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This programme contains some strong language.
CLOCK CHIMES THREE TIMES
But you don't seriously expect me to lug all these, do you?
Well, what if they want to do a book signing, or something?
Well, they have bookshops in Canada.
And running water and electricity.
It never hurts to do a little promotion.
I'm going to a university degree ceremony, not to a book launch.
Well, thanks for your enthusiasm.
A man of your age has to look after himself.
Hey, now, stop that. And don't try and make me feel guilty.
I've asked you to come with me I don't know how many times.
And nobody packs a case like good old Alice.
Well, I'll...I'll wait for your call.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
You're not wearing the same shirt two days in a row.
-It's a new school, Maria.
-I LIKE this shirt.
So did I yesterday. Now go upstairs and change.
Is he coming today?
Go upstairs and change, please.
Maria, you're driving me crazy.
Maybe you'd like to help me.
Give me the goddamn ball.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
All right, I'm sorry, is that what you want?
I'm sorry we had to move. I'm sorry about your father.
I'm just sorry about everything.
Is that what you want?
Why don't you be of some help and just take this up to your room?
It's not my room. My room had wallpaper.
This IS the address you gave me.
Yes, I know.
Well, are you getting out, or what?
Yes, in a minute.
It's just I've travelled 7,000 miles to get here.
Do keep the meter running, if you want to.
Hi. You must be Emile.
Hi. I'm Nadia.
Oh, sorry. We were expecting you earlier.
Oh, I took the ferry from Vancouver.
I wanted to see the islands.
Couldn't bear another plane after 9.5 hours from London.
-Oh, can I help?
-It's not heavy.
-Come on in.
This is for you.
Oh. Thank you.
I think you might find it of interest.
And this is for the little one.
I had such a wonderful crossing on the ferry.
The air is... I ought to get away more often.
London, you know, it's so crowded and there's so much traffic.
Such hard work to get anywhere.
Well, I am sorry that I was so late arriving.
And I'm sorry that you had to wait up.
I'm usually up.
And what about the rest - are they sleeping?
Oh, it's just Maria and I.
Oh. What about your husband - er, J...?
That's why I moved.
Oh, I see.
As a matter of fact... I've just moved myself.
Yes. Can be overwhelming, can't it?
So hard to know what to do next,
and I can hardly bring myself to begin to unpack.
You look so like your mother.
And...it's very kind of you to have me to stay,
especially under the circumstances,
and my letter coming out of the blue like that.
And I'm sorry that I...
..haven't been more in touch.
I wanted to...
Look, I've got to get up early in the morning,
so I'm gonna head up to bed.
You can just make yourself feel comfortable,
and I'll see you in the morning.
-Oh. Well, thank you. Goodnight.
BIG BAND MUSIC PLAYS
If you wanna be a writer, you've gotta get started.
This should really be Freddy's. He's the writer.
I need him here with me. He's the only one who can fix things.
When he's not lazing around on his ass.
Why is this place so important?
It's our land.
It's the only thing we've got.
You know, when the old man died
he made me swear to take care of this place.
I can't do it alone.
But you could just...let it go.
I know Freddy wouldn't mind.
Freddy loves this place as much as I do.
It's wonderful, it really is.
What are you writing?
Will you read it to me?
Hang on a sec, it's not done yet.
Oh, you, you're always saying that.
I just want to hear it.
Well... I'm not quite sure how to read this out loud.
Well, I'm sure nobody else is going to be able to read your handwriting.
I'm sure I'll like it.
Just try not to worry too much about the form, cos it's...
-Freddy, read it.
I can't believe you guys are still dicking around.
And why is my truck not finished?!
Stony liquid has infected your heart, Carl.
Stop with the fucking bullshit and get your ass outside.
Yeah, I'm just...
How'd you sleep?
Well, not too well, my dear,
but I suppose it takes a few days to adjust, doesn't it?
Would you like some tea?
I would adore some tea, yes, thank you.
Yeah, I'm not much of a sleeper, either, with or without jet lag.
Ah. Yes, well...it can be difficult, can't it?
Adjusting to a new situation.
I'm certainly finding that, you know, now that I've retired.
My London flat is disorganised,
and Alice is determined to sort it out for me, of course.
-Is Alice your girlfriend?
-Good Lord, no.
No, no, she's just my assistant, but... Has been forever, really.
I'm gonna boil myself an egg.
-Would you like one?
-I would adore an egg, yes.
Yes. Four minutes, would you? If it's not too much trouble.
So, did you find anything of interest in that box?
My father's box. I saw the typewriter was out.
Oh, the typewriter. Yes, yes, I recognise that old thing.
-Do you want it?
The typewriter, I mean. We have no need for it.
-It's yours if you want it.
-No, you must keep it.
No, Carl bought it, you know?
Yes, your father bought that typewriter, hmm.
-Er, what do you need?
-Sorry. Milk. Is it...
-At the top left.
We only have soy.
What's the matter? You don't have soy milk in England?
No, no, no, no, that's not it. No, I'm just curious about the packaging.
Soy beans are amongst the most common genetically modified species,
and I was just wondering in Canada
are you obliged to put something about GMOs on the packaging?
-What are GMOs?
-Genetically modified organisms.
Oh, I wouldn't know. Uh-uh-uh-uh!
Oh, God. How on earth does this open?
Why don't you just pretend you're a guest,
sit down, and I'll wait on you?
-There you are.
I've got... Here's today's paper.
Mm? Oh, thank you very much indeed.
All of the science and development
and here we are still on the brink of extinction.
Corporate greed and our desperate desire for more oil,
that will be our undoing.
We'll kill everyone and we'll call it the fight for freedom.
So, what - you're anti-technology?
No, I'm not anti-technology. No, I'm more pro-ecology.
It's all in the book.
-The one I gave you.
-Oh, that's YOUR book!
It's not actually a new book.
It's more of a reprinting of something
that I came out with some time ago.
It's actually the basis of my Masters thesis.
It's about organic farming
and a particular strain of wheat that's been very robust.
Yes. Quite a bestseller in some circles.
-What are you laughing at?
You should read it.
It's just easy to tell you're a professor, that's all.
Oh, was I lecturing you?
Er, so, when is the ceremony?
Saturday. Saturday evening.
And I hope you might come.
Maybe. I...I mean, it's a mess.
I don't know if I want to leave Maria alone.
Well, no, it's hardly a ceremony for a babe in arms.
-I thought she was a baby.
I brought her that little fluffy toy.
It's a good thing ten-year-old girls like fluffy little toys.
Why are you sitting out here?
Huh, wonderfully brisk, isn't it?
Yeah, but you'll catch a cold. It's quite damp. Here.
I just thought I'd put it to some use before you threw it out.
Right. Well, you'll probably need this, then.
Anyway, I have to step out for a couple of hours,
so if you want to go for a walk or anything
there's a spare set of keys on the mantel.
Just lock up behind you.
Maria's got her own set, so she can let herself in.
-And I'll see you later.
Your mother's gone out. I expect she'll be back soon.
I'm Emile, your great-uncle.
I don't suppose you've seen one of these before.
It's a typewriter. I found it upstairs.
Your mother wants to throw it out, but I'm very fond of the old thing.
There's a lot of history in a machine like this.
Er, I'm just staying for a short while.
I'm going to get a degree, an honourary degree, at the university.
I'm a scientist.
Do you like science?
Nor me, really.
How's it going?
This is 62 Wellington, yeah?
Is it? Yes, I think it is.
Yeah, I'm just gonna grab some supplies, dump 'em in the yard.
Maybe you could let the lady know I'll be back in a bit to start.
Yes, yes. All right.
-What's all this?
-It's painting gear.
-Painting your house.
Oh, right. Well, Tom, I didn't hire a painting company, so...
Oh, well, I got the paperwork right here.
I'm supposed to get started right away, supposedly.
According to who?
Ah, the guy's name...he's in Vancouver, Jacob something.
Here we go.
I don't want the fucking house painted.
-What about my contract?
-I don't know.
Talk to the guy that hired you.
Well, I did talk to him and he asked me to paint your house.
Well, he's not paying for me.
If you don't mind me saying so, you know, I've taken a good look
and I'm thinking it could use a little fix-up.
I didn't ask for your opinion
and I certainly don't need any favours from anyone,
especially my ex-husband, thank you very much.
Well, you could pay for it and then no-one would be doing you a favour.
Could you just get your stuff and get out of here?
OK, just back up a second.
Seriously, like, I turned down other work for this job.
Now, you know, give me a fucking break, come on.
-I'll do it myself.
-No, no, no, no.
Don't touch my gear.
I just asked you to get your shit and leave.
Perhaps you should leave.
Oh, I can handle this, thank you.
You got five minutes to get off this property or I'm calling the cops.
A contract's a contract. I'm keeping the dough.
I'm gonna miss this place.
Well, that's because you got most of the easy jobs around here.
It's a long ways away.
I really don't know if I deserve it.
I think you have more talent than you give yourself credit for.
I don't know that that's true.
I don't think this farm will ever let me go.
You love it here.
Just like Carl.
Don't do that.
Don't ruin it.
You were a beautiful writer.
I remember I couldn't always decipher everything.
I used to look at your notebooks while you were sleeping.
You wrote on the edge of the paper.
You just kept scribbling everything out.
As if you'd stop breathing if you didn't get your ideas onto the page.
I never had your gift, I just never did.
You should have been the one to leave.
We have company.
No. Not for three days.
No. No, of course not. Of course not. It doesn't need it.
It doesn't need anything. No.
I'm not gonna have this conversation right now.
Hold on. Maria, your father wants to have a word with you.
There is nothing wrong with this house.
I left the window open, for Christ's sake.
She told her father the roof was leaking.
You can tell him to call back later, we have company.
No. Yeah, I'm fine.
OK, just hold on a second.
He wants to talk to you.
No, that's not what she said.
I don't need your help. I don't need your help.
I didn't ask for it. It's not your little architectural project.
Do you like school?
I wasn't much good at school when I was your age.
Of course, it was different where I grew up.
Not many people around.
Do you know, I had to walk six miles every morning just to get to school?
This was in Saskatchewan. That's where I was born.
Do you know where that is?
Course, it wasn't that long ago,
but, you know, out there in the winter, oh, in the prairies.
Very difficult to get anywhere.
Horses - they were better to use, horses, than go in a car.
And then when the drifts got really high,
then it was impossible to go to school at all and we didn't.
Think of that.
I know I don't sound as if I come from Saskatchewan
or anywhere in Canada, for that matter,
but that's because I speak the Queen's English.
I'm just as Canadian as you are.
Like Queen Elizabeth, the queen of England.
Of course, she's queen of Canada as well, you know, she's on the stamp.
And she's on the coins.
And she's the head of state, after all,
which is why I sound as Canadian as the queen of England.
Hey. Did you excuse yourself?
-Can I get you anything else?
-What? Oh, no, thanks.
No, that was delicious.
No, it wasn't, it was terrible.
CARL: Why are you always writing in that goddamn book?
You know, I gotta see what is so goddamn important
that it takes up all your time.
So, you tell me what you're writing, I'll give back your little book.
It's just a letter to Emile.
Yeah, you keep writing him.
How many letters have you gotten back?
So...why do you keep wasting your time?
Why are you so miserable?
What - are you sick?
You hardly even talk anymore.
I miss him.
You miss him? What - you think I don't miss him?!
He's my brother too. You act like he's your fucking girlfriend!
Just fucking leave me alone.
Listen to how fucking pathetic you are.
You're fucking disgusting.
You're a fucking asshole, Carl!
I meant to write to you.
I really did.
I never knew he treated you like that.
And what could I have done at the time?
Someone had to stay.
Someone had to take care of the place.
I never knew.
What can I get you?
Well, I just wonder if there was anything I could do.
Well, thanks for dinner, again.
Look, I'm sorry if my visit comes at an awkward time.
I couldn't possibly have known about Jacob.
Nah, it's fine.
I can stay in an hotel, if that would, um...
Look, you can do what you want, I'm the one who asked you to come.
If you don't want to stay here, that's fine.
-Are you all right?
Yes, I'm sorry.
Oh, you're welcome to turn that on if you want.
It gets a bit chilly in here.
I don't think the thermostat's working, that furnace is pretty old.
Well, you should get it fixed.
Well, I don't know anyone. We just moved, so...
Well, what about that painting fellow?
He seems quite handy.
Oh, that's true.
I should probably call him anyway, I was pretty rude.
Did you know my mother?
Well, er...not well.
I admired her a great deal.
Your father was a lucky man.
I don't know anything about my family.
Just what's in a few boxes.
That's not much.
I guess my grandma must have packed these up after the accident.
There was some newspaper clippings on the top.
It's what they sent to the orphanage.
Oh, they called it the home,
which is kinda funny cos it wasn't supposed to be my home,
it was... I wasn't supposed to be there very long, just till you came.
I didn't mind it, at first.
They were all very nice to me, very kind.
They told me all about you, how they tracked you down in England
and they contacted you and...
..you were supposed to be there soon to pick me up and take me with you.
Sometimes if I couldn't sleep at night
I'd even imagine myself as one of those kids in those books,
you know, with you in one of those dusty old libraries
and secret passages, places to hide.
Visits to the castles in the summertime, I don't know.
But you never came.
Because I am.
I really am.
I mean, you seem like a pretty nice guy and I could try and like you,
but I don't trust people.
And you did that to me.
I mean, I'm sure you have your reasons,
but I don't really care to know what they are,
I just wanted you to know that...
there was a little girl waiting for you a long time ago.
And you left her waiting.
And she's gone.
Did you do that on purpose?
Sorry. Didn't see you.
What are you doing? Are you nuts?
Hey, you got a pick-up, don't you?
Would you mind running these down to the dump for me?
Why? What's wrong with your car?
I got ten more. They won't fit.
It will cost you.
Don't push your luck. I hired you, didn't I?
I don't know why I hold on to all this shit.
I shouldn't have come. I'm sorry, I thought it would be different.
-What do you mean?
-How would it be different?
Oh... I don't know.
I just wanted to meet you.
Oh. Well, you did.
What do you think?
-I don't know.
-What did you expect?
Well, I'm not sure. Look, I'm sorry, Nadia.
Sorry for what?
God forbid you to actually stick around and get to know us.
-Do you want me to leave?
-Why did you come?
-I came to see you.
-No, you didn't.
You came here for a stupid award. Maria and I were just an excuse.
That's not true.
I don't understand what's so special about this stupid truck.
Always the fanbelt.
I've come to say goodbye.
You know he makes me replace something just about every week
whether it needs it or not?
Just to satisfy some goddamn obsession.
Freddy... I've come to say goodbye.
Yep. Hey, don't get yourself dirty, all right? I'll be done in a sec.
Can you throw your stuff in the back?
I'll be back.
You know I will.
Hey...need some help?
You know, when I was younger...
I was so good with engines.
On a farm, of course, farmers had to be able to fix everything.
My brother, my younger brother, he was the mechanic.
Everything worked on that farm because of him.
Nothing he couldn't fix.
Taught me everything I know. KNEW.
So, can you hear it?
-It's idling oddly, isn't it?
-Here, let me, yeah?
Oh...you've done that before.
Yeah, I've been around engines my whole life.
-Yes, thank you for that.
I should get back to work.
She's not going to be happy with the progress I've been making.
Would you let me help?
Er, no, that's OK, I got it.
No, I insist. I want to do something useful.
Obviously, my mechanical skills are a bit rusty, so please put me to work.
Yeah, yeah, OK. Yeah, I could use a little hand.
I'm just gonna get going on these posts here.
There's that one.
You know, we used to have to paint
our house in the prairies once a year.
There was very little shelter from the elements, and so...
..the buildings would blister in the sun in the summer,
and peel in the wind and the snow in the winter.
I've not done this for a long time.
Have you ever done this before?
Do you want to try? Hmm?
Yes. You just hold that.
Dip it in the paint once or twice.
Lift it out and don't let it drip.
Lift it out. Good.
And then just roll it gently onto the surface there.
Good. Well done.
Look, I've got a helper.
Very good. Good.
-Oh, never mind. Never mind.
-It's OK, I'll get it.
I'll get it.
Happens to the best of us.
I'm not paying you to paint the sidewalk, I hope.
-Sorry about that.
-It was all my fault.
No, I splattered this paint rather carelessly on the stairs
and gallant Tom came to the rescue.
They didn't have any cold ones, so I'll put the rest in the fridge.
You guys are painting in the rain - you're idiots.
It just started raining.
-Is she your daughter?
-Er, no, no. Niece.
-Has she always been like that?
Well, I'm only just getting to know her myself.
Yeah. Well, you and me both.
-It's OK. Don't worry about it.
Don't cry over spilt paint.
What are you doing? I thought you had homework.
I thought maybe we could take Emile for a drive before dinner.
I'd like you to come.
I don't wanna come.
Well... TURNS TV OFF: ..you're coming.
I was watching something.
Maria, open up.
NADIA KNOCKS ON DOOR
What's wrong with going on a little drive?
-Open the door.
It would be nice - it would be the three of us.
He's your uncle. He's got nothing to do with me.
-He's your uncle too.
-I don't care. Go away!
Open this goddamn door or I'll break it down.
Are you really my uncle?
I'm your great-uncle.
What's a great-uncle?
Well, he's great.
Better than an ordinary uncle.
Well, a great-uncle is the brother of your grandfather.
-So you're my grandfather's brother?
-Yes, that's right.
What was his name?
-Did he die, or something?
Yes, a long time ago.
Is that why my mum never talks about him?
Yes, she was very young at the time.
A long time ago.
-You're not going to wash your hands?
-Beg your pardon?
Don't you think you should wash your hands?
Yes, I suppose so.
Yes, silly of me. Thank you.
That may be the last bit of work you do.
Well, writing's a different sort of work.
Well, I guess you would know, hmm?
You're the scholar, I'm just the common labourer.
That is not what I meant.
No, of course not.
It's simply that at university I'll not be doing a lot of manual work.
You sound like an old man.
Will you get out of here?
-No, I...no, I'm sorry.
I must have been talking to myself.
How come you came here?
Well, I came to get an honourary degree at the university.
But really I just wanted to see your mother.
And to meet you.
What if we hadn't moved here from Vancouver?
Oh, well, then, I would have...
stayed in Vancouver and seen you there.
Vancouver is so cold compared to this place.
Oh, well, it seems very nice here.
It's the retirement capital of the world.
What's so funny?
You know, some people say that getting an honourary degree
is like getting a retirement gift.
See? What did I tell you?
You're right, Maria.
So, my mum wants to go for a drive.
Oh, driving around can be very dull.
There wasn't any mention made, I suppose,
of stopping for ice-cream or beaver tails?
Yes. They're those great big doughnuts, really.
You know, covered in cinnamon and lemon juice, sugar.
Mm, they're awfully good.
I said I wasn't going.
-You don't want to go?
Well, I'd go if we could stop for beaver tails.
Then I guess I'll go too.
Well, then, I'll go and get ready and see you downstairs.
Shall we sit down here?
You know, when your mother gets back, we should go and find the beach
where the big ships pass through the channel.
It's marvellous watching large ships drifting by on the horizon.
You know, when I was young
there was a man from Finland who missed his home so much
that he built a ship right in the middle of the prairies.
-Is that true?
-Yes, of course it's true!
A huge wooden sailing vessel.
Identical to the ones that he remembered from the fishing village
where he came from.
What was he going to do with it?
Well, he dreamt of using the river system
all the way up to the Great Lakes and then through the St Lawrence
and then across the Atlantic...back to Europe.
Did he ever make the trip?
No, afraid not.
He died...before the ship was finished.
Yes, it was.
But a lot of people went a bit crazy out there in the prairies.
It can be pretty lonely.
Should we take Emile to the park?
I want to go to the beach.
Why do you suddenly want to go to the beach?
Well, perhaps we might see some ships.
-Are you all right?!
Ah, yes, I... Ah!
If I just sit here for a moment I'll be fine.
I think we need to get you home.
No, nonsense. No, I just tripped, that's all.
-I'll be fine.
-Are you sure?
Maybe you should rest tonight.
Look, I just tripped. I'll be perfectly fine in a moment.
Well, a man your age
shouldn't be running around on these rocks anyway.
Oh, will you stop talking about me as if I belong in some museum?
-I tripped, that's all.
Well, you just sit here. I'm gonna go get the car. I'll be right back.
Is it hard getting old?
I told you, I'm not old.
-You're older than me.
-Well, how old are you?
Ten. And what does it feel like being ten?
I don't know - fine, I guess.
Well, now I'll tell you a secret.
It isn't how old you are on the outside that matters.
It's how old you feel on the inside.
And do you know how old I feel on the inside?
-I'm ten years old, just like you.
But on the outside, what's the hardest thing about getting old?
All those things you haven't managed to do.
-What do you need?
Nothing. I just came to let you know I'm gonna pack it in for the day.
-Oh, how far did you get?
I should be able to finish it up tomorrow. Next day at the latest.
-Any luck with the furnace?
I put a new filter in there. It's blowing like a chinook now.
Oh, great. Can I get you a beer?
So, how much do I owe you?
Oh, you can pay me when I'm done - we'll talk about it.
Just so you know, I'll be counting the hours.
Course you will.
-You're welcome. Thank YOU.
Let me get that for you.
What brought you here? You got family here, or what?
My grandma was born here.
Smells like Grandma's doing a little cooking.
You're welcome to join us.
No, no, no, no. No, I don't want to impose. I didn't mean that.
No, no, you wouldn't be imposing. Well, we're having an early dinner.
I wasn't sure what time you were gonna finish up.
Maybe I'll just fly home and...clean up a bit.
See you in, I don't know, half an hour?
Yeah, I just live up the road. We're neighbours.
GAME PLAYS ON COMPUTER
Maria, take that computer inside
and finish your homework upstairs please.
I don't have any.
I was just showing Uncle Emile how it works.
Well, stop bothering him. He's got his speech to finish, honey.
She's not a bother.
You can come inside and help me set the table.
Did you hear me?
When I ask you to do something, please do it.
I'm sure you don't ignore your teachers like that.
I'm not asking you twice!
Should we do it together?
Here. Set a fourth place. Tom's gonna join us for dinner.
You mean Tom the painter?
Yes, Tom the painter.
Because I invited him.
I'm not sure that I can stay for supper.
I thought the ceremony wasn't till eight.
Well, that's right, but you don't think that I've come
half the way across the world to arrive just 15 minutes before.
It's a bit of an ordeal, you know.
I wouldn't know.
And I don't want to insult the university people
by arriving late, and they're sending a car.
Well, look, maybe I can just start the meal with you.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Now, careful, that's very warm.
Are you excited?
Not really, no.
Why not? You should be.
Hmm? Yes, I suppose you're right.
You don't win awards every day, you know.
Well, this is a degree, my dear, it's not an award.
Well, you don't get degrees every day either.
And some people never win anything.
Yes, you're right.
Here. Let me help you with that.
There. Much better.
Yes. Thank you.
Yes. And my shirt is very grateful.
My dad can't iron his shirt either.
Do you get to see your dad?
Not so far.
I'm supposed to spend some weekends over there.
Oh, well, that will be nice.
I think my mum hates him.
I don't think I'm ever getting back there to see him.
Oh, I'm sure you will.
I hate her.
Oh, my dear, you mustn't say that.
I'm just being honest.
Well, sometimes when you're honest, you know,
you can hurt other people's feelings.
Are you always honest?
Well, I might tell a little lie
to try and get out of something that I didn't really want to do.
So it's OK to lie once in a while?
I'm not sure I'm the right person to answer that.
Have you told a lot of lies?
Oh, not a lot.
Please sit down.
Well, it's a bit of a relief finding you.
I didn't think Nadia had any relatives living.
And if we had known earlier, we would have contacted you.
I've been living in England.
Why didn't you contact us?
Well, I had no idea where she was.
I assumed that she was still living with her mother's family.
They took her in, you know, as a baby after the accident.
Well, her grandmother has died... and she's all alone except for you.
Sorry to hear that.
Do you have any children of your own?
No, I haven't.
Do you have any experience with children?
Well, no, not really. Why do you ask?
I feel like I'm being interrogated or interviewed.
Well, what makes you think you can raise her?
No, I'm here to rent out my farmland.
I just thought it was an opportunity to look in on her.
I've no intention of taking her away with me.
Single parent families are not allowed on our campus,
it's as simple as that.
Well, I'm afraid I've misunderstood, then.
Come on, I think it's time for dinner.
Did you hear me?
Yes, I heard you. We're coming!
Well, your car will be here soon. It's getting late.
Yes, I'll be along in a minute.
What's taking you so long? Is he all right?
We were talking.
Oh. Well, you're gonna make him late, and dinner's ready.
-I wanna go.
To the award ceremony, where do you think?
You've got school tomorrow, and Tom's here.
You mean Tom, the guy who's slopping paint all over our house?
That's not very nice.
Why can't we go?
We're not gonna have this conversation right now.
Now, get downstairs.
So maybe if Tom's not busy next weekend
we can do something with your room.
Mmm. That'll be my taxi.
-I better go.
Where do you think you're going?
You get back here, young lady.
Maria, perhaps you should listen to your mother!
I'm going! I'm going with Uncle Emile and nobody's gonna stop me.
I'll be with her. It'll be all right.
Where is it, anyway?
The university auditorium. It's the main hall.
You don't have to worry.
I'm sure it will be fine.
Do up your seatbelt.
Ah, she'll be all right.
How would you know?
Just trying to help.
I don't need your help.
You don't spend a lot of time with people, do you?
I don't need any advice about my daughter.
Well, I... Fair enough.
I'm just saying, she'll probably be all right.
You know, I think... I think the old guy will look after her.
Well, he's not responsible for her, I am.
Where are you going?
Oh, I'm gonna go to the goddamn ceremony.
Hey, listen, you don't have to leave. I'll be coming right back.
You want me to stick around and do the dishes?
-It's all right.
I'll be back tomorrow, finish up the work for you.
-Thanks for dinner.
ENGINE FAILS TO START
My car won't start.
-Yeah, I noticed that.
-Why are you smiling?
Well, I just...I saw your uncle tweaking it the other day.
Can I have a lift? Please.
I'm awfully glad you're coming to this do.
It wouldn't have been much fun on my own.
Can we go to that place in Saskatchewan sometime?
Oh, maybe your mother will take you one day.
But I want you to take me.
Oh, I've not been for, oh, years.
-Because you live in England?
Do you have your own family in England?
-Then why do you live there?
Well, it's my home. I've lived there for 40 years.
Well, where's your family?
Well, YOU'RE my family.
You and your mother.
-Yes. Afraid so.
Then you should come and live here with us.
It was always humiliating being your younger brother.
Half the time, you spoke to me as if I were your son.
I hated your condescension.
Why didn't you say something?
Why didn't you talk to me?
How was I supposed to know how you felt?
As if I could say ANYTHING to you.
You were a bastard!
It's so pathetic to stand here
and listen to you cast around for someone to blame.
I hate you.
I always hated you.
..We'd like to present you with this degree for all your contributions.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Madam Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, thank you.
I'm just so overwhelmed today.
Occasions like this mark our lives - all our lives...
..whether we're young people
receiving a degree for which we have worked very hard indeed,
or an old man like myself receiving a degree
for which he didn't have to do anything.
You never took care of Nadia, you coward.
We're all reminded of the events and the people...
..who brought us to this place, to this moment.
You never had the guts to see her.
Year after year, she lived alone and miserable.
..go easy on him.
He's wasted everything.
So often, we waste an opportunity like this.
We struggle alone most of the time
and then we forget to thank those who helped us, those who supported us,
those who were there for us even when we were crabby and ungrateful.
Or perhaps even when we neglected our responsibilities.
You're a coward.
There's nothing cowardly about loving her.
He doesn't deserve her love.
I deserve a chance...a chance...
..to speak from the heart.
This honourary degree is a rather belated acknowledgment
for a thesis I first published, oh, so many years ago now
that it seems to be from an entirely separate time of my life.
I have spent now many years living abroad,
and now on this long-delayed return
I've begun to understand that time and distance
cannot ever erase my memories of, nor my need for,
the family that...I left behind, and in a sense betrayed.
Madam Chancellor, your generous invitation to this occasion
has restored me to this family.
My niece, Nadia, and my great-niece, Maria.
I'll never stop thanking Maria...
..and her mother...
..and you all.
Hey. Come here, you.
OK, you ready? You're gonna miss your train.
When you leave tomorrow... you're not coming back, are you?
Couldn't you just promise me that one day...you'll come back?
Just promise me.
EMILE: My dear Nadia,
It's not much but it's the least I can offer.
You can do whatever you want with it.
I'm certain the land is quite valuable now,
so at the very least it will mean some money for you and Maria.
Or you may want to rebuild the house as a place you can get away to.
But whatever you decide,
you should know that you were born in that place.
If you decide to keep it, let me know.
I promised Maria I'd come to visit.
All the best...
E-mail us at [email protected]
Drama about a man trying to reconnect with the family he abandoned. Visiting Canada, having fled decades earlier, academic Emile stays with his estranged niece, Nadia, though his guilt and her anger over past events makes it a frosty homecoming.