The Lost Daughter (2021) - full transcript

Leda is a middle-aged divorcée devoted to her work as an English teacher and to her two children. When her daughters leave home to be with their father in Canada, Leda anticipates a period of loneliness and longing. Instead, slightly embarrassed by the sensation, she feels liberated, as if her life has become lighter, easier. She decides to take a holiday by the sea, in a small coastal town in southern Italy. But after a few days of calm and quiet, things take a menacing turn. Leda encounters a family whose brash presence proves unsettling, at times even threatening. When a small, seemingly meaningless event occurs, Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult, unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The seemingly serene tale of a woman's pleasant rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with an unsettled past.

- Ms. Caruso?
- Leda. Yes.

Hi. Welcome.

Thank you.

- Was the drive all right?
- Yeah.

Must've been backed up
on the National Road after Corinth.

Have you been waiting a long time?

- Uh…
- Oh!

It's all right.

- Sorry, I had a late start.
- No, let me. I got it.

- Sorry, they're half-filled with books.
- Yeah.

Is this your place?

No, I take care of it. For 30 years now.

Oh, wow.

And a few other places
on the island.

The real big ones.

- Here. Here's your key.
- Oh.

Uh, make yourself at home
and I'll be back with the other ones.


Here you go. That about does it.

I'll turn the air on in the…
in the bedroom.

Oh, no, I prefer the fresh air.

Well, you know, let me just
cool it down for you a little bit.

If you wanna…

…turn it off later, be my guest.

Your breakfast, uh, is covered
at the bar downstairs.

Oh, breakfast in a bar.

The lighthouse.

- It's not all the time.
- Okay.

Are you…

You write books?

Or, what are you, a teacher?

I'm a professor.

Okay. I see.

- Um, can I get you a tip?
- No, no. Please.

Well, welcome to Kyopeli.

Thank you.

Let me know
if I can do anything for you.

Thank you.

Excuse me, do you need some help?

It's just, you're in the sun.
I could move your chair if you'd like.

Oh, yeah, I am in the sun.

Can I move your chair
under the umbrella?


I work at the beach house, so…

No, please. Let me.

There we are.

- Thanks.
- Very welcome.

Uh, just let me know if you need anything.

I'm Will.

There's, uh, Nespresso
and ice pops and things.

- Great. Thanks, Will.
- All right.

- Will?
- Mm-hmm. Yeah?

What ice pops have you got?

Hey, hey, hey.

Watch out!

Can you take it easy? Hey!

Guys, there's a fucking person here.

- Sorry.
- Can you get me ice cream?

- It's way over there.
- Not my problem.

My God!

Yeah, it is
your fucking problem, man!

- Okay, so…
- Want some ice cream?

I told the kids today.
You didn't have them the other day.

- You see that ice cream? That ice cream.
- That ice cream. Okay. Great.

No, but also like the rainbow colored.
You have that?

- Yeah.
- I told you.

You need anything? Great.

You didn't even go.
He didn't even…

Why did dinosaurs die before us?

Do they go and dry up?

They do?


Nina, you gotta put something on her
'cause it's cold now.

That robe.

You gotta put something on her.

See? That's all better.

Do you think
that I'm ever gonna get my doll?



Oh, my God.

Hey, motherfucker!

Fuck you! Motherfucker.

Mama, want more?

Yeah. I want more.

Neni, you want more?

- I think Neni wants more.
- Yes. Yes, please.




- Can I have a glass of water, please?
- Yes. One second.

Don't let it break.
Peel it like a snake.

This one is a round one.

I think it's raining…

- Should we keep it in a cage?
- Isn't that nice?

- That's really good.
- No?

- Know what we should do?
- What?

We should stick
googly eyes on his face,

and we should put him in a cage
and decorate the cage.


- Here you go.
- Thanks.

- You all right? Okay.
- Mmm. Yes.

- Let me know if you need anything.
- Thank you.

Martha, baby.

I was just thinking of calling you.
Just got in from the beach.

What's ruined?

Why did you go to someone you don't know?

It's not ruined.

It just gets really dry
when you dye it so much.

I sometimes put a teaspoon of olive oil…


Does your dad know someone?

I'm on holiday.
I'm looking out over the most--


I love you too.



You guys just move down
to the last umbrella, okay? Thank you.

And he'll get you a couple of sodas.
Thank you very much.

This should've been done before.
So this lady also has to move.

- You don't mind moving, right?
- No, I'm fine here.

It's just switching umbrellas
so my family can be together.

I understand that,
but I have no desire to move.

Hey, what's the big deal?

You do us this favor today,
we'll do a favor for you tomorrow.

No, thank you.


Honestly, I don't even know
what to say to you.

It's just moving
down the beach a few feet.

- This fucking…
- That's enough.

I'm sorry.

We put you on a diet
and you're eating all this cake.

- You want a piece of cake?
- Oh, thank you. No.

I'm sorry about earlier.
All right?

It's my birthday.

- Happy birthday.
- Thank you.

- How old are you?
- I'm 42.

You got a lovely big belly.

Well, it's a girl. So, you know.

- And how much longer have you got?
- Two months.

My sister-in-law had hers right away.

Took me eight years.

These things happen
when they're supposed to happen.

- Have a great birthday.
- Where you from?

I'm from Cambridge, near Boston.

No, I mean, where are your people from?

- My people?
- Yeah.

Are from Leeds. Well, Shipley, really.

- Fancy.
- No, it's not fancy.

I thought you were from Queens. I swear.

Not 'cause you talk like it,
but just, like… something.

That's where we're mostly from,

but we have family
in this town for, like, 300 years.



You don't have kids?

Yes, I have two daughters.

Where are they?

How old are they?

Uh, Bianca is 25 and Martha is 23.


I mean, you're too young.
You must've started really early.

I'm 48.

Shit. No.

You look amazing.

We were saying before,
you couldn't be more than 40.

Damn, you're lucky.

- What's your name?
- Leda.

- Neda?
- Leda.

Leda. Leda what?


Oh! Caruso from Queens.

I'm Callie.


It means the most beautiful.

You're not gonna have a bite?
Not even one bite?

- Oh.
- How can you hold cake and not eat it?


- It's good, right?
- It's really good.



Look, I'm sorry about earlier as well.
I was feeling a bit anxious.

Yeah, well, you know, the sun can do that.

And, well, maybe your girls.
Being away from your girls, you know?

Yeah, well, you'll see.

Children are a crushing responsibility.

Happy birthday.


- Hi. Hello.
- Lyle. From upstairs.

- Yeah, of course.
- I'm glad you made it down here.

- It's not so bad, right?
- No.

- I hope we didn't disturb you.
- Oh, no, no.

What are you drinking?

Oh, I'm fine. I'm still half full.

Nice to have a place like this,
just down the stairs.

You know, especially when you're alone.

- Keeps you from eating canned beans.
- Or rotten fruit.

- Uh, I forget to eat entirely sometimes.
- Oh, that's not good.

I saw you at the beach today.
Callie's birthday party.

Oh, well, I wasn't exactly at the party.
I didn't see you.

I saw you.

- You know, you're settling in upstairs?
- Yeah. It's great. Thanks.

- Yeah? Everything's okay in the apartment?
- Yeah, it's great. Thank you.

Did you find that remote?
You know, for the fan?

No, I prefer
to pull the string to turn it on.

- The fan.
- Pull.

Pulling the ol' string, eh?

- The apartment's great.
- It's a good one.

Bright and white.

- Feels like you're on a boat almost.
- Yes.

- No, no, I got it.
- Oh, no, really.

- I insist.
- Oh, thank you.

Just let me know
if I can do anything for you.

I will. Thank you.

Do you mind
if I finish my dinner now, Lyle?

Oh, sure.

- Yeah.
- Okay.

A beautiful game.


Damn it!

You do whatever the fuck you want.
You wanna take care of your baby girl?

You say you miss us.

You wanna come back and you want me.
You want this ass?

What? You're such a piece of shit.

I'm a piece of shit?

Fuck you! Hey!
















Further that way, okay?




That's our… That's… That's our water gun.

It's okay, she's wearing your big hat.
We'll find her, okay?



- Bianca!
- Bianca, come here!







I lost my mama.

Oh. I'll help you find her.
Come on.


Oh, my God!


Give her to me.



I just wanted to come say thank you.

Yeah, it was scary.

I thought I was gonna die.


Thank God you were here. Thank God.

Sometimes it's easier for strangers
in these situations.

Yeah, I was so crazy,
I couldn't see right.

You know, so many awful things can happen.

People are so fucked up.

Oh, my God.

What happened to your back?

- It was a pine cone from the beach path.
- A pine cone?

That looks so awful.
Did you put something on it?

No, I haven't.

Oh, no. No. Oh, I have something for you.

It's so good. Hold on.

- I like your bathing suit.
- Oh, thank you.


So she's not calming down?



- Stop.
- Weird day.


We found her and then she lost

her doll.

I used to have a doll like that.
Called Mina.

- Nina?
- Mina.

Or Mini-Mama, as my mother called her.

You'll find it.

- Yeah.
- Do you want a toy?

- How's that?
- Good, thank you. It's cold.

Yes. It's really amazing.
It's gonna make you feel so much better.

Okay, by tonight,
you're gonna feel amazing.

- All right? All right.
- Thank you. Yeah.

And let's go.
Let's find the doll.

I… I can't hear her scream anymore.

See you tomorrow.


- Bye.
- Bye.

I've got a special gift for you.

Open your eyes.


This was Mama's doll
when she was a little girl.

- What's her name?
- Her name's Mina.

- Mummy?
- Mm-hmm.

- Can I have a cuddle?
- You can have a cuddle.


Give you some medicine

because then you'll have nice nails.


Very messy.
And you won't get better.


I'm just gonna close my eyes
for a few seconds, baby. Okay?


Can you see what my eye color is?

- Hmm. Brown?
- No.

They're red.

- Do you see?
- Yeah.

Uh, I'll just
have to brush your hair.

Ow! Fuck! Ouch!

Bianca, no!


- You said we would have a date.
- I can't just let her cry.

You've got to… I'll give you
a few more seconds to come back.

Three, two, one.

Here. Why don't you play with Mini-Mama?

You can brush her hair, yeah?

- Oh, Mama, come!
- I'll be back in two seconds.



Bianca! Come on! Dinner.

That seems fine.

Are you ignoring me?

I've called you so many times for dinner.


What are you sitting on? Bianca!

Get up.

Get up. Get up.

You don't like her?

I gave Mina to you
because I trusted you to take care of her.

You know, you can be very thoughtless.

This is my doll.
You can't treat her like shit.

No. She's mine.

Yeah, well, she's ruined.

- Oh, hi!
- Hi.

- You look like you stayed dry.
- Yeah, was it really bad?

Yeah. No, it was crazy.

Everybody ran into the cafe,
and then it got too crowded.

Umbrellas started blowing away,
people's books, towels, yeah.

- Everyone was freaking out.
- Oh, dear.

Yeah, and the little girl, Elena,
she just… she wouldn't stop crying.

Yeah, she lost her doll or something.

- I like storms.
- Mmm.

Yeah, well, your books
woulda gotten ruined.

- Oh, did yours get wet?
- Yeah.

What are you studying?

- Business.
- In Greek?

No, no, I'm studying in Dublin,

and I just work here
for the summers, but, uh…

Yeah, I'm a bit behind at college.

You know, I wasted a lot of time.

- Yeah.
- How old are you?

- Twenty-four.
- Oh, right between my daughters.

I heard you're a professor.

I think the correct response
is, "Sounds like fun."

- What?
- It's a rude joke.

Will sandwich. Yeah.

Uh, I teach, yeah.

Yeah. Comp lit.
Italian literature, really.

- All right.
- But I'm skiving off.

Right, right, ahem, yeah,
comparative literature.

Mmm. Yeah.

- I saw you know a lot of languages?
- I don't know anything very well.

I also wasted a lot of time.

Do you wanna have dinner with me?

Yeah, I should go shower and change and--

No, you're fine as you are.

- I don't have my wallet.
- Uh, I'm inviting you. Come on.


That was so funny.

Vassili is Callie's husband.

Oh, I thought he was married
to the older, heavyset woman.

- Oh, come on.
- What?

She's fat.

No, but that's Callie's aunt, I think.

- And Lyle, who looks after my place.
- He works for them.

- Oh…
- Mmm.

- And Nina's husband is…
- Toni.

- Toni?
- Yeah.

Yeah, he, um, comes up the weekends.

He has investments in Kalamata.

- Sounds dodgy.
- Yeah. Mmm.

And then they all rent
one of these huge villas by the cliffs.

It's pink.

- It's pink?
- Yeah.

They rent the same one every year.

Wow, it's like talking about a film I saw
in a language I didn't quite understand.

You watch movies
in languages you don't know?

- Yeah.
- Without subtitles?


And you were saying that,
um, your kids are my age?

Yeah, 25 and 23. Bianca and Martha.

Hmm. And do they look like you?

I don't know. It's hard to say,
if I'm honest. They probably do.


Because you're beautiful.

You're a very smart boy.

My mother was very beautiful.

And, um, when I was about Martha's age,
I felt like she hadn't shared it.

Like, in creating me
she'd separated herself,

like pushing a plate away
if the food's repulsive.

- Hmm.
- Hmm.

But Bianca and Martha, it's funny.

What I find most interesting
are the secret resemblances.

- Hmm.
- You know?

So what makes Bianca seductive
and Martha not, and vice versa.

Well, they blame me.

Like, when I was younger,
I had small breasts.

And then as soon as I gave birth,
big breasts.

And Bianca has big breasts,
and Martha has almost none, like a boy.

And she doesn't realize
how beautiful she is.

And she wears a padded bra
and it sort of humiliates her.

And she thinks
I've given the best of myself to Bianca.

She feels deprived.

And, um, I do understand. And, like…

Long time ago,
at some point, I considered,

only half seriously,
considered having implants.

But, um, they come from nowhere,
so what are they worth?

You know?

But Bianca is completely different,

and she would never
let herself feel deprived.

She sucks everything out of me.
All my secret skills.

She pointed out
I'm finicky about peeling fruit.


I don't like it when the peel breaks.

I like when it comes off
in one long whatsit?

- String…
- String.

- Yeah, very, very uptight.
- Yeah.

Didn't even know that about myself.

Yeah, of course I understand.

The problem for me is why did they
schedule them so close together?

Baby… Babe…


It's Sunday. You're on.

It's Columbia.

I'm working.

I'm suffocating.

- Please, can you kiss it?
- Yeah, sit down.

- Mama, please, can you kiss it?
- Sit down.

What did you do that for?

I wanted to peel it
like a snake like you do.

Please. Please, can you kiss it?

It really hurts.


Kiss it.



I can't leave you alone
for one minute.

There's this great poem by María Guerra.

"Haciendo serpentinas"?


Have you ever read "Leda and the Swan"?


Okay. That's in English.

- Okay.
- Plus, it's my namesake.

"The center cannot hold…"

Oh, that's a different…
that's a different Yeats.


My mum used to get quite dizzy.

She, um… Every time she stood up,
happened all the time.

She said it's 'cause
she stood up too fast.

Oh, poor creatures
that came out of my belly.

The bits I find most beautiful about them
are the bits that are alien to me.

So I don't have
to take responsibility for that.

- Have I bored you?
- No.

Nina's very beautiful.


I hope they find the doll.

They're all freaking out and…

I had to rake
the entire beach looking for it.

- They will.
- Hmm.

What you did yesterday was amazing.

When you wouldn't move from the umbrella.

- But don't do things like that anymore.
- Why?

Because they're bad people.


Sometimes I get scared
I can't take care of them.

What if I passed out,
alone with them when you're in Arizona?

Baby, you're okay.

I promise.

Of course you can take care of them.

I'm just gonna take the dress
and the shoes and the socks.

And leave the… Oh, no.

Actually, I'm gonna
take the jacket too. Thank you.


- Hi.
- Hi.

- How are you?
- Good.

Do you have grandkids already?


Did you use the ointment I gave you?

Oh, for my back.
Yeah, it feels much better.

- Thank you.
- Oh, good.

Hey. Hey, sweetie,
did you ever find your doll?

- Oh, my God.
- Elena, do not do that.

- Sorry.
- It's okay.

She's super tired.

Why don't you tell the lady
how we're gonna go

and find Neni tomorrow
when it's not raining, right, honey?

And then today
we're gonna get a doll for a big girl.

'Cause you're Mommy's big girl.
You're my big girl.

Whoever took her should get brain cancer.

Oh, come on.
It's kids' stuff, you understand?

They like a toy, they take it. That's it.

No, Arruno's children
aren't like kids.

Yeah, it's their mom. She's a cunt.

I spoke to Toni
and the kids didn't take anything.

- He's lying.
- Don't say that.

- Well, it's true.
- Don't say it.

She's been through
a lot, you know?

She's, like, had a fever,
she can't breathe at night.

She needs a Kleenex. We're furious.

- Do you have a Kleenex, actually?
- No, I don't. Sorry.

How high was the temperature?

Barely 100. She's… She's okay.

She's okay.

Okay, you wanna let Mama
put you down for a second?

Come on.
Elena, let Mama put you down. Come on.

Stop. Stop it.

Enough. Stop. Enough!
Stop acting like this. Let me…


She's driving me crazy.

'Cause Daddy's away, right?

Daddy's away,
and you're taking it out on me.

All right. Come to Auntie, baby.
Come on. Come to Auntie.

There we go, my big girl. Oh!

- My big girl!
- Go. So I can have a minute.

Sometimes I just can't handle it.

- I know.
- Okay?

Yes, anything you want. Show Mama.

Show Mama and the lady
what a good girl you are, okay?

Here you go.

You're okay. You're okay.

They really put us through it, huh?

I thought you said
you're pregnant with your first.

I am.

What were your daughters like
when they were little?

Were they like
this willful little creature?

I honestly can't remember much, actually.

Oh, no, you can't forget
anything about your own children.

Is that your experience?

I just mean, did your daughters give you
a hard time when they were little?

I just don't remember.

- You okay?
- She doesn't remember.

I was very tired.

Sorry, excuse me.


Don't bother buying her another doll.
It won't make any difference.

You'll find it.

Stiamo disturbando…

Stiamo disturbando…

Mama, how do you write "volcano"?

…dal nostro intento…

Mama, how do you write "volcano"?

Mama. Is this how you write "volcano"?
Is this how you write "volcano"?

Su te…

- How do you--
- Don't do that!

Don't you dare, ever again, Bianca.

Listen to me. Don't you dare, ever again.

You don't hit Mama.

You can never, ever do that.
Do you understand?

- Can--
- Out!

- No! No!
- Out!

- Get off me!
- Give me 15 more minutes.


I don't…

I don't want to see you right now.
I don't want to see you right now!


Mama! Mama! Mama!

Oh, my God. Oh, my…

- I love fucking your wet pussy.
- Oh, yeah.

- Fuck, you're good.
- Your cock is pushing me open.


Are you not hard?

No, I… I am. I sort of am.

Oh, baby.

It's okay.

I'm sorry.
I'm just going to go to the bathroom.


When you get back,
I'm gonna make you come.




Judy Garland was a fucking genius.

Where the fuck
does Dr. Williams keep her coffee?

Or does she just drink green tea?

Didn't you just have one
in Great Barrington?

- Fuck you.
- Baby, have one of these.

- Have one of these. Baby.
- I don't want one.

- Have one of these. Have one.
- I don't want one of them.


Mummy! Finally I found you!

Oh, my God, you're soaking wet!

We saw sparrows and robins!

Martha, this is Daddy's teacher's house.
Take your shoes off, now.

Your shoes off. You've got to be
very, very careful in this house.

- I'm hungry.
- Daddy's eaten your snack.

Daddy, you said we'd
make Blitzes so the sun would come out.

Why did you eat them?

Baby, we will. I promise you.

What are you watching? Snoggies?

Oh, my God.


- Hikers!
- Hikers. Stay there.

They must be doing the Catamount Trail.

Hey, what are hikers?

Are you kidding me?

- To Quebec. They don't have food.
- Joe, it's not 1985.

- What's wrong with you? They're wet.
- Joe, don't bring them in here!

You guys, uh, look like
you've been going a while.

Yes. Since April.

- Amazing.
- Grazie.

- Can I ask how old you are?
- Forty-two.

Oh, my God.

Life is so different without kids.

I have kids.

I have three kids.

Twelve, nine and seven.

They are in London, with their mother.

So you ran away together?

- I guess we did.
- Yes, we did.


We are obliged
to do so many stupid things.

From childhood, even.

- Obliged?
- Yes.

What happened to us
is the only thing that's happened to me

since I was born that makes sense.

♪ E prima di uscire ♪

♪ Da questa santa porta ♪

♪ Proviamo un'altra volta ♪

♪ Su e giù per il cammin! ♪

Brava, brava!

Your Italian is so beautiful.

- Oh.
- So feminine.

Leda's the most extraordinary scholar
of modern Italian literature.

Jesus, Joe.

I studied translation, yeah.

And comparative literature.

What are you working on?


I'm barely working.

- Uh, she's working on a Yeats translation.
- Yeats?

- No.
- In Italian? That's…

- That is like chocolate on chocolate.
- Huh?

"Il gelo dell'ala storta

cade lungo il mio corpo."




What is that?

- Don't know.
- It's Auden.

"Chill of the crooked wing
Falls down along my body"

It's ridiculous.

It's just something I taught them.

From "The Crisis." Hmm?

An inside joke.

È bello.



Thank you!

- Ciao.
- Ciao.

Would you give me
something of yours to read?

- Something of mine?
- Yes, your work.

Yes, of course.

How are his daughters doing?

Are they okay?

Not daughters.

They're boys.


- Don't give her one.
- Why?

Oh, God.


Oh, little thing.

- Who is it?
- Uh, it's Lyle.

I used my key downstairs.

- I didn't mean to disturb you.
- It's okay.

I saw a car. I thought,
"Hey, she's back from the beach already."


I don't want to bother you,
but, uh, if you like octopus,

this was literally swimming an hour ago.

Oh, octopus.


- You speak Greek.
- Some, yeah. I've been here a long time.

- Do you want to come in?
- Great.

- Have you had dinner?
- Uh, no, I haven't had lunch.

It's almost 5:00.

This is so fresh,
you could even eat it raw.

I think I would find that disgusting.
Or was that a dirty joke?


- How about fried?
- Uh, I don't know how to clean it.

I've cleaned it.
It'll just take two minutes.

Oh. Okay.

I remember when I first got here,

you could pick octopus
off the rocks with your hands.

We used to hang them on the clotheslines,
like the old ladies do.


My father-in-law used to say there was
a time when you could have walked

from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket
on the backs of whales.

Are you married?

Mmm. Not since the '80s.

Uh, do you have a lemon?

Your kids must have loved it
with the octopus.

Sounds like a nice way to grow up.

They grew up with their mom, in Philly.

My oldest son is older than you.

I don't think so. I'm old.

What do you mean, old?
At the most you're, what, forty?







Forty-eight, Lyle.

Two grown-up children.

Daughters. 25 and 23.

Martha grew up worrying about me.

Poor little thing. Checking that I ate,
didn't die at night, like a little mama.

Bianca's like her father.

She made me feel
like she wanted to remake me.

Like her viciousness was for my own good.

Well, my oldest is 50.

Actually 51.

So, I win.

- Three times a grandfather.
- Oh.

They're so soft when they're young.
Their little bodies.

- Are your kids on the island?
- No.

You know, Leonard Cohen
used to come over here from Hydra.

We'd write songs together.
They liked that, when I told them.

Not real songs.
Just messing around. They liked that.

And you know those uni shells?

No? Sea urchins, you know…

- Oh, yeah.
- Purple, beautiful shells.

I used to fill them with cotton balls

and send 'em out to Philly
for their birthdays.

I'll look out for some for your girls.

You sound like a real family man.


Yeah, I taught…

I taught them all how to swim.

Except the littlest.

I'm so sorry. That was… I'm so mean.

No. Fuck that, lady.

I'm mean too.

Well, you're in good company.

Sounds like the loveliest thing.
What am I toasting?

It means "mean."


Must've been lonely here.


It was a real party.

- Do you feel sick?
- No, I'm fine.

Why don't you lay down for a minute?

Now, now, it'll pass.

Nothing needs to pass, Lyle. I feel fine.

- Do you want some coffee?
- No, thank you. Stay there. Don't move.

There you go. You got your color back.

You went totally pale.


Would you mind if I had a smoke?

There's water in there.

♪ People like us ♪

♪ Who will answer the telephone ♪

♪ People like us ♪

♪ Growing big as a house ♪

♪ People like us ♪

♪ Gonna make it because
We don't want freedom ♪


Pink villa.

I have to take a call.

Let me answer, Will.




- Mama, Professor Cole is on the phone.
- What?

Professor Cole is on the phone.

- Is on the phone.
- Professor Cole…

Um, I'm just not really sure I'll be able
to afford a ticket on such short notice.

Oh, my goodness. Um, that's… Uh…

Um, should I prepare
a paper to present, or…

No, no, no, that's fine. That's fine.


Well, thank you
for the opportunity.

That's okay.


Okay, thank you.

Will we be seeing Daddy?

I have left
my number and Joe's number,

and Bianca's school and Martha's daycare.

And, oh, also the pediatrician's…


Martha's got a little cold.

It's nothing really, but she should have
a teaspoon of elderberry in the morning.

- She can have one of these afterwards.
- Mm-hmm.

'Cause, you know,
just for being good.

Um, I also left
a humidifier beside her bed,

so you can just plug that in at night.
And she loves Cheetah.

Um, so if she's a bit upset at nighttime,
you can give her Cheetah.

Oh! Yeah,
I left Joe's mum's number,

and, um-- I mean, I'll call every night
at dinner, so… Thank you, thank you! Ah!

I'll call every-- I left my mum's number.

Only call her
if you can't get through to anyone else.

I made dinner
for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,

and I labeled which is for which days…

I did soak some black beans,
but didn't get a chance to… Do you cook?

- Mm-hmm.
- I've left the recipe on the fridge. Easy.

Just don't want them to go bad.

Hi, um…

Could I order up some wine, please?

Oh, no, just a-- just a glass.

Thank you.
Actually, have you got any Champagne?

Oh, right. No, that's fine, uh…

How much is a bottle, actually?
I'm celebrating.

- Hi.
- Hi, Leda.

This is the paper I'm giving.

I'm not sure it's persuasive.

Camus posits
that the ontological emptiness

of the universe

chafes against
the intrinsically human desire

for metaphysical meaning.

Consequently, it is jarring

that Esslin's Theatre of the Absurd…


Bourdieu's mistake is that he often forgot
the first part of his own name.

I'm sorry, Walter.
Walter is sensitive. Where is he?

That's terrible.

But what I really want to consider,

and I promise
I'm gonna bring this back to Auden,

is that which is
not only ineffable

but unthought.

I've been really turned on
by Ricœur's recent thinking

on linguistic hospitality and…

How about his name, Ricœur…

Gosh, I should really
lean into that second syllable,

because, God, he comes from the heart.


The apple…

An object…

Oh, I'm reading the most astounding piece
on Auden's "The Crisis" by Leda Caruso,

and it seems to me
that she has anticipated

Ricœur's recent thinking
on linguistic hospitality.

For her…

hospitality comes
in holding one's attention,

even in crisis.

As Simone Weil says,

"Attention is the rarest
and purest form of generosity."

Suddenly he was
just saying my name. And it was…

It was crazy.

He was… No, he was talking
about the Auden publication.

He was saying that, um…

He was saying that I had anticipated
Ricœur's work on translation and…

That, yeah. That I had anticipated
Ricœur's work on translation,

and it was just…
I mean, it was…


And Cole looked like

his eyes were going to…

He turned around in slow motion.
He was absolutely raging.

Leda Caruso is inside
Auden's private mythology.

Thank God, because whenever
one tries to suppress doubt,

there is tyranny.

She's got chicken pox?

That's crazy, she just had a little cold.
Does she have a fever?


That's not really a fever.


I haven't… I haven't even…
I haven't even read his recent work.

It was all my own thinking.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Put her on the phone.

Hi, sweetheart.

Hi. Is it itchy?

Aw, I know.
It's not very nice.

Did Daddy give you a DVD?

Yeah, well, just don't forget
it gets a little bit scary when the…

Um, can you just hang on
one minute, sweetheart?

Yeah. Coming. One--


- Sorry to disturb you.
- No, no, no. Not at all.

I came by to congratulate you
on your success tonight.

Oh, thank you.

You'll have to get
the Yeats piece finished now.

- Another publication is important.
- Yeah. For sure.

Yes. I'll tell Hardy how we're working.

Dinner is in 20 minutes
in the dining room.

I've arranged a seat for you.

Oh, my goodness.
Um… Thank you.

Hello. Sorry, I think this is my car.

- You think it's your car?
- Yeah. It's a rental.

Excuse us.

- Lyle tells me you're renting his place.
- Did he?


I mean, teachers get to take
the whole summer off. That's nice.

Well, it's a working holiday.

I like it. Yeah.

Me too.

You know, thanks for helping
with Elena the other day.

And with Nina. She can get spacey.

Sure. Excuse me.

- Oh. Not my car. It's…
- No.



I didn't realize you were here.

- It's really great to meet you.
- It's great to meet you too.

Your work is thrilling.

Thank you.


Thank you.

He is a serious scholar, but--

It's amazing to see. Amazing.

- What is?
- Well…

It would be interesting to see his tactics
as he renews his pursuit this evening.

Excuse me.

Where is the waiter?

Some Champagne, please.

Don't cry! No, no, no!

I loved…
I loved the jokes about their names.

- It made you seem more human.
- Human?

- As opposed to what?
- As opposed to a god.

Ah. Mmm.

Your name. Leda. It's very provocative.

You're thinking
about the Yeats.

Very high-minded.
It always brings rape to mind.


I bet you know it by heart.

- In Italian.
- Ah.

"Tutto d'un colpo

La grande ala…


Sulla ragazza…"

Uh, mm…

Staggering girl.


Si, ragazza.



I want to go to bed with you.

But it looks like you're married, so…

you'll have to start this.



Hello, little hug monkeys.

I missed you.

- Did you miss me?
- Yeah.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

- Hiya, fatso.

Fatso is right.
Look at me, bulging out of my own clothes.

I'd fuck that hole.

Nah, she's too old, yo.

I'd let her suck my cock
if I didn't have to look at her face.

Excuse me, please,
we're trying to watch this film.


Hey! If you can't control yourselves,
we're gonna have to call the usher.

The usher! The usher!
She's gonna call the usher, yo.

Yeah, bitch.
Call the usher! Call that cocksucker!



Is anyone there?

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Hi.

Hi. There's a group of boys
being extremely disruptive in theater two.

- Disruptive?
- Throwing popcorn, shouting at the screen.

Shouting at other people. Disruptive.

Okay. Do you want your money back?

No. I want you to do something about it.

Okay, okay. I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry. I can take care of it.

Just give me a minute here, okay?

- Thank you.
- Okay.

What happened to her hand?

Fuck you!

You better be beautiful.
A genius, and terribly rich.

The beauty she got from my daughter.
The genius she inherited from me.

You better get busy
with your contribution, my boy.

The last nine months
I devoted to you.

Now I'm gonna have fun.
What do you say, sweetheart?


No! I'm gonna cut
your tiny, little dicks off

and feed them to you like peanuts.

This is unacceptable!
I'm calling the police!

Call the police, bitch. Call the police.

Blue Lives Matter! Blue Lives Matter!
Blue Lives Matter!


Not much of a story, is it?

You know how Americans in Paris
love to read about Americans in Paris.

All right. What's your name?

Fuck you!

That's my girl.

- Mama, do you have a snack?
- Mm-hmm.

Did you bring a snack?

Uh… Oh, shit.

Um, we'll get something later.
Why don't you go up there and play?

Mama, the balloon man's here.

I want a whale one.

I know he can make whales.

Il fulmine!

La loro vera madre…
La loro vera madre era mia moglie.

E il loro vero padre era Zeus.

Fucking brilliant.
You're so fucking brilliant.



I don't want
to come in your mouth.

I want to wait until you're inside me.

Well, maybe it's good for you
not to get exactly what you want.

Please, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama. Please.

Oh, fuck, yeah.

Yes, baby. I'm gonna
get you sweets from London. Mm-hmm.


I can't…

Bia… I can't…

Bianca, can you turn the phone around?
I can't… I can't hear Martha.


Aw! Okay, babies.
I can't wait to see you too. I love you.

No, you hang up first.
It's better that way.

Okay. Love you. Bye. Bye-bye.

I love you.


I hate talking to my kids on the phone.


I hate talking
to my kids on the phone.

- They don't like it either.
- Don't say that.

They don't.

Don't say that.






Yeah, this is she.

Oh, is everything okay?

Uh, yeah, I'm at the last store
by the boats. It sells vintage jewelry.

I won't move from here.

I've been following you
for, like, ten minutes.

- Yeah, you said, is everything okay?
- What? Yeah?

Your number came up on my phone yesterday.

- You called me?
- I did. Yeah.


Hey, little one. Are you feeling better?

She needs her medicine.

- Your doll, is she sick?
- She's not getting over it.

She wants her doll. Shit.

- It won't stay on.
- Oh, hey.

Can I?

My grandma used to use hat pins.
It won't fall off now.

Okay. Hat.

All right?

Do it where it's comfy.

Since the doll went missing,
she's been, like, actually

driving me fucking crazy.


There's something wrong with her.
She's not sleeping.

At all. She won't sleep
unless I'm in the bed with her.

And if I move…

I'm really tired. I'm, like, scary tired.

Mm, I remember.

I know you saw me with Will.


I don't want you to think badly of me.

I don't think badly of anyone.


Yeah, uh, see, I knew that.
As soon as I saw you, I just…

I was like, "I wanna be like that lady."

It didn't mean anything,
what you saw.

Didn't it?


I don't let it go anywhere. I just…

But I'm happy.

I'm happy with Elena,
with-- with everything.


I met my husband so young.

And he's fucking crazy about me.

And her.

He says my breasts
are exactly the size of his hand.

What would he do
if he saw you with Will?

Oh, he'd cut my throat.

I don't want to talk about him.

I only have, like, five minutes
before Callie finishes shopping.

She doesn't want you to talk to me?

She doesn't want me
to do fucking anything.

Who gives a fuck?

Can I ask you something?


What happened in the toy store?

You were talking
about your daughters and then

something happened.

Do you know what I'm talking about?


I left.


When the oldest was seven
and the youngest was five, I left.

I abandoned them
and I didn't see them for three years.

You didn't see your children
for three years?


Who took care of them?

Their father and my mum,
and then I came back for them.

What did it feel like without them?

It felt amazing.

Felt like I'd been trying not to explode
and then I exploded.

That doesn't sound amazing.


- There's Callie and your husband.
- My husband?

What the fuck is he doing here?

He's not supposed to be here
until tomorrow.

Fuck. I have to go.

Hi, guys.

- Hey.
- Hi.


What are you doing?
Say hello to Mummy.

Martha. Go on. Go say hello.

It's okay.

- Can I get a hug?
- Go on.



Are you home now, Mummy?

I'm home today.

Can you wash my hair after dinner?

Mm-mmm. I can't stay for dinner, baby.
I've got to get on an airplane.

Oh, okay.

But I brought you presents. Hmm?

And fancy dresses.




You awoke the tickle monster.
There's a tickle monster in town.

Bianca? Do you want me to help you
do your buttons up in the back?



Show me your dress.

Oh! So pretty.


- Leda, can I talk to you?
- Sure.

Please. Please don't this.

Come on, what do you fucking need?
Do need me on my knees?

Do you need me to cut my balls off?
What do you need? Tell me.

Have you got his cock in your mouth,
you can't answer me?

Joe, this has nothing to do with that.

Oh, fuck me? Fuck me?

- I left him.
- You left him?

Congratulations, baby,
you're an expert. Huh?

Do you think I'm a fucking idiot? Huh?

Am I an arsehole?

Please. Please. Please. Please. Come on.

They're little fucking girls.
How am I supposed to do this?

Joe, I'm feeling dizzy.

I'm taking them to your mum's.
I can't handle this.

- No, you're not.
- Yeah.

You're threatening me?

That is revenge.

That's fuck… Lazy.

You bring them back there, and they're
going to sink into that black shithole.

All the fucking shit… that I came from.

I do think you're an arsehole.

My mother didn't even finish school.

Oh, fucking so what?


- Mama.
- Yeah?

Please. Please, can you peel it
like a snake?


can you peel it like a snake?


♪ Yes, he told me ♪

♪ Said your mother won't know you, child ♪

♪ Child, if I change your name ♪

♪ But I told Jesus… ♪

- Can you peel it all?
- I can.

Don't let anything break.

No, I won't let anything break.

Do you think
that's a land or a sea monster?

A sea snake. Yeah.

Don't let it break. Peel it like a snake.

Don't let it break.

That's quite a long one.

It's longer than ever.


Can it curl itself up?

Little curly.

He goes round.

Mama, where are you going?

Where are you going, Mummy?

- Mama?
- Are you coming back?

When are you coming back?

Mama? Mama?

Mama! Mama!

- Where are you going, Mama?
- Mama!

♪ If you change my name ♪

♪ Change my name ♪

♪ Change my name ♪





- What do you say?
- No, thank you.

- Oh! Say yes! Say yes!
- Okay.

Here, you can leave your bag here.


Oh, I love this song!

♪ Tommy used to work on the docks ♪

♪ Union's been on strike ♪

♪ He's down on his luck
It's tough ♪

♪ So tough ♪

♪ Gina works the diner all day ♪

♪ Workin' for her man ♪

♪ She brings home her pay for love ♪

♪ For love ♪

♪ She says
"We've gotta hold on to what we've got" ♪

♪ "It doesn't make a difference
If we make it or not" ♪

That was a fun night.
I think maybe you better go home.


Is everything all right?

You know, it was, uh, it was beautiful.

The gift you gave Nina.
She was really grateful for your kindness.


I have, uh, something to ask you.

- What?
- Do you mind if I come up?

I do, actually.



Nina was wondering if you would be willing
to lend us your place for a few hours.

Would you tell Nina
I'd like to talk to her?

- When?
- Whenever she wants.

Her husband doesn't leave till Sunday,
so before that, it's impossible.

Monday's fine.

Are you angry?

- No.
- You seem angry.

No, Will, the caretaker knows Nina
and has business with her husband.

Lyle? You give him €20
and he's not gonna say anything.

Why are you asking this
of me in particular?


Nina asked me to.

All right.

Get up!

- Get up!
- Elena.

Get up.


Get up!

Get… Mmm.

Get up!

Mommy, get up!

Mommy, get up!

Come to the sea, Mommy.

- Come to the sea, Mommy.
- I'll take her.

I'm going.

Lay off.

Come on.

Do you need
a hand with your bags?

- What?
- Do you need a hand?

My aunt asked me to ask you.

No, thank you.


It's Nina.

- Oh, hi.
- Hi.

I thought you couldn't come till Monday.


Well, give me a second to get dressed.

Um, no, I-- I have, like,
literally a minute. I just…

Uh, I told Callie that I was gonna go
and get some nose drops for Elena

because she is always in the water.

And she can't get rid of her cold, so…

Have a seat.

It's lovely here.

Yeah. So, do you want the keys?

If it's all right with you.

Doesn't have much to do with me.

It doesn't?

You told me you were happy
with your husband.

I did.

Yeah, you told me
you were happy with everything.

I am.

I don't know.

What do you think?

I think you should do what you want.

Where do you live?

Cambridge, near Boston.

- I'll come see you.
- Well, I will leave you my address.


- Is this gonna pass?
- What?

I don't know what to call it.

I have depression, or something…

But it passes.

Thought you said you were in a hurry.

I am.

If it felt amazing, then why did you
go back to your daughters?

I'm their mother.
I went back 'cause I missed them.

I'm a very selfish person.

I need to give you something else too.

Are you okay?

Yeah, it just, um, happens
when I stand up too quickly.


You found her?

- Where did you find her?
- No, I took her.


- I don't know.
- You don't know?


But I don't understand.

Did you think that the doll--
that the doll wasn't good for us?

- I was just playing.
- Playing?

We were all… messed up.

You saw us.

I'm an unnatural mother.

- Oh, fuck.
- I'm sorry.

Fuck! This is fucked!

Oh, Nina, take the keys!

I'm leaving tonight. The apartment's
gonna be empty till the end of the month.

- Nina, I'm so sorry.
- I don't want anything from you.

You're so young and it doesn't pass.

- None of this pass--
- You fucking sick cunt.

Better watch
your fucking back, bitch!

- What is that?
- It's called a navel.

Why's it called a navel?

It's called a navel because…

- You know another word for navel?
- No.

- Belly button!
- Belly button, yeah, that's right.

- Fart button!
- It looks like a belly button.

- It looks like a belly button.

That one looks like an outie.

And the other one
looks like an innie.

- Hello?
- Bianca, it's Mum.

Mama! Martha!

You're both there.

- Hi, Mama.
- Martha, little one.

I left you so many messages.
I thought you were dead.

- Dead?
- Yeah.

Are you all right, Mama?

No, I'm alive actually.

Go on.

Tell me all about it.

Peel it like a snake.
Don't let it break.

Peel it like a snake…