Impromptu Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Impromptu script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie starring Judy Davis as George Sand.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Impromptu. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Impromptu Script


             

           (Chopinís  ĒFantasie-Impromptu in C minorĒ)

           "(woman)" Aurora! Aurora!

            Hear me,

            O Corambe.

            Corambe,

            thou who art man, woman and god in one,

            hear me.

            I free this bird in thy name.

            Come to me, sublime being.

            I want to know the meaning of life. And I want to find perfect, perfect love.

            I free this lizard in thy name.

            Donít be dead.

            "(tuts)" Oh, balls.

             My little ritual in the woods  didnít always go smoothly,

             but I was never discouraged  and I never gave up hoping for an answer.

             (cock crows)

             (frantic cIucking)

            - That wonít work. - Fish are attracted to a bright colour.

            Your fish will die of fear first.

            - Are you coming? - Mallefille will come looking for us.

            - Weíre supposed to have our lessons. - No, he wonít.

            Heís sleeping with Mummy. She doesnít get up till noon.

            Heís not sleeping with Mummy. She doesnít like him any more.

            My love?

            My soul?

            - My sweet?  - (knocking)

            My heart?

             (lock rattles)

            George?

            George, please let me in.

            Are you from the printers? Weíve been waiting...

            Madame Sand. Pardon. Please excuse...

             (murmuring)

            Madame Sand is on her way up.

            Donít do that!

            "(whistles)" It is rather far.

            - Iíll have to face her, thatís all. - Alfred!

            Iíll be perfectly behaved. Even a little scornful.

            No, you wonít. Youíll be impossible.

            I donít want a scene. Now get in there.

            And hurry up!

            Hello, George! I wasnít expecting you till next month.

            - How are the children, the country? - Fine.

            Listen. I need another      francs.

            What happened to the advance you got?

            You know my expenses. The children, the estate,

            my motherís nursing home... The divorce took half of everything.

            All right. But let me have one more instalment first.

            How? Iíve got no place to work.

            Whatís wrong with the country?

            Mallefille is there.

            The children do need a tutor, but...

            I just canít stand the sight of him any more.

            I tell him outright I want him to leave and he plainly refuses.

            Iím a coward, of course. I can never simply boot my lovers down the stairs.

            - Ha! - What?

            Why donít you stay here in Paris and write?

            Because Alfredís here.

            Iíve got to go somewhere. Anywhere, I donít know.

            Maybe I should just curl up and die, yes?

            Listen, Buloz. I need      francs now.

            Let me read this... and weíll talk tonight at the Baroness Laginskyís party.

            I hadnít planned to attend. Alfred might be there.

            I know for a fact that he wonít.

            All right.

            - Whatís that? - Marvellous.

            - Her memoirs? Am I in it? - No!

            This bitís about her childhood.

            Youíll come in later, after she chews up her husband and a hundred others.

            Itís true. Sheís a cannibal.

            Sheíd drink her childrenís blood from her loverís skull and not feel a stomachache.

            Alfred, go home. Put it into verse, Iíll publish it.

            Then youíll get paid.

            Thanks to you I canít go to the baronessís party.

            - In fact, Iíll have to leave Paris. - No more advances.

             I donít need your money, old sow.

              Iíve had an invitation to the country. From a duchess, no less.

              Good day.

               (strains of piano music)

               (coughs)

              This summer dust is ruinous to my lungs. I hope the air will be better in Angers.

              The Duchess díAntan has invited you too?

              - Well, yes. - How delightful.

              Please continue, dear fellow.

              - Good day, Countess. - "(gasps)" George!

              - Iím sorry I frightened you.  - (baby cries)

              I had the most fearful dream.

              Blandine was a terrible creature with flyís wings

              that was draining my life from me.

              They are deadly little charmers.

              Chromatic glissando.

              The wings of a butterfly.

              Or the wrath of God.

               (baby cries)

              He wakes the baby, then complains about the crying.

              - How is Franz? - Heís a saint. Sublime.

              Heíll even stay that way if you donít marry him.

              Yes, well, thereís no danger of that. The count wonít divorce me.

              Since I left him, he wonít even allow me to see the children.

              Well, now youíve begun a new family.

              Still, I prefer to be married.

              I know you thumb your nose at all that.

              Itís funny.

              I thought Iíd die of suffocation when I was married.

              Now itís my freedom thatís killing me.

               (baby cries)

              Sophie!

              Tell me, have you been invited to Angers next week?

              The Duke and Duchess díAntan have asked us to their estate.

               (baby screams)

              Sophie! Where is that wretch? Excuse me.

              Franz?

              I will see you.

              Youíre not going to Angers too? Eugene!

              A whole fortnight among some tiresome old aristocrats.

              A fortnight of free food, exquisite scenery and no bills.

              And all you have to be is brilliant at dinner.

              She doesnít seem bothered sheís being eaten alive.

              No.

              Sheíd probably say ĒBetter to feel something than nothing.Ē

              Even if itís teeth.

               (piano being played)

              Madame Sand!

              Oh, what a great honour you do my humble salon!

              Delighted to meet you, Baroness. Iím looking for my publisher, Monsieur Buloz.

              Heís in the salon with the others, but youíll have to wait to go in.

              Iíve so longed to meet you! I knew your father when he was young.

              - Really? - Yes.

              We girls were enraged when we heard heíd married that dancer.

              - You mean my mother? - Oh... of course.

              - Is she still living? - Yes.

              - But sheís ill now. - How sad.

              And what a tragedy your father died so young.

              The Count de Saxe. So dashing.

              Those idiots!

              Excuse me.

              Not yet!

               (Baroness mutters angrily)

               (soulful piano passage)

              Madame Sand! Is it true that youíre writing a memoir?

              - Do you pray, Baroness? - If you must know, Iím secretly devout.

              - Do you ever hear an answer? - To my prayers? Well, no.

              There... is the answer.

              Ah, you mean Monsieur Chopin. How clever.

              Itís very rare to hear him play, you know.

              The Duchess díAntan is having him for a whole fortnight at her house in Angers.

              I could only wish I were a fly on the wall.

              Except that they already have crowds of flies down there.

              I do find the provinces beastly.

               - (applause) - Monsieur Liszt will play next.

              - Ah, George. I read your... - In a minute.

              George! Youíll want to sit over here, my dear.

              The respectable people are over there.

              - Could you point out Monsieur Chopin? - Chopin? But he left.

              Donít you know him? Heís frail as a holy wafer.

              Look at those hypocrites. Theyíve shunned me all evening.

              Iím thrilled not to be one of them any more. Their lives are so boring.

              You see? Every single one is throbbing for him.

              They know perfectly well why I ran off with him.

              For his teeth.

               (plays theatrical piece)

               (shrieks excitedly)

              Charles?

              Charles!

              Charles!

               - (gunshot)  - (gasps)

              Grab it! Grab it!

              Darling!

              Charles! Charles! Iíve had the most extraordinary letter!

              Madame George Sand is quite brazenly inviting herself to the fortnight!

              You know the one. She wears menís clothes and leads a most depraved life!

              Iím dying to meet her.

              Charles?

              She writes that marriage is barbaric, darling.

              They say no marriage is safe around her.

              Just think, she might take a fancy to your turkey wattles.

              Didier! Donít touch that! Come here!

              Iím in a quandary because Iíve invited Alfred de Musset.

              Everybody knows he and Madame Sand practically tore each other to pieces.

              Iím petrified that if they so much as clap eyes on each other...

               (howls with rage)

              Has anyone ever met this duchess?

              No.

              Must be one of those titled tarts stuck in the provinces with an uncouth husband.

              Sheís probably famished for culture and determined to import it at any cost.

              Charles!

              - Where are you going? - Hunting.

              - Goodbye. Iíll be back in a few days. - But you canít!

              - Our guests arrive today. - Precisely.

              You blockhead!

              These are the great geniuses of our time, gathered together in our home!

              They are a gang of parasites.

              After a few days in their company, I expect youíll come to your senses.

              Youíll humiliate me if you donít receive them.

              Charles!

              You donít want me to be a success!

              Gustav?

              Gustav!

              Attach little bags of seed to the branches.

              I want thousands of birds singing when they come up the avenue.

              Darling?

              Youíre not dressed properly. Go and put on your pink waistcoat.

               - (gunshot) - Oh!

              That murderer! There wonít be a bird left in the sky!

              Welcome!

              Yes. Come on, HťlŤne.

              Welcome!

              In my house, you are the nobility.

              The nobility of genius.

              Madame Sand!

              - Hello. How was your trip? - Madame Sand!

              Iím melting with delight!

              Oh, and youíve brought your two boys!

              - Iím a girl. - Ah.

              Here, Master Delacroix. I have given you my own studio.

              The light, you can see, is perfection.

              When is Monsieur Chopin arriving?

              Tomorrow. Or so he wrote to me in his letter.

              Here is the theatre!

              Sometimes we indulge ourselves in little amateur productions.

              And here, Madame Sand, is your workroom.

              If you open the doors, perhaps our southern moonlight will inspire you

              to write those sublime novels which I so admire.





              George! Up, quick!

              We have food for a picnic!

              And a donkey!

              Come, before the dreaded duchess finds us.

              Cheers.

              Come on!

              What is wrong with our Georgie?

              She is incurably disgusted.

              With what?

              Love, no doubt.

              She should only have what Marie and I have.

               (men laugh)

              Only God deserves love.

              I adore this silence.

               - (baby screams)  - (Liszt groans)

              George has gone off, it seems.

              - Shall we go and look for her? - Can you walk?

              Not presently.

              I need this rest. My tour next month is    cities.

              - Where are you going? - Vienna, Geneva...

              Youíre going on a tour?

              Darling, did I forget to tell you?

              What of your writing, your work?

              What of me? Am I going with you?

              Weíll talk about it later.

              Sophie!

              Weíre going back.

               (groans)

               (blast on horn)

               (another blast)

               (horse neighs)

               (neighs in pain)

               (gunshot)

              Thank you, young man.

              What a magnificent horse. Must have been a great hunter.

              Yes.

              Yes.

              Iíd invite you to my home for a drink,

              but Iíve got a house full of fops.

              Guests of my wifeís.

              I wonít let her move to Paris so sheís trying to bring Paris here.

              Still, itís her money. And I love her for it.

               (laughs)

              Where are you staying, lad? At the inn?

              That is either Monsieur Chopin or Monsieur de Musset.

              - You havenít invited Alfred? - Iím afraid so.

              Do you think itíll be a disaster?

              Why do you laugh?

              This will be judgement day for George.

              She should pay for her sins like any other fallen woman.

              She canít avoid everything by being a man.

              Thatís not Alfred at all. This gets better and better.

              - Who is it? - Fťlicien Mallefille.

              - Heís the childrenís tutor. - He can discipline those two savages!

              I wonder where I shall put him, though.

              In Georgeís room, of course. Thatís what heís accustomed to.

              No!

              He is a handsome brute!

              How does she merit all these men?

              "(Marie)" He looks angry.

              I donít think he appreciated being left behind at Nohant.

              - George! - George!

              Iíll give you a horse to ride back to the inn.

              - Thereís something I must confess. - Drat! Weíve been seen!

              Shit!

              "(Mallefille)" George!

              Not that one, monsieur! Heís a devil!

              By God! What a fine seat that fellow George has.

              Madame George Sand, dear. The authoress.

               (coughing)

               (horse neighs)

              - Are you ready now to face me? - God, Mallefille! Not now!

              Yes, now.

              No kisses? Whereís my greeting?

              Didnít you get my letter?

              Yes. Your message was clear indeed... between the lines.

              - I will defend my position. - Oh, balls!

              Youíre not in the army any more.

              You had an affair, not a pitched battle.

              Oh, Mallefille.

              Poor boy. It wonít hurt for long.

              - I know it must seem unfair. - George.

              - You promised to love me. - I didnít promise to succeed.

              - Whom did you come here to meet? - No-one.

              Help me off with my boots.

              He should write his epitaph because Iím going to kill him!

              Your rival is imaginary!

              If youíre not going to help, go and find somewhere to sleep and leave me!

              Make that two epitaphs, because Iíll kill you if I find...

              Oh, my God, youíre hurt!

              Youíre bleeding.

              Yes.

              Be a dear. Ask Ursula if sheís got something for a bandage.

              Of course. Donít move.

              No.

               (lock clicks)

              Bastard!

               (gentle piano music)

               (dog barking)

               (gasps)

               (yells)

              Oh, donít stop!

              Monsieur Chopin, you were in the middle of a miracle. Iím not quite yet cured.

              How did you get in? Who are you?

              I am your slave.

              And you have summoned me with your music.

              Oh, yes. I think I know who you are.

              I have heard you described.

              Madame Sand, rumour has it you are a woman,

              and so I must ask you to leave my private chambers.

              Have I offended your modesty?

              I apologise.

              - Play me one more piece and Iíll go. - This is ridiculously improper!

              And frightening as well. Please leave now.

              Still, I am content.

              Iíve seen you at last.

              And I am delighted to find youíre not a man at all.

              Youíre an angel.

              Hands, halo, wings...

              everything.

              Good night, my dream.

              My poor lady, you are a wreck.

              I am a resurrected wreck.

              Move over.

               (grunting)

              Citizen Maurice, the prisoner is ready for execution.

              Viscount de Swamp, you are guilty of crimes against the people of France.

              To the guillotine! To the guillotine! To the guillotine!

              The king has escaped!

              - Catch him! - I will!

              Tyrant! You will be brought to justice.

              - Long live the republic!  - (gunshot)

              - The kingís guard! Weíre surrounded. - Weíll hold the king as hostage.

              Weíll shoot the viscount and throw them his body and demand their surrender.

              Do we have enough ammunition to hold them off?

              - I donít think so. - I can help you.

              - My papaís got plenty of gunpowder. - This could be very useful.

              "(girl)" Beautiful!

              "(both)" Yes!

              Good morning... master.

              - Morning, Excellency. - Claudette.

              Ah. Velvet flowers.

              Did you make these, Claudette?

              I have a tiny talent and an enormous amount of time.

              But have you come to work? I will leave you in peace.

              Oh, no. "(giggles)"

              Itís very bad.

              No, donít!

              Ooh!

              Thatís really quite good.

              One, two.

               (piano transcription of Beethovenís  ĒSymphony No.  in FĒ)

              Youíre a fine shot, sir.

              I can see youíre not one of those perfumed prancers in there.

              - What do you say to a little hunting? - I am standing guard on my mistress.

              That one? She doesnít need your protection, by God. Fascinating creature.

              Iím sure sheíd rather come hunting with us

              than sit around arranging her flounces.

              ĒOne warm word from you and I live. One brutal word and I die.Ē

              ĒIt doesnít matter, for I am not afraid of death any more.Ē

              ĒI have already visited the beyond in your music.Ē

              - Will you take it to him? - Why donít you take it to him yourself?

              Iíve been avoiding him all morning.

              Heís had a poor first impression of me, I fear.

              Before I meet him again, I want him to be convinced of my complete sincerity.

              Well? What do you think?

              Look, you know him. How will he respond?

              I canít imagine any man resisting this prose. It would melt the Alps.

              But tell me, why do you pounce on our poor Chopin?

              My dear, heís got one foot in the grave.

              No, no.

              We shall all be in our graves soon enough.

              But Chopin is eternal.

              The only permanent thing about him is his cough.

              "(Duke)" Ah.

              - All right. - Thank you, my friend.

              Madame Sand, will you delight us with your company on a hunt?

              I must decline, Your Excellency.

              My maid is fitting me for a dress this afternoon.

              A dress?

               (piano transcription  of Beethovenís Sixth continues)

               (laughter and absorbed chatter)

              - Quick! - "(final chord)"

              Perfect!

              Marvellous.

              Darling, George proposes a game of croquet.

              Excellent idea. Chopin will join us.

              Oh, no. Please excuse me. I do not really like the sun.

              Hah!

              Dear friend...

              I do not wish you to be burned.

               (coughs)

               (knocking)

              Excuse me. Iím sorry, my friend.

              May I speak with you? Something very terrible has happened.

              - Oh! - Ah!

              Again.

              - George seems more cheerful. - Mm. She has a crush on Chopin.

              The Polish corpse?

              - They couldnít be more different. - Then they will definitely fall in love.

              I suppose as friends we should help them along.

              Absolutely not!

              Franz, you and I must put ourselves between them at every opportunity.

              - Marie! Your turn. - Yes.

              He is so frail, darling.

              You know George will finish him off.

              - The countess made advances to you? - She is my friendís mistress.

              - She has borne his child. - He wouldnít mind if she changed hands.

              Really, I donít understand the attitude of you people.

              Are we at a livestock sale? Sheís a woman, not a goat.

              - Are you in love with her yourself? - Of course not.

              ĒIím not full of virtues and noble qualities.Ē

              ĒI love, that is all.Ē

              ĒBut I love strongly, exclusively, steadfastly.Ē

              No, itís like something out of a novel... like that dreadful woman writes.

              - If you can call her a woman. - George?

              She makes a great hash of her life, but sheís got a good heart.

              Thatís why so many men donít want to let go of her.

              George knows how to love...

              while she loves.

              The countess has an extraordinary style.

              Iíd not have guessed there was a volcano under that ice.

              We canít find anything, citizen.

              The viscount has been completely obliterated.

              - Good to see you. - Good evening.

              Theyíre all in here. Follow me.

              What the devil...

              Good God, Claudette! Go back upstairs and change!

              - Pooh! - Ow!

              Hello! Welcome.

              Well, he left the salon at that moment.

              Claudetteís decided to dress as a man for some reason. Do you want a drink?

              At that stage everyone started to laugh.

              At last! Madame Sand!

              Everybodyís staring at me. Itís a revelation wearing trousers.

              I feel quite the bully!

              George in a dress?

              Red and white, the colours of the Polish flag.

              Thatís a bit of overkill.

              I tell you, weíll discuss it...

              May I take your arm?

              My husbandís in a temper tonight because Iím wearing his britches.

              George, Chopin does not deserve to be collected.

              Heís so fragile, you know he might...

              Whatís this? A secret? Is he the one you came here to meet?

              Mallefille, if you canít behave, go to your room.

              I am quite marooned.

              Will you... partner me?

              Of course.

              - "Bon appťtit." - "(all) Bon appťtit."

              I understand many of you artists are atheists.

              Atheists? Oh, no.

              No, we feel that God exists.

              Heís just not considered worth all the trouble of denying him.

              Oh, really!

              The baron is baiting you.

              He maintains there is no scientific evidence of God.

              And I reply ďBecause civilisation has poured dust on his traces.Ē

              God has been buried by science.

              But alive!

              God exists.

              But he is no longer loved,

              so he hides away to conceal his broken heart.

               (sympathetic murmurs)

              Certainly it is difficult to find God in our age.

              And artists are the only hope.

              But we shall locate him again.

              We are a search party, if you like, of orphans,

              with our emotions as a lantern in the dark.

               (amused murmuring)

              Our greatest hope may be Monsieur Chopin,

              in whose music we find both emotion and science

              in the most perfect rapport.

              "(guests)" Hear! Hear!

              Thank you.

              May I, in turn, propose a toast to our host and hostess?

              For without the noble patronage of the aristocracy, we are orphans indeed.

              They understand and nurture us.

              They are our model and inspiration.

              Thank you.

              George, youíre not drinking.

              You must pardon Madame Sand. She is allergic to the aristocracy.

              Surely that canít be!

              Madame Sand, my hobby is genealogy,

              and if I am correct, you are a baroness by marriage

              and your fatherís mother was a countess.

              Really?

              Yes, but my motherís father was a bird-seller.

              There you are, philosopher. Scientific proof of God.

              The lion may lie down with the lamb, and the baroness with the bird-seller.

               (laughter)

              Since you must know birds, Madame Sand,

              what do you think of our local partridge?

              We flushed four of them in a field this afternoon.

              Your friend Mallefille here shot three of them.

              I only wounded the last one. It flew away.

              I donít know how it could fly - one wing was nearly torn off.

              When we were wandering back, we saw it thrashing about in the garden.

              The dogs had got it! One of the bitches had bitten off its head.

              - Feathers were flying everywhere... - Charles!

               (violent coughing)

              Now see what youíve done!

              What the devilís the matter with him?

              He has trouble with his lungs. Makes a misery of his life.

              He should be bled.

              We have an excellent physician. Heís developed a special variety of leeches.

              Painless, and they leave very little mark.

              Better yet, send in George to Monsieur Chopin.

              She leaves no mark at all.

              Hungarian humour, George.

               (crash)

              - You are too familiar. Apologise. - Sit down, you ass!

              - You think I donít know whatís going on? - She has made love with Monsieur Liszt?

              Apologise or Iíll rip your throat out!

              Apologise!

              - Agh! Alfred! - St George!

              - What are "you" doing here? - Iím the dragoon. I was invited.

              Duchess, Iíve only just arrived.

              Thank God I was in time to defend Madame Sandís honour.

              - You followed me. - Heís the one?

              - Youíre starting up with him again? - Iíd sooner chew glass.

              Choose your seconds and meet me at dawn, sir.

              - No more duels! - This is menís business.

              - I accept. - Men? Youíre not fit to be men!

              Morons! Idiots!

              Choose your weapons, Mallefille. Red or white?

              Leave her alone! Sheís going off to write about us.

              Itís time for her nightly regurgitation.    pages.

              The only reason she needs you or me or anybody

              is to provide characters for her ghastly novels!

              - I trust you have no objection to pistols. - What?

              - For tomorrow. - My boy, I really donít care.

              Thank you for the loan, my dear. It was most instructive.

              Youíll be up before dawn for the duel, so I shall sleep in my own bed.

              Ooh! I do wish I could be there tomorrow.

              You will make sure nobodyís killed?

              I abhor killing, but a good fightís something to see.

              - Good night. - Good night, Claudette.

               (chuckles)

               (hums)

              - Good evening. - Ohh!

               (gasps)

               (gasps and pants)

              What do you...

              Shh.

              No!

              Ow!

              Those lips.

              Show me your tongue.

              Darling.

              - What is that scent? - "(horse snorts)"

              Oats. Oats de Cologne.

              Mm. My darling.

               (grunts)

              Damn it.

              Letís go and see.





               (George screams)

              - Goodbye, George. Iím going to my death. - What are you ranting about?

              - But before I die... - Oh, my God!

              - One kiss from you is all I ask. - What are you doing?

              Let go of me. Get that horse out of here.

              Shh.

              I will be dead soon. Mallefille is going to shoot me.

               (gasps)

              You two canít be serious. Please.

              Please, Alfred, donít go.

              Um...

              - Iíll talk to Mallefille. - No.

              - I want to die. - Oh, Alfred.

              Darling, I want to be on your conscience.

              You destroyed my youth.

              You buried my springtime in shadows.

              Alfred.

              I was much too good for you.

              I spoiled you.

              I gave you money. I nursed you when you were sick.

              Yes. And then you fucked the doctor.

              God, Alfred!

              You were sick because youíd been out every night

              screwing all the whores in Venice

              while I was sitting at my desk writing so that we had a...

               - (laughs hysterically) - Oh!

              The horse is a critic!

              Get out! Kill yourself, I donít care! I hate you!

              - Gentlemen, are you ready? - Yes.

              And...

              One.

              Two.

              Three.

              Four.

              Five.

              Six.

              Seven.

              Eight.

              Nine.

              Ten!

              I want to go home.

              Mummy said we canít go till the roads dry up.

              But itís been raining for three days now.

              Itís no use. Weíre prisoners.

              Prisoners of the Bastille.

              Guards are everywhere.

              - Weíll blast our way out. - Yes!

               (plays listless, melancholic piece)

               (sighs)

              Monsieur Chopin, it sounds so like the raindrops, itís quite magical,

              but I must ask you to produce a little sunshine for us instead.

              Iím about to go mad with the sound of horrid rain, day in, day out.

              Ordinarily I would just take a bromide and go to bed,

              but one has guests to entertain.

              Stupid, stupid rain!

              No need to entertain us, Your Excellency.

              Rather, it is our turn to entertain you.





              - Iíve just written a play for your theatre. - Oh, how gay!

              Eugene will paint the scenery. The maids can do the costumes.

              - Chopin will provide an accompaniment. - Delighted.

              Weíll play the parts and you will enjoy this tribute from your grateful geniuses.

              The styleís a bit precious. Do you mind if I rewrite it?

              - Not at all. Weíll have a horse sent in. - "(Marie giggles)"

              What is the subject of your play?

              - Noah and the flood. - "(laughs)" How appropriate!

              "(George)" Oh, this heat! Will it never end?

              Here sits my stupid lout of a husband. I donít know what God sees in him.

              I hate those things. Can I see that?

              You donít remember them because you didnít write them!

              I canít remember them because theyíre shit!

               (arguing)

              Ah, children.

              You are wanted in the theatre. Now!

              There you are!

              You must hurry. Hurry up! Get into your costumes!

              I am as excited as if it were an opening night at the Comťdie FranÁaise.

              - You rode over in all this rain! - A new play! This is a real treat!

              Our artists have been up all night making their costumes. Itís terribly exciting!

              Youíre not acting in this piece?

              I have no stomach for farce. I am here to cue you.

              When I signal you like so,

              you must play something which suggests rain.

              I expect this will be very amusing.

              Yes.

              Alfred and George have really outdone themselves this time.

              Do you know, I think they are still in love with each other.

               (knocking)

              - Clap. - Good evening.

              I am God.

              I have grown disappointed in my master creation, the human race.

              I endowed them with everything. The riches of the land, sea and air.

              And enough intelligence to worship me.

              But they have become arrogant and pampered.

              I shall destroy them.

              All except for one man and his family.

              "(Duchess)" Ah!

              This is my servant Noah

              and his wife Noette and their children.

              Into their hands do I place the future of mankind.

              Oh, this heat! Will it never rain?

              Here sits my stupid lout of a husband. I donít know what God sees in him.

              Ah, who can express the despair of youth married to age?

              My husband is     years old while I am but    !

              A dove! Ha!

              What luck! There will be good hunting today!

              Look!

              It has begun to rain! Stupid, stupid rain!

              Yes, I have sent the stupid rain to fall upon the earth

              and stupidity shall engulf all its inhabitants.

              Hurry now to the ark

              and fill it with two each of the creatures of land, sea and air.

              Lord, we have no need for animals.

              Art alone will save the world.

              Weíll need two of everything. Two poets, painters, musicians...

              They will not come - your conversation is not witty and you have no ideals.

              "(laughs)" True.

              But we shall also give them free food and lodging for    days and nights.

              We shall also need two playwrights, two composers,

              two makers of velvet flowers.

              Now you go too far.

              But it is an art, surely.

              Noette, come quickly! This stupid rain is up to our waists!

              We are now half-stupid! Soon we shall be completely stupid!

              No matter! We shall have geniuses surrounding us on the ark

              and so our stupidity shall be concealed.

              I want no further part of this production!

              Madame Sand, you insult our hosts.

              But... itís in the spirit of fun, Monsieur Chopin.

              You disgrace our position as guests.

              I for one was not brought up to repay generosity with impertinence.

              You want everything dusted with sugar, like your music, Chopin?

              You should know art does not apologise!

              I shouldnít grieve if I never saw another artist again in my whole life.

              At last youíve come to your senses.





              Sorry.

              Ah.

              Do it the way you did it last time.

              Something that makes me look a little younger, please.

              You always look young to me.

              Perhaps I should chop it all off like you.

              Except that Iím not that crazy.

              Aurora, surely you can afford a dress by now.

              Iíve got used to trousers. Theyíre comfortable and I can move around.

              Can you feel that draught? It comes straight through that wall.

              Iíve told you before, Mama. Donít stay here.

              - Come back with me to Nohant. - No, I want to be in Paris.

              Besides, you donít need my company.

              You have that young man. Whatís he called?

              Malle... Malle...

              - Mallefille. - Mallefille!

              - A very dashing fellow. - I wish heíd fall off the map.

              Youíre always looking for something better, Aurora.

              If youíd stayed married, youíd have money.

              - You shouldnít beg for scraps like I did. - Iím doing fine.

              The only money I ever saw was what your grandmother paid me not to see you.

              You didnít have to take it.

              Thatís rather nice.

              I think Iíll go dancing tonight, get out of this dungeon.

              - Can I be your partner? - Certainly not. I want a proper man.

              "(Liszt)" Itís only for six weeks.

              You only just got back. Itís humiliating!

              I know you. Six weeks means six months.

              My concerts raise money for the refugees. The floods this year were devastating.

              Itís my country, these are my people and they need me.

              Suddenly youíre the patron saint of Hungary!

              I couldnít stand between you and mankind.

              Iíll return as soon as I can.

              My beautiful archangel. Iíll miss you.

               (baby cries)

              - You made my milk come out. - Hadnít you better feed the baby?

              I gave up everything for you.

              I disgraced myself for our dream, Franz.

              All I wanted was to kneel at your feet.

              - Donít start, Marie. - Inspire you to write music.

              - I canít get anything done here! - Nor anywhere! Youíre impotent!

              - Musically, that is. - Get up!

              Youíre a performing bear!

              Are the countess and Monsieur Liszt at home?

              I will see, madame.

              Is that the new baby?

              Sheís adorable. Can I hold her?

              Darling.

              - Countess! - Hello, George.

              I just saw the new baby. Sheís adorable.

              Was it a difficult labour?

              Very. What brings you to Paris?

              - My motherís ill. - Oh.

              Iíve been so depressed. Seeing friends again will do me good.

              Howís Franz?

              Heís very well.

              Have you seen the charming Chopin?

              No.

              - Why do you ask? - Marie...

              Iíve tried so hard to put him out of my mind.

              You want him very badly.

              For a few heavenly minutes l thought I had him, too.

              In Angers, remember, I wore that dress. Our eyes met...

              You wonít get him with a dress. On the contrary, my dear.

              I know the man. He is not a man. He is a woman.

              Heís all emotion and refinement.

              He has very few defences.

              You must win him as a man wins a woman.

              If anyone can do it, you can, George.

              This is enlightening. Tell me more.

              How does a man pursue a woman?

              He flings himself at her feet, follows her everywhere.

              Wherever she turns, he is there,

              pouring into her ear only what she most wants to hear.

              His passion frightens her,

              but a woman will always bend toward a strong man,

              just as the vine stretches toward the wall.

              A woman is always on the point of abandoning herself anyhow.

              It only takes one firm push.

              You are sublime!

              A true friend.

              Ah!

              Yes. Those are marvellous.

              Yes.

              This is from...

              George Sand.

              Thank you.

              And I want something with a much thinner, narrower line.

              Yes, that is good, I think.

              In fact, you could make this even more...

              No, I donít want this. Take it off, please.

              You are so good to escort me tonight.

              People shun me unless I am on the arm of someone respectable.

              I do not understand your concern. You will find nothing but friends at Eugeneís.

              Friends? Ha!

              - You are fatally sweet. - Hm.

              I wonder if George will be there.

              She has the most alarming way of turning up everywhere I go.

              Iím beginning to find it unnerving.

              She has a desperate purpose.

              What do you mean?

              A while ago she was out drinking and gambling - she leads a rough life -

              and she boasted that...

              Letís not talk about it. I fear I am about to commit a tremendous faux pas.

              Socially she is too bizarre, but somehow I find her very compelling.

              I wonder if she is different when alone.

              She boasted that you are to be her next lover.

              Alfred was there. Heís still the love of her life.

              He put money on it you wouldnít be seduced.

              Yes, they made you the object of a bet.

              Well, you know sheís eternally in need of money.

              Here we are.

              You have the most priceless expression on your face.

              Thereís Mallefille. We can be sure George is here.

              Heís still following her like a tail.

              Darling, itís so good to see you.

              - I didnít know youíd be here. - I didnít either.

               (chatter and laughter)

              Chopin hates my paintings.

              No. Dear friend, I am just a musician. What do I know?

              They... They are very...

              - Are you ill? - No.

              I only wish to lie down for a minute.

              I have a room just to the side where you can relax.

              Itís all right, everyone. Sheís going to be all right.

               - What do you suppose is wrong? - Sheís probably pregnant again.

                Thereís George.

                Excuse me. I have no desire to speak to that woman.

                Chopinsky! You hiding from George too?

                You would know the reason.

                I donít want to spoil a good drunken stupor by imagining your reason.

                Ever since the latest chapter of her egregious memoir was published,

                I can hardly show my face anywhere.

                Did you read her latest novel? Itís not literature, itís drainage.

                She only wrote good books when she was with me.

                Every morning while she was sleeping Iíd cross out half her adjectives.

                Hercules could not have done it.

                Heíd have rather cleaned out the bloody stables.

                Know whatís funny?

                - She doesnít come. - Oh.

                She makes a lot of pretty noise, but she canít come.

                Like her books - lovesick posturing and pretence for quick money.

                Oh, what a whore she is.

                This is despicable. You are drunk.

                My only regret is that I didnít put    francs on the mantelpiece the first time.

                I can assure you, monsieur,

                that Madame Sand will gain no money from you on my account.

                Hm?

                 (jaunty music)

                Eugene!

                Whereís angel fingers? Iíve lost him.

                - Heís taking the Countess díAgoult home. - Oh.

                If you plan to invade Poland,

                you should know that the countess has placed her troops at the border.

                What are you talking about?

                - I read a love letter she wrote to him. - What letter? What did it say?

                Marieís jealous of you.

                She couldnít stand it if you got a better composer than hers.

                I donít know why I dress up. Nothing here but old men.

                You should bring that Mallefille fellow with you.

                - Heís at Nohant tutoring the children. - So you took my advice and kept him.

                No. Itís all over with us.

                - What does he say to that? - Oh...

                He threatens to kill me and himself if I leave him.

                Heís been reading too many of your books!

                - Letís stop here. - Mama, it is too cold for you here.

                No, itís a lovely day.

                Why should the last thing I see be a priest with the face of a dustbin?

                Iím not afraid to stand before my maker.

                God can accuse me of many things, but I defy him to say I havenít loved him.

                Yes. Yes, thatís pretty. Now the ribbons, hm?

                No, itís too heavy.

                Yes, in a bow.

                 (sighs)

                So hot.

                Will you be going back to Nohant?

                Yes, Mama.

                I want you to take me with you.

                - You always hated it there. - No, I didnít.

                I felt excluded, thatís all.

                I never excluded you.

                I needed you.

                You never needed anybody. Always running off alone in the woods.

                All the servants out calling ďAurora!Ē

                Aurora?

                - Where did you go? - In the woods?

                I wasnít going anywhere. I was just running.

                Mama? Mama?

                 (ťtude, played with unrelenting  vigour and harshness)

                Good. Yes, youíve learned a great many notes, Your Highness.

                I think itís just a question of joining them together... legato.

                Simplicity is the hardest thing. Itís the final thing.

                Well, er...

                - Next week, then? - Yes.

                Good day, Your Highness.

                Monsieur, Baroness Dudevant is here.

                Baroness Dudevant?

                I donít think I know her.

                Well, send her in.

                This is the first time Iíve found a use for my title.

                You are incredible!

                I only need a minute of your time, then Iíll go.

                Very well. Iíll give you exactly one minute.

                I am leaving Pa...

                 (plays ďMinute WaltzĒ)

                I am leaving Paris.

                You canít have failed to notice Iíve been pursuing you.

                Iím in love with you.

                I donít know you at all...

                 (stops playing)

                I donít know you at all, but I know this:

                you are great.

                You have made a single instrument speak the language of God.

                And I wanted to learn it from your lips, you see.

                Anyway, you...

                You donít want me and...

                itís become complicated, like everything between two people.

                It seems to me a pity, because it could have been so simple.

                Iím begging you to give this up.

                I know that youíre in need, with your children and your motherís funeral.

                Why donít you take this? Then you can call off the bet.

                What bet?

                I know you have sworn to seduce me, and at this rate you will succeed, so...

                Thatís a disgusting lie! Who told you that? Marie?

                I have no reason to doubt her.

                Once I wrote you a letter and asked her to deliver it.

                I found out that she signed her own name to it!

                Surely you realise she wants you for herself?

                - Dear lady, please... - Donít worry, Iím going!

                Sheís right. Weíre not suited.

                Iím not full of virtues and noble qualities.

                I love, that is all.

                But I love strongly, exclusively, steadfastly.

                - You remember?  - (children laugh)

                 (knock at door)

                "- (Mallefille)" George?  - (lock rattles)

                - Is madame at home, please? - Yes, monsieur.

                - Madame? Please excuse me. - Sophie!

                Thereís no more. Iím empty. Thatís the last youíll get from me.

                - I will return another time. - Donít go.

                You havenít visited me for a long time.

                Forgive me. My health has been hateful.

                Franz is away.

                All the royal houses of Europe have invited him to play, it seems. Even Russia.

                Like most peasants, he has a weakness for crowned heads.

                You may turn around.

                Please sit.

                Thank you.

                Do you hear anything from Madame Sand?

                - Will she be coming to Paris this year? - I am no longer her friend.

                She severed herself from Franz and me with no explanation.

                - You have her latest book, I see. - Yes.

                - Have you read it? - I wouldnít touch such trash.

                Madame, last summer you gave me a letter.

                Yes, I took a chance...

                you would forgive me speaking the truth of my heart.

                In fact, I was appalled.

                But I could not reject it entirely.

                Something touched me. A phrase, like a tune one canít forget.

                - Shall I remind you what you wrote? - Do.

                ĒI am not full of virtues and noble qualities.Ē

                ĒI love, that is all.Ē

                ĒBut I love strongly, exclusively, steadfastly.Ē

                Imagine my surprise when I found that here.

                I see I must confess.

                When I wrote you that letter,

                my tender feelings for you so overpowered me

                I could not find words of clarity and persuasion.

                I was desperate. I looked around me for help.

                I saw Georgeís book and stole what I needed.

                But a year ago this book had not been published.

                Or even written, I suspect.

                I think Iíve found the truth, for which I thank you,

                and I owe Madame Sand an apology.

                Perhaps now she and I can become friends.

                Donít be content with just a little truth.

                George will never be content with just your friendship. She wants your manhood.

                Your virtue, your genius, your soul.

                Listen to me! That woman is a graveyard!

                But I can help you.

                I can inspire you.

                This is the novel and thatís the last chapter of the memoir.

                - Itís a bit on the thin side. - Soís my life.

                - Do you know of a good tutor? - Iíll ask around.

                By the way, Mr Chopin came to see me last week.

                He asked if you would call on him when you were in town.

                Mmm! Do I hear a duet?

                Perhaps this is not the last chapter, eh?

                Give me my money, you jackal!

                Madame Aurora Dudevant.

                Aurora is the name I was born with.

                Aurora. What a lovely name.

                The dawn.

                 (plays ďFantasie-Impromptu in C minorĒ)

                 (sighs)

                - Iím not happy with it. - Why?

                Because a perfect impromptu should seem spontaneous and free.

                No-one should be able to guess at the desperate calculation behind it.

                Iíve been struggling with this for so long.

                Itís like being tangled in a net. I feel...

                I have terrible dreams at night.

                I think if I ever finish it, then it will have finished me.

                You must suffer tortures

                to find the perfect word that will make it all seem effortless.

                Me? Suffer for art? You must be joking.

                I suffer quite enough for life.

                I have no hope to be perfect. I simply pump out pages for money.

                No, your books are admirable. Iíve been reading them.

                Have you?

                "(George)" Ah.

                Is this your family?

                No, thatís my fiancťe.

                Well, we are no longer engaged.

                Her family didnít feel that I was a very good risk for a husband.

                No-one expects me to live very long.

                - Balls! - I beg your pardon?

                Look, I donít believe youíre ill at all.

                You just need more strength.

                Take mine.

                Really.

                I have too much of it.

                - No. - Yes. I want you so.

                - No. - Oh!

                Forgive me.

                I...

                fear that we would harm the memory of our beautiful afternoon.

                Yes. Yes, of course.

                All right.

                Whoís taught you to be afraid?

                No wonder youíre choking to death.

                Someoneís got to show you how to breathe.

                Come on. Come on.

                You need light and air. You need to move about.

                Why stay inside wrestling with perfection?

                Come outside! Perfection is flowing all around you!

                - "(Mallefille)" George! - No!

                Run, Chopin!

                - Excuse me? - Yes.

                I wonít kill you here as you deserve.

                I will kill you honourably at dawn tomorrow.

                With any weapon you prefer.

                You wish to fight me?

                You have stolen my ladyís affections.

                - I wish the chance to avenge myself. - "(George)" Mallefille!

                No!

                Very well, monsieur.

                I will give you the opportunity.

                But not the prize.

                Letís go back. This is ridiculous.

                What, run for my hole like a rabbit? I could never respect myself afterwards.

                Nor could you, Aurora.

                Iím going to fight at dawn for the right to see another dawn.

                - Eugene. - Itís too late.

                Heís in love.

                Monsieur. Madame.

                Welcome.

                The doctor is here. These are my seconds.

                The sun is rising. Shall we go?

                Please.

                I wonder... Is there by any chance a cleaner one?

                - Donít hurt him. Aim at the clouds. - He is not much more than a cloud.

                Iíll come back to you. Iíll never see him again.

                Just stop these silly heroics.

                You have placed me in an impossible position.

                All I have left is a show of strength.

                Besides, women like that sort of thing.

                Are you insane?

                Pretty dress.

                Are you ready, gentlemen?

                And... one.

                Two.

                Three.

                Four.

                Five.

                Six.

                Seven. Eight.

                Nine. Ten.

                - This man has fainted! - That man is wounded.

                Too bad! Help us lift him.

                Wait!

                Come back!

                I knew it! Itís the frail one!

                Oh, my God! Is he dead?

                I hope the damp hasnít killed him.

                - Show us your finest room. - I have one ready.

                Give him milk when he wakes up. Try not to excite him.

                Thank you, Doctor.

                And now youíd best have a look at this rump.

                - Youíve humiliated me. - Good.

                Youíll be too embarrassed to speak of it.

                No-one must know whatís happened.

                - Gentlemen, do I have your word? - Yes.

                And you, monsieur?

                After all the time we spent together, how could you?

                In cold blood?

                It was easy. Youíre a menace to the future of art.

                Goodbye.

                Remember what the doctor said. Try not to excite him.

                - He needs peace. - I know what he needs.

                Go home. Paint something dead.

                - Aurora? - Yes.

                I feel very weak.

                - Have I been wounded? - No.

                No. On the contrary, you wounded him.

                In his shooting arm, too. He never even had time to fire.

                It was a brilliant fight.

                And then I fell?

                I suppose I swooned away like a woman.

                You were overcome by... the violence of what youíd done.

                Youíre a sensitive man.

                It was very hard.

                - I remember the gun was shaking so. - You see?

                Youíre stronger than you knew. And I thought you needed me.

                But I do need you.

                Drink your milk.

                Where are the others?

                Theyíve gone.

                - Gone? - Mm-hm.

                But how will we get back to Paris?

                Why donít we stay here for a few days? Itís peaceful.

                Itís discreet.

                Chopin.

                Do you love me?

                God help me, I do.

                You are superb.

                Donít.

                What is wrong?

                Iím frightened.

                Of me?

                Certain acts are unseemly. They are unsuitable.

                Chopin.

                Itís an act of love.

                Itís the divine mystery itself.

                You must think Iím inexperienced, but I assure you,

                I was baptised in the brothels of Paris when I first arrived.

                But, um...

                Iím so ill,

                and I have been for such a long time,

                and my body is such a great disappointment to me

                that Iíve already said goodbye to it. Iím not really in it any more.

                Iím just happier floating about in music.

                And if I should come back

                inside this miserable collection of bones,

                then I am afraid that it would probably collapse altogether.

                Forgive me.

                - I am ashamed. - No, no.

                Forgive me.

                Iím a fraud, you know.

                Divine mystery! Iíve never experienced that with anyone.

                Iíve always had disastrous relationships.

                - Iíve never managed to stay in love. - Why?

                I donít know.

                I want too much.

                I think.

                Except when I hear you play.

                And when Iím around you.

                Look...

                I simply want to be with you.

                The rest doesnít matter. Really.

                Do you think we could just... be together?

                Like this?

                Yes. Yes.

                Well, I have at last heard ďyesĒ.

                So... thatís enough.

                And Iím happy.

                So weíll go back to Paris.

                 (Liszt and Marie arguing)

                 (baby screams)

                Sophie!

                Will you please take them for a walk? Throw them in the Seine! I donít care!

                So George has caught another butterfly. Why shouldnít he fall in love with her?

                He hasnít fallen in love. He has succumbed to her.

                The poor man was simply standing there and was crushed under her wheels.

                Itís not too late.

                Franz, you must go over at once and talk to him.

                Please.

                Excellent. Thank you. Show me.

                That is perfect. Thank Monsieur Villon for me. We can be off.

                Franz. I... I didnít know you were back.

                - Countess. - Youíre going out?

                Er, yes, Iím just leaving.

                The "…tudes" are published. I didnít know.

                Letís have a listen.

                Could you take those downstairs for me? And this trunk has to go.

                 (starts playing)

                Franz, Chopinís going out.

                Weíll come with you so we can talk.

                Iím going to meet Madame Sand.

                - This is wonderful! - You play it better than I.





                Youíre going on a trip?

                Franz!

                Chopin is going to meet Madame Sand.

                Franz thinks youíre making a mistake. Heís in a position to caution you.

                He once had his own experience with George.

                - Marie, I told you nothing happened. - So you love to claim.

                You must listen to him, because, one way or another,

                Franz knows exactly who she is.

                "(George)" Iíve always wanted to know.

                See here, darling. Chopin has dedicated the "…tudes" to you.

                To me?

                It is a tremendous honour. What did you do to deserve it, I wonder?

                Marie is an angel of inspiration.

                Itís good to see you, Franz.

                You should come back to Paris more often.

                We all get into such trouble when youíre away.

                Where are you taking him?

                For a long time now I have blamed myself for your unhappiness and suffering.

                And when I think of the music I might have written

                if not for the guilt which has murdered my vitality all these years!

                But Chopin has seen a happier side of you, it seems.

                You canít think that I... that he and I were lovers?

                Iím not sure it was a good idea of yours dedicating the "…tudes" to her.

                Why not? We are in love.

                We can afford to be generous.

                Theyíre running away together! Itís a catastrophe!

                - It sounds like fun to me. - Oh, I see.

                Ever the wily peasant you are.

                With Chopin out of Paris, your music no longer suffers the comparison!

                They say Majorca is the most magical island in the world.

                The sun will bake that silly cough out of your lungs in no time.

                Think of it! Spain!

                Pirates!

                Pirates!

                Donít you understand? Sheíll kill him!

                Sheíll kill him!

                "(Chopin)" May we shut this, please?

                No, darling, the air is good for you.

                 (Chopin coughs)









 
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