Friday, May 14, 2010

Countdown to DVD Release - Favorite Quotes

Quote #39

"The subject that you weren’t trying to change....What was it?."


Anonymous said...

This is our first introduction into the world of Charles and Tyler. We can see that Charles is uncomfortable in intimate settings, hearing about his children's lives. We can see that he has a need to dominate everything.

And we can see that Tyler has a need to not sit there and take it. We really see him as the hero in this scene. Even the other adults wouldn't say anything to Charles, even though they were upset by his actions. They would have let it go because they didn't want to stand up to him and ruin what was supposed to be a "family moment."

And I love Ruby in this scene. I think she nails it. You can really see that she's uncomfortable and intimidated by this man that she so clearly loves.

LTavares2010 said...

It is a sad scene. Charles, Tyler, Caroline, Diane and Les after visiting Michael grave. They are sitting together in a cafeteria. The looks, the disconfort, the silence, the embarrassment. Charles is a stranger in his own family. Tyler is so angry with the arrogant attitude of his father that he can not handle with this situation for a long time. He tells him some hard words and goes away. Tyler can not understand why his father is so distant, why Charles is not concerned about Caroline. I think Tyler maybe blames his father for the misfortune of Michael as well. Complex emotions dominate Tyler mind. Mine too.

Anonymous said...

I love this scene. Very intimate and tense, and very well acted. Especially by Robert and Ruby.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

It was a beautiful scene. I was stunned to see how Lena Olin pulled it off - it must have been a very hard scene for her. You can see she's struggling not to cry and trying very hard to speak of something happier, like Caroline being admitted in Steinhardt. The whole network of relationships in the family is deftly defined in a very short time - Tyler's affection for his little sister and how proud and protective he is of her, Caroline's strong bond with her older brother and her awe of her father, Charles's apparent coldness and lack of tact and his unability to express his feelings, Les' respectful, discreet stance, the grief and courage of the mother as she tries not to show it... and of course, the way they all cope with Michael's death. Tyler's resentment at his father - and at Michael - is so clear, as is his grief. It was a stunning scene, really, so well-done, so complete. Smiles hiding tears and sorrow, a moment of fleeting quiet erupting into conflicts, a borken family gathered in a place of almost chilidsh leisure and innocence - Eddies' sweet shop - just after the visit at the cemetery.

jessegirl said...

Now I saw this scene as most of you did, but, but I saw it differently too.
Tyler and his Dad had already drawn the line at the cemetery with their antagonistic brief interchange: 'You could've worn a tie.' 'Yeah, I couldve.'
Then, in the sweets shop, they dominated and subverted what was supposed to have been a time of family solidarity, making it their own fighting ground. They put everyone else in a situation even more awkward than it was. And the two of them cared only for their bloody exchange. Oh yeah, Tyler was protecting his sister, but he was disrespectful of his mother. He didn't even look at her--that's how dismissive he was--when she pounded the table in a futile attempt to get him to put his ill feelings aside for that one day. He didn't even bother to say goodbye or touch her endearingly when he left. He was very self-centered here. And Charles was the same, ignoring Diane's brave attempts to create a loving atmosphere and just feeding his belligerence.

This scene established without a doubt that the sparring between the old cock and the young would be a major theme. The mother, obviously on the edge of despair but fighting her demons courageously as she tried to keep the rest of her family together, was ignored by those two males. This set up the attitude that would run throughout the film, except for the end.

I can see why Caroline would want to go home with her Mom, not Tyler.

Here I'll bring up the nonentity that was Diane. Oh I believe that she is an important character but the script has made her into a nonentity. (Les stands with her in his silent way but he is a nonentity too, not really counting in the movie much.) I can see quite easily how Diane would have split with Charles after Michael's death. Not just how he sublimated his grief into his work, as we've all talked about, but how dismissive he is of her.
Diane should have been a larger figure in this family drama. She could have taught the males something. And here's where I criticize Will and his story, coming as it does from a 22 yr. old male's POV. I understand why Tyler perhaps didn't stay around his mother much; her grief was just too huge and it would be unhealthy for him to jeopardize his own mental health being with her brokenness. And, I know, I know he did try to help her by getting Charles to the art show (which he resented). I think Tyler could have learned from his Mom, frankly. But this reduction of such a prime character is, to me, the biggest flaw I see in this film.

jessegirl said...

And just as I cried inside for Charles to hug Tyler in the boardroom scene, I did so in Tyler's relationship with his mother, arguably one of the most important relationships any of us carry with us. I wished Tyler would have hugged her instead of making it obvious every time she wanted to connect that he wanted to get away. I'm not asking any of you to enlighten me. I get it. Yeah, yeah, she's too broken to deal with, but she is so much more than that. I saw her as very strong, just more emotional. Ally and Aiden hug her when they come to the house to offer support after the bullying incident. Tyler?

I've talked about how Tyler did what he was meant to do before he died and how he was at peace. However he was still dismissive of the one person who would be the most grief-stricken when he died. He failed there. Perhaps he had to resolve his internal conflict with Michael and forgive him before he returned to his mother. Perhaps. Perhaps he had to--as a child does--obtain validation from his father first, before he felt strong enough for her.
And what of Caroline's relationship with her mother? We don't see it. It's always the males, yet again. Hmmm.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@jessegirl - Very good point as always, you're so insightful. I was a bit let down too by how they failed to develop the relationship between mother and son and did not show anything about the relationship between Caroline and her Mum. Something vital is missing and it's all from the males' POV. I can understand how Diane's brokenness would be unhealthy for Tyler, but I also felt he was eluding her all the time, hardly letting himself be hugged, although he's her only remaining son. But maybe that's a physical thing between young men that age and their mother - my brother stopped being physically affectionate with our Mum when he turned about 15 - this kind of display seems to embarrass him, and many males too. But of course that's only a very small real life detail and I think your analysis is very good.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a flaw. The movies isn't about Tyler's relationship with her mother, that is another story entirely.

Mothers tend to be more unconditionally loving than fathers, and thus we get less attention when it comes to children "working for our love." Tyler doesn't feel slighted by her, so he takes her love for granted.

Yes, she's marginalized in the film, but both her and Les are two of my favorite characters for it. They stick by the leads through thick and thin, they are the backbone for those who hide their grief.

I think that a mother's love would make Tyler feel weird. He feels unloveable and yet she won't ever stop loving him.

I think you're right that this a Male-centered film, but it was written by a male and directed by a male. I don't think that it's a bad thing or that the film is missing anything. I like the look into males mind.

For me, I think Tyler knows that Diane will always be there for him and for Caroline. It is Charles who has damaged Tyler, it is that relationship that he fixates on and that is why the film is centered around it.

Tyler's relationship with his mother is relatively healthy. I think that he is self-centered and selfish and it comes through with this scene. But that's a theme of the film as well, Tyler's selfishness, his self-centered little world.

That's why the end, with the pictures on his father's screen were so important because you can literallys see Tyler's world expanding in that moment. He can finally see that people, other than him, were monumentally affected by the same things he was.

There is a point in every young person's life where their world expands and they become more aware of other people as entities, not just sattelites of themselves, and this was Tylers.

jessegirl said...

Rum and karma, I can always count on you to give me a rounded perspective. Thanks.

I may jump around a bit here as different things come to mind. Rum, I think the general consensus about physical displays of affection between mother and son stop when the son is embarrassed to have the world see them. My perspective is so different. I never really wanted to reveal much about my relationship with my own son in so public a forum, but to show another view, I will. My own son was very close, physically, to both his father and mother. Nothing sexually, heaven forbid, but just real affection naturally shown. In retrospect I sometimes wonder whether we were blessed with that loving affection from him because the higher powers knew he would be taken from us so soon. But we raised him to show his love openly. He did the same with female and male classmates from early on and into high school, and with other extended family members too, all of whom, when they remembered him at his funeral, mentioned the big hugs, the arm around the shoulder, that kind of thing. I do not use hyperbole when I say that I think he was an angel on earth. His loving goodness, his compassion, was so natural and something which he was never embarrassed to show. It was a big gift. The world lost so much when he died.

So, when I see Tyler pulling away from his mother's loving hugs I am sad and angry at him. I also wonder why we've all come to love him at the end so much--really his looks??--because, the more we analyze him the more I see him as that self-centered male, the type who, had I met him, I would not want to be around, -except for the sexual magnetism, which has to be admitted.

Karma, yes it is Will's story, therefore, Tyler's and I have no beef with that. Except we must admit the lop-sidedness of this, must be aware of it. Because Diane was a person Tyler could have derived some strength from. She was not just this broken woman but had a lot to give and teach, but no one was listening to her. It is that dismissive attitude which is written into the story and revealed by Tyler, Charles, and Caroline too, which irks me.

And karma...'written by a male and directed by a male'...oh sigh, isn't that so often the problem? Do we have to have female authors and directors to honestly and respectfully show female characters? Do WE have to fight for the respect and love the same way Tyler had to fight for his father's?? What a sad state of affairs. Look at all the female authors who have had men as their lead characters, who respect them. So, because it is written by a man women can expect to get short shrift? Haven't we come further than this yet?
I disagree. I think the film is missing something. Will missed something.
Even the missed something could have been portrayed by showing a small scene with Diane and Caroline where we see her strength, where the audience sees what Tyler is missing and so the audience sees more than just a broken, sad, pathetic woman.

And even though Tyler takes his mother's love for granted, he doesn't show her respect either, and that really bothers me. Oh yeah, he does knight-in-shining-armour deeds for her like getting Charles to the art show, but that is at least as much for Caroline; we know that. Do we not think the mother deserves respect too? Does she lose out because her love is unconditional. Indeed, her unconditional love doesn't seem to count for much to Tyler because he still feels unlovable, as if what she feels doesn't count. That's why Will has written a nonentity. She doesn't count.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@jessegirl - Thanks for sharing about your son. I know a bit of your story but I can't say what I'm feeling, how I feel for you. But thank you for sharing.

jessegirl said...

Thanks Rum, but I only shared for a reason.

I shared only to show that Tyler's way of relating to his mother was an option, a poor option, one which harmed his mother. Do not think for a moment that she isn't hurt, terribly hurt, by him pulling away all the time. And when he dies, she might be the only one he hasn't changed for the better.

Tyler, when he dies, has done remarkable things--vis a vis the Gandhi quote--for his Dad, for Caroline, for Ally and for Aiden. But his mother, no, and that's an unqualified, 'no'.

If I really think about it, this is the unfinished part of his life, where he failed. And to say that his mother would love him no matter what misses my point. She NEEDS to have physical and emotional reminders that he loves her no matter what, that she matters. (I'm sure she needed that from Charles but didn't get it. He failed her. For whatever reason.) She also needs physical contact with Tyler to verify his presence in her world. Oh we see the grandstanding Charles making his voice heard, making sure Tyler knew his pain: 'what's in my heart', etc., but wouldn't Diane, at some point, beg or confront Tyler also, perhaps at that exact moment he pulled away to quote #38?
If she wouldn't confront him in some way, sometime, she really would be a nonentity. But she is a social worker, invested in everyone's feelings and well-being. What is she, this wimp who sacrifices her own emotional well-being and serves everyone else's? I don't think so.
Because Tyler and Caroline have not only Charles' DNA, they have Diane's. What of her is inside them?

None of our quotes can explore this because her words are too few to address it.

Lexi C. said...


i completely respect you points of view, actually i kind of good to see that this film has spark so many discussions, i think that is what is meant to do...

i do believe that Tyler is selfish and self-centered and you ask why we come to love him at the end? i think it's because he is human, he is not a hero and the movie is not trying to make him look like a hero, he's flawed and at the end i felt sad because even he wasn't really changed, i wanted him to keep learning and to live. I like the movie cuz it reflected kind of what families really go through when you lose someone, they become different, dealing with pain in different ways, mine dealt with it in so many ways and we are still broken because of it

jessegirl said...

Lexi...good to hear your voice.
I actually do love Tyler, a lot, and have commented on other threads on this site and on numerous other sites. If we didn't love him the end would not hit us as it does and let me assure you, Tyler's death hit me hard, very hard.

Posts like this sometimes give the wrong or incomplete impression of the one commenting, unless you 'know' the one commenting from other things they've written that you've seen. In this instance I am commenting only on this one particular aspect of Tyler and of Will's story. It would be silly to point you to my many other comments but let me assure you, Tyler has no greater advocate and voice than mine.

I've become a bit of a regular in these places, lauding the film, Robert's bravura performance and the character of Tyler, probably to the annoyance of some.

Anyway, these posts do not exist in a vaccuum, by themselves. That's something to remember.

Anonymous said...

I still disagree. The story is not about Diane, just as it's not about Aiden and his back story.

I think it's in the small moments of the film that we see Diane's strength and her children's need and love for her. Caroline calls her, not Tyler when her hair is ruined. Caroline goes home with her, not Tyler when he throws his tantrum. Caroline speaks affectionately of her mother throughout the film and for me, it's plain to see that apart from Caroline, there is NO ONE from his family that Tyler can be around without being reminded of his dead brother.

I don't think he's being disrespectful, I think he's being a person in pain. I don't spend time with my family not because I don't respect them, but because they represent a different time in my life, something thing I can never go back to, even if I wanted to. I feel this is the same for Tyler.

We never see ANY of his family in his "new" space. No one is in his apartment. No one is in his work or school. Those are his. He has created something different and apart for a reason.

How do we know that he doesn't draw what strength he DOES have from his mother? But he's really ill-equipt to be around her and her pain. He is not healthy enough to deal with anything else. I think he's protecting himself and I cannot fault him for that.

I agree about the women in the entertainment industry, but I am satisfied with how this story was written, directed and portrayed as its intent wasn't to focus on women and their intr=eractions, but meant to reveal a little about men.

Tyler has an inability to connect with women, as evidenced by the beginning of the film until he is forced to meet and interact with Ally. This, to me, suggests that he has a deeply rooted issue...possibly he blames his mother for Michael's choice, but cannot be outwardly as angry towards her as he is with his father because of her perceived fragility.

Also, yeah, Rob's attractive, but I like Tyler as a character because he represents many young men that I have known and loved. And let's face it, we're all selfish because we are the masters of our universe. If I don't exist, neither does my world.

jessegirl said...

karma...I can always count on you to call me on a rant. thx.
First and foremost--getting back to one of my initial reactions to this remarkable work of art--we follow Tyler's pain, his journey, his choices and the way he deals with them. Truly it is his story. I love the guy and was hit hard by the end. However, I stand by my observations about Diane. It would be interesting to me to ask Will, and Jenny Lumet, who, apparently, had a lot to say about the script, how all that came about.

kat said...

Diane trys so hard to the peace. She wants so badly for everyone to be happy, or at least not angry. Tyler is angry enough for all. And in his defense, I would be a tough day for him bringing all those emotions more intensly - on the anniversery of his brother's death.

In defense of Will - Diane and Les were much more fully developed in the original script - alot more interaction with Tyler. And Diane was much stronger and was dealing much better with Michael's death.

The film dealt more with his relationship with his father to show the progression of understanding and forgiveness. I don't think Tyler was upset with his mother - Charles left them all.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@jessegirl and anyone interested here - if you want the original script, I have it - just drop me a line and I will email it to you. It's very interesting to read. I wonder if it's copyrighted or not and if it's allowed to show parts of it or quote from it, that could be an interesting post to do - how scripts evolve and are rewritten...

Anonymous said...

Yes, please, how do I drop you a line?

I hope you don't think that I'm calling you on your thoughts. I'm just trying to express my pov, not to detract from yours. As I've said before our worlds are our own and everyone's entitled to their own version of it (their own pov and opinions).

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@karma - is it OK if I send you the script to the email address displayed on your blog?

InstantKarmaGirl said...

@Rum, yes, that is perfectly fine, thx

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

Karma - I've just sent it to the email adress I found on your livejournal blog.

InstantKarmaGirl said...

Rum - Bummer, didn't get it, would you be able to send it to Sorry for the trouble.

jessegirl said...

Kat...thanks for explaining about the script. I guess I, too, am now interested in reading it. I wonder which version though, seeing as Jenny Lumet made a bunch of changes?

Karma...I adore your comments and I would be bored to tears if everyone agreed with me all the time. When I say 'called me on it' I mean you forced me to look at my comments and my POV again and that's always a good thing. xo

Rum...I, too, will request that script.

And Lexi, wherever you are, it's all good.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

Jessegirl, Karma - I've just sent you the script ;))
It's the original one by Will Fetters, before it was rewritten.

Jen said...

This scene made me just want to squirm and leave it was like looking into the souls of people who are dealing with the pain and grief of their lost son and brother and never really talked about it. The interaction between Tyler and Caroline was sweet and as his little sister, she told him immediately that he smelled like beer and Listerine.

Unfortunately the first words out of Charles mouth was you should of worn a tie which of course was talking down to Tyler as though he was a child instead of an adult and really it didn’t need to of been said…Tyler was there and that was all that mattered.

The scene at the diner was tense Tyler was making over Caroline and listening to her spill on her latest artistic story; Diane was happy they were still honoring Michael and mentions it. Charles of course interrupts Caroline and wants the sugar…Tyler gets angry and insists that Charles recall what his daughter was talking about…Charles turns to Caroline and asks if she feels slighted…Of course the child isn’t going to say a word. Tyler says he is leaving and of course his mother is completely crushed as he gets up asks Caroline if she needs a ride somewhere. she says no and he leaves.

I feel that Charles by continuing to ask for the sugar after Tyler leaves was very telling. I got the feeling he didn’t want to be there and he didn’t want to have any small talk with his ex-wife or his children. I think he just wanted to drink his coffee and consider the fact he had done his duty, he was present and he was ready to leave. I think him being at the Memorial Service was extremely hard for him as it was for the rest of the family.

I felt for Diane she was trying so hard to keep her son’s memory alive and they were all dealing with their own points of grief but not thinking of hers. I found it interesting that know one asked, “How are you Mom or how are you doing?” I was glad she had Les who dutifully went with her to the Memorial Service and just listened I think he was great watching all of this and keeping his mouth shut and I am sure he was heartsick for his wife.

jessegirl said...

Jen, I think the whole family was so fragile, each in his or her own way, that interacting with each other was really difficult, especially on that anniversary date. So the cocks, as I've dubbed them, sparred--'cause it's easier than showing tenderness. The young daughter took her cue from everyone else and just answered questions without initiating. The mother tried so hard, as you said, to make it work,being the only one who mentioned Michael's name. And Les, the step family member, kept his mouth shut.

InstantKarmaGirl said...

I LOVE Les. Seriously. Probably my favorite character of the film.

At the end, when Diane holds onto Charles' arm, he takes a step back. WOW.


Jen said...

Jessiegirl, your right the cocks did spar and it was easier than showing tenderness but don’t you think that Charles would of preferred to of been the one to of found Michael instead of Tyler perhaps sheltering his younger son from this devastating discovery? He is the one who cared for his family and successfully gave them what he could materialistically as well as emotionally till Michael‘s death.

The conflict between father and son is more than him not paying attention to Caroline. Charles is in pain as the rest of the family is but he can’t express it so instead of reaching out and asking how they are going to deal with this tragedy he just goes through the motions of either sparring with Tyler and demanding his sugar so he can have his coffee and leave. He doesn’t want to deal with the situation but knows he has to because he can’t let the façade of his strength collapse because his family is as broken as he is.

Jen said...

I loved Les also and it was obvious he loved his wife and her children. Caroline had a beautiful room and Tyler felt very comfortable visiting his mother in their home as well as bringing his friend Aidan and Ally over to their house. Tyler liked and respected Les and it was obvious that Les liked Tyler. He was the one who loved his step-children and wife and was there for them through all their pain. He was great.

kat said...

And a tiny bit info: In Will's original script, this line was Les's. :)

kat said...

I would assume that the original script is copywrited, I don't know why it would not be.

I think though, if it is sourced properly, it would be OK to write about it. If not, someone will let me know.

What do we want to talk about?

jessegirl said...

Wow, interesting what everyone is saying about Les. I didn't notice him much at all, except when he makes that phone call after the haircutting incident. And double wow, if that was originally Les' line.
Did our hero, Robert, help change that script to make himself even more at the centre of things? He and Jenny? Me no likey.

Anonymous said...

I love how this movie shows the different levels of grief and how it affects everybody differently. This scene was especially well acted. They are all so good in this movie. There are so many complex emotions going on, but they pulled it off in a very believable way.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@Kat - But how to source the script properly? You're more experienced than me in this. I would like to talk about it, quote some parts of it, but someone sent it to me and she herself got it somewhere on the Internet from someone else - and so on. It's not supposed to have been published. Maybe asking permission from Will Fetters? He has a twitter account (but I haven't). And yet it would be so interesting to talk about it, about all the major changes (for example Michael dying in the first 1993 WTC and not committing suicide), or the way the ending was visually described. It was really too much for me - the purple elephant set close to the picture of Tyler on the wall with all the other missing persons' pics - and above all, Tyler calling Janine to tell her that there was some plane flying really low - oh dear. If they had kept that line, I'm sure they would have massacred the movie 10 times more. So I can only be glad they changed all that. But I'm really interested in all the differences. I remember there was a rewriting session, when Rob and the others met Jenny Lumet, and then there's Jenny's Details interview with Rob where she recalls seeing Rob scribbling away at the script, making his own revisions. So I wonder how we could set this up and talk about the script without infringing on anybody's rights. Any ideas?

kat said...

Jesse-I think that Jenny and Rob worked mostly on Rob's dialogue. I don't think for a minute that he and Jenny would have taken lines and given them to him. I think they streamlined the story.

Rum - With Allen (and Jenny) being from NYC, I think they were very sensitive to things like that and didn't want to dwell on it. The point was made with the brief shot of the diary in the rubble.

The original script (which was passed around the internet like candy) is all Will's. And Jenny didn't add/change enough of the shooting script is qualify for a screenwriter credit.

I think if the excerpt from the script is in quotes and if it is sourced with title Memoirs and with Will's name, it should be OK. I can ask Will via twitter DM if that is OK if we are more comfortable with that.

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