given their due.

I know how to do it now.

There are 13 million
people in this world.

Can you imagine
how many people that is?

None of those people
are an extra.

They're all a lead
in their own story.

They have got
to be given their due.

Do you see what
I'm saying?

Come over tonight.


You know, we could get
a place together.

We could get a loft.

God, Caden, that sounds nice.

I miss my daughter.

Maybe she could come
live with us.

I miss Olive.

And the other one.

I'm a bad person.

Oh, no, you're not.

I am.

I should never have gone
out with Sammy.

I was just trying to get to you.

You can't cause someone
to kill himself.

He was very troubled.

God, Caden.

I wish we had this
when we were young.

And all those years in between.

My heart aches so much for you.

We're here, Caden.

I'm here.

I'm aching for it being over.


the end is built
into the beginning.

What can you do?

God, you're just perfect.

I'm a mess.

But we fit,

don't we?


It doesn't always
happen for me now

because of the medication
and everything.

I take a lot of pills.

It's okay.

I'm-- I'm embarrassed.

I don't want you to think
it's about you or-- Or me.

It's okay.

I have a title.

The Obscure Moon
Lighting an Obscure World.

I think it might be too much.

Yeah, probably.

Sir, could you come up here, please?


Might be smoke inhalation.

It's Hazel. Leave a message
or not. It's your dime.

I know how to do the play now.

It'll all take place
over the course of one day

and that day will
be the day before you died.

It was the happiest
day of my life.

And I'll be able
to relive it forever.

See you soon.

So have you got any thoughts

for today's rehearsal?

I have a new title, maybe.


Infectious Diseases in Cattle.


The title means a lot of things.

You'll see, it means a lot.

I need a Caden for my Hazel.

I'd very much like
to play Caden.

I-I know that--

I know that it would
be nontraditional casting

but I think, ah, I could do it.

I think I understand him.

I don't understand him.

Well, Caden Cotard
is a man already dead.

He, um, lives in a half world
between stasis and antistasis

and time is concentrated,

chronology confused.

Yet up until recently he's--

He's strived valiantly

to make sense of his situation.

But now he, ah--
He's turned to stone.

Okay. Sounds good.



She's right?

I didn't see that at all.

I saw it as much more hopeful.

None of those people is extras.

They're all leads
in their own stories.

No, this is tedious.
- This is nothing.

Your scene's over.
Would you leave the stage?

What is she doing?

He's directing.

Can I get you down
at the coffin there?

She not getting the
feel of you, Caden.

You don't move around like that.
You don't talk to people.

Sit on the ground there.

Okay, everybody, let's run it.

Everything is more
complicated than you think.

You only see a tenth
of what is true.

There are a million
little strings

attached to every
choice you make.

You can destroy your life
every time you choose.

But maybe you won't know
for 20 years

and you may never,
ever trace it to its source.

And you only get one
chance to play it out.

Just try and figure
out your own divorce.

And they say there is no fate,

but there is,

it's what you create.

And even though the world goes
on for eons and eons

you are only here for a fraction
of a fraction of a second.

Most of your time is spent being
dead or not yet born.

But while alive,
you wait in vain

wasting years

for a phone call
or a letter or a look

from someone or something
to make it all right.

And it never comes,

or it seems to,
but it doesn't really.

So you spend your time
in vague regret

or vaguer hope that something
good will come along.

Something to make
you feel connected.

Something to make
you feel whole.

Something to make
you feel loved.

And the truth is

I feel so angry.

And the truth is

I feel so fucking sad.

And the truth is,
I've felt so fucking hurt

for so fucking long.

And for just as long,
I've been pretending I'm okay

just to get along,

just for--

I don't know why.

Maybe because no one wants
to hear about my misery

because they have their own.

Well, fuck everybody.





I'm out of ideas.

I'm dead.

Well, I could take over
as you for a bit

until you feel refreshed.

I think you're tired, Caden.

All these years
of creative work.

I think you just
need some time

to regroup.

I need to keep
my hand in.

Well, Ellen needs
to be filled.

What do you mean?

Her role. Just for a bit.

It's a choice role.

I do like to clean.



Caden asked me to give you this.

You're to keep
it in all the time.

So touched by the sadness

of Adele's neighbor
so close to death.

Say, "Thank you,"
to Adele's neighbor.

Thank you.

You're very welcome, young lady.

Now say, "Have a very good day."

Have a very good day.

I will indeed.

Reach for the toilet paper.

Wrap some around your hand.

Wipe yourself.

There was supposed
to be something else.

You were supposed
to have something,

a calm.



A child, at least.



Everything okay, Eric?

Everything is everything.

He hates me.

I disappointed him,
and he hates me.

Everyone is disappointing
when you know someone.

I remember having that
picnic with my mother.

Look at me.

Ellen, what is it?

I was so young.

I'm going to remember
this moment

for the rest of my life, Mama,

and in exactly 20 years,
come here with my daughter

and have exactly
the same picnic.

There was so much hope.

Baby, that the loveliest thing
I've ever heard.

Oh, God.

Sorry, Mommy. I'm sorry.

Where is my little girl?

Where is my little girl?
Where is my little girl?

Look at the night table
for a note from Adele.

Adele died of lung
cancer last night.

You may stay on if you like.

Stare out the window.

Remember the time
she got you to pose

for one of her paintings?

How she told you
how beautiful you were?

How she made you feel pretty
again for a little while?

Think how you'll miss her.

Stand up.

Now it is waiting,
and nobody cares.

And when your wait is over,
this room will still exist...

...and it will continue to hold
shoes and dresses and boxes

and maybe someday
another waiting person.

And maybe not.

Freedom. Two, four!

The room doesn't care either.


There's nobody running
the elevator anymore.

What was once before you,

an exciting
and mysterious future

is now behind you,

lived, understood,

You realize
you are not special.

You have struggled
into existence

and are now slipping
silently out of it.

This is everyone's experience.

Every single one.

The specifics hardly matter.

Everyone is everyone.

So you are Adele,

Hazel, Claire,


You are Ellen.

All her meager sadnesses
are yours.

All her loneliness.

The gray, straw-like hair.

Her red, raw hands. It's yours.

It is time for you
to understand this.


As the people who adore
you stop adoring you

as they die, as they move on

as you shed them,
as you shed

your beauty, your youth

as the world forgets you,

as you recognize
your transience,

as you begin to lose

your characteristics one by one

as you learn
there is no one watching you

and there never was,

you think only about driving.

Not coming from anyplace,

not arriving anyplace,

just driving,

counting off time.

Now, you are here.

It's 7:43.

Now, you are here. It's 7:44.

Now, you are...


Where is everybody?

Mostly dead.

Some have left.

Would you sit
with me for a moment?

Because I'm very tired
and-- And lonely.


I feel like I know you.

Well, I was, um, the mother
in Ellen's dream.


You seem a bit older
than I remember.

That dream was quite
a while ago.


I didn't mean to say
you looked old.


There's everyone's dreams
in all those apartments.

All those thoughts

I'll never know.

That's the truth of it.

I wanted to do that picnic
with my daughter.

I feel like I've
disappointed you terribly.

Oh, no.

I am so proud of you.

Ask her if you can put your
head on her shoulder.

Can I lay my head
on your shoulder?



I love you.

I love you too.

I know how to do this play now.

I have an idea.

I think...

if everyone--


# I'm just a little person #

# One person in a sea #

# Of many little people #

# Who are not aware of me #

# I do my little job #

# And live my little life #

# Eat my little meals #

# Miss my little kid and wife #

# And somewhere
Maybe someday #

# Maybe somewhere far away #

# I'll find
A second little person #

# Who will look at me and say #

# I know you #

# You're the one
I've waited for #

# Let's have some fun #

# Life is precious #

# Every minute #

# And more precious
With you in it #

# So let's have some fun #

# I'm glad I found you #

# Like hanging round you #

# You're the one #

# I like the best #

# Somewhere, maybe someday #

# Maybe somewhere far away #

# Somewhere, maybe someday #

# Maybe somewhere far away #

# Somewhere, maybe someday #

# Maybe somewhere far away #

# I'll meet
A second little person #

# And we'll go out and play #

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