INT. ELIO'S ROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - AFTERNOON (pg. 3)
OLIVER looks around, nostalgic. The art on the walls is different, but the room looks much as it did the summer he first arrived.
He touches the bed and the desk.
He looks out the window as the snow lightly falls.
It's just as I left it.
Every time I come into this room I think of you.
They passionately kiss, but then OLIVER breaks away.
Some things have changed.
ELIO takes OLIVER'S hand and looks closely at his wedding ring.
You mean this? I'm okay with it.
How can you be?
Because the butcher isn't in competition with the baker.
Are you jealous when I kiss Marzia?
Of course not.
And if I married her...
would you still feel the same way about me?
I suppose I would. But that doesn't make it right.
I've never loved anyone else.
OLIVER looks surprised.
Oh, I've tried to fall in love again, I really have.
Tried and failed.
Lovers have brought me joy or sorrow,
threw my life off course or made no difference whatsoever...
Why are you telling me this?
Because seven years later, I still worship you, Oliver.
Is it better to speak or to die?
They look at one another intently.
I don't really understand why you are here,
but I'm glad that you are.
You make me like who I am,
who I become when you're with me.
If there is any truth in the world,
it lies when I'm with you...
OLIVER sits on the bed.
You were right. It is chilly in here.
I'll go find some more blankets.
And we should probably push these beds together.
ELIO grins, and OLIVER smiles back and throws a pillow at him.
INT. KITCHEN - PERLMAN VILLA - LATE AFTERNOON
OLIVER is helping MAFALDA and ANNELLA set the table.
He lights some candles.
ELIO quietly plays the piano in the next room.
I haven't seen him since I arrived.
Ah, poor Anchise.
Lung cancer. Two years ago.
He was only forty- nine.
I'm so sorry. I liked him.
Mafalda, marito un vassoio.
(make my husband a tray)
He should stay in bed.
Si. Va bene.
Ah, I can take it in to him, Mrs. P.
We want to speak.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - EVENING
PERLMAN sits propped up on a massive, four-poster bed.
He wears silk pajamas and an embroidered robe.
He is surrounded by papers and books.
A large chandelier directly overhead illuminates the room.
OLIVER enters with the tray of food.
May I come in, Professor?
Of course. Please.
OLIVER sets the tray down on the bed.
Pour us both some wine.
OLIVER pours two glasses from a sideboard.
PERLMAN closes his eyes, breathing in the wine, smiling.
L'chaim, my dear friend.
They clink their glasses.
To life, Professor. To life.
So, sit, I know you have a lot on your mind.
No, Pro. I want to hear about this new book!
Elio says you're very excited.
Yes, of course. I'll tell you all about it,
but first you tell me why you're in Italy instead
of with your family for Hanukkah.
OLIVER looks at his hands.
Then tell me about this beard.
It ages you, Oliver,
and you have the face of a Greek God.
Who are you hiding from?
Only myself, Professor. Only myself.
Ah, an honest answer.
I had some trouble at Columbia, you know.
I'm on disciplinary probation.
So you've come to Europe to rekindle your friendship
with my son after these long years...but why?
My life is such a mess.
I didn't want to get Elio tangled up in it all...
or maybe subconsciously I did.
I don't know...
When I was last here it was such a joyous, simple time.
OLIVER shrugs innocently.
Suddenly I found myself boarding a plane to London.
Nostalgia can be a powerful drug and
time makes us sentimental.
So, what about your wife and child?
Waiting. It's all so unfair.
I love them Professor, honestly I do.
But coming back here and seeing Elio again...
They sit quietly contemplating what is now in the open.
PERLMAN slowly cleans his glasses.
Oliver, it's not my place to tell you how to live your life.
We make decisions,
some are good and some are mistakes.
We are not perfect.
We open doors and others close behind us.
But you are a Doctor now too.
Surely I don't need to remind the expert that
you can't step into the same river twice.
Past is not prologue.
(nodding in agreement)
If only I'd had the courage back then.
Elio certainly did.
OLIVER stands up and begins pacing around the room.
Professor, I've really screwed things up.
The truth is that I'm a failure.
I highly doubt that.
You have people here in this house who love you
very, very much...and I suspect there are people
back in the states who love you equally well.
OLIVER smiles, eyes brimming with tears.
How can a man who is engulfed by so much love
be a failure? (beat)
He can't...You aren't.
Sometimes we don't see what's right before our eyes.
(beat) Back then, that summer, I suspected something
about Elio and you...
but Annella, she knew the whole time.
OLIVER looks stunned.
Women like her, formidable women.
They can see right through us.
No use trying to hide anything from them. (beat)
I'm an old man now, rubbing elbows with death.
And perhaps I've lived in Italy and France too long...
but I can tell you this: Many people share their
heart with more than one love.
Their hearts are divided.
My book is about King David, and as you know,
he had seven wives.
So the idea of having more than one affection is ancient,
even by our Jewish standards.
So, what am I to do with my "divided heart" Professor?
It seems to be frowned upon these days in America...
and I am also married to a formidable woman.
Just wait and be hopeful. These matters have a way
of finding a balance. Years ago you broke my Elio's heart,
but he is stronger now.
If he had not met you he never would have become
who he is today...
he would have been someone else.
Who we were yesterday, who we are today,
and who we will be tomorrow are three very different people.
Elio is amazing, so I am thankful.
I've missed him, and all of you, so much.
Well, here is my idea: I'm going to be stuck in this house
for six long weeks... "recovering."
What would you think of helping do the legwork on this
book of mine and being my co-author?
I don't know what to say.
I'll write to your superiors at Columbia and
explain about your collaboration.
Surely that will get you out of some hot water.
But I'm no archaeologist, or art historian.
So what? You know the culture.
You know the literature and the mindset.
The book is going to be titled:
The Art History of King David.
PERLMAN gathers up several folders, handing them all to OLIVER.
To be honest there are several sculptures and other
artifacts that I would love to have your opinion on.
Of course, it would mean more traveling for you.
I've written the outline, but you can help me organize
my notes, get these chapters pulled together.
And we need your skills as a photographer.
I want slides of the relevant pieces.
You have a keen eye, a clean writing style...
you would be doing me a favor.
OLIVER is astonished.
I'd be honored, Professor.
Good. Then it's settled.
INTERCUT: OLIVER and PERLMAN working in the study, stacks of books and papers surrounding them.
ELIO composing music and playing the piano.
MAFALDA cooking. ANNELLA and PERLMAN embracing and kissing.
ELIO and MARZIA walking through Crema hand in hand.
OLIVER and ELIO naked in bed together.
The family laughing and sharing a meal in the dining room.
MANFREDI and MAFALDA kissing in the kitchen.
ELIO writing in his diary. PERLMAN smoking a cigar and looking out the window.
OLIVER riding a bike with VIMINI on the handlebars.
INT. BALCONY - PERLMAN VILLA - NEW YEAR'S EVE - DUSK
ANNELLA and TILDA are smoking before the guests arrive.
They notice ELIO and MARZIA kissing in the orchard.
Qui est cette femme?
(who is that girl?)
She and Elio have known each other all their lives.
She is from the village, Oui?
Well, he can surely do better than that.
We must help dear Elio set his sights higher.
She is a sweet girl.
What if he is happy with her?
He is your only child, Chérie.
He can be just as happy with a girl who is noble-born.
He may not even want a girl.
I think he would marry Oliver if he could.
Ah, that one.
He casts a spell with his movie-star looks.
Vimini is also smitten.
But he is a foreigner...and working class.
He's an American college professor.
He's a glorified teacher...
not to mention he's a man.
A married man...with a young child.
Que Dieu nous aide. (Lord help us all)
At least he's Jewish.
The sisters both laugh at this.
Once Elio has married a young Countess
he can keep the American as a hobby.
(slapping her sister)
You are wicked.
We all need hobbies.
EXT. MAIN ENTRANCE - PERLMAN VILLA - NIGHT
Lights have been strung from the trees and around the house giving it a very festive air. One of the posters of Elio from London is near the door.
Guests begin to arrive for the concert. Some have driven, but many have walked from town. The scene is magical.
INT. LIVING ROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - NIGHT
The villa has been transformed into a mini-concert hall. Folding chairs have been set up to allow for as many people as the room will hold.
A fire blazes. Vases filled with white carnations are everywhere.
OLIVER, in a blue cashmere sweater, and Vimini in a white dress sit together,
close to the piano.
Looks like it's going to be standing room only.
I think Elio is more nervous about this concert
than any he did with the Philharmonic.
Where is our prodigy?
He banished me from upstairs an hour ago.
CHIARA and ROBERTO arrive with MARZIA. SONNY and CHER, in matching purple suits, greet the PERLMANS. MANFREDI and MAFALDA work to herd everyone in.
TILDA is seated on a couch, drinking wine with the PROFESSOR.
There are at least two dozen people settling into their seats or standing near the wall. Finally, ANNELLA, dressed in a beautiful red gown, addresses the gathering.
We are so happy that you could all be here to
celebrate the New Year with our family.
We hope you will enjoy the food and the wine...
but mostly the entertainment!
People begin to cheer and clap. Some have started to chant, "Elio! Elio!"
ELIO walks down the stairs wearing his black tuxedo and white sneakers.
A carnation is in his lapel. The cheering intensifies.
Many of these people have known him for his entire life.
ELIO kisses his mother and then she takes her seat next to TILDA.
He leans against the piano.
Every face in this room brings back memories.
He sits at the piano, adjusting and preparing himself.
He cracks his knuckles.
This first piece is a variation of CLAUDE DEBUSSY'S
ELIO glances toward OLIVER.
I wrote this for a friend...
and I'm nervous because I've never played it in public before.
The melody starts quietly, slowly rising to fill the room.
ELIO plays the haunting variation of the song as a gift sent out to OLIVER.
It's a mixture of longing and sadness, but also hints of joy.
INTERCUT ELIO'S hands on the keyboard, the rooms and grounds of the villa,
and the faces of family, friends, and OLIVER.
INT. ELIO'S BEDROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - NIGHT
Voices and music can be heard downstairs as the party continues.
ELIO is changing out of his tux.
PERLMAN knocks once and enters.
Elio, Elio, that was so...magical.
HA! you are biased. But thanks.
PERLMAN looks at his son with love and admiration.
You have been given such a gift.
It is beyond my comprehension.
I want you to promise me something.
You must rejoin the orchestra.
Finish the tour.
I will when you are well.
I'm well enough now.
Your mother and her tribe will be here
to hover over me.
I'll feel better just knowing you are doing
what you were born to do.
PERLMAN moves to ELIO'S bookcase and chooses a large tome.
Books, history, sculpture.
Looking back into the past.
This is my path and I have been content to follow it.
But what you do, my son, can inspire people in a
different way. It can move them.
Music touches our emotions, it has a rare power
and it is how you enter this world.
You must delve deeper.
Follow your music.
Write, create, perform...
you can make the world a better place for all of us.
ELIO smiles and nods. Father and son embrace.
If it's what you want, I'll call Julien tomorrow.
Now, what about Oliver?
I've been asking myself that same question.
I'm glad he's here, but I wonder why.
We are defined by the company we keep.
In my dark moments I wonder if he was really
coming back to me, or simply running away.
Ellie-Belly...He crossed a wide ocean just to
see you again. Give him time.
Apart from you, he's the best person
I've ever known in my life.
MUSIC: JANET JACKSON'S Love Will Never Do (without you)
The party continues. Drinking, laughing, dancing. It is a snapshot of the idyllic life that the PERLMAN'S have shared in this home, in this time, and in this country with these people. OLIVER seems to be memorizing every detail, every smile. They count down to midnight and everyone kisses. PERLMAN and ANNELLA; CHIARA and ROBERTO; MANFREDI and MAFALDA; SONNY and CHER.
OLIVER kneels down and kisses VIMINI on each cheek, but rising and turning, he sees ELIO kiss MARZIA. He goes to him.
OLIVER and ELIO kiss deeply.
INT. ELIO'S BEDROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - LATE
The rain has come. It beats against the panes.
ELIO and OLIVER are naked in bed, smoking and talking.
My father wants me to rejoin the LPO tour.
He wants me to take my music more seriously.
He wants me to travel all over Europe
photographing sculptures for the book.
That sounds great, I wish I could tag along.
I wish you could too...
but you should be performing.
(resting his head on Oliver's chest)
Our lives are filled with hellos and goodbyes.
INT. STUDY - PERLMAN VILLA - DAY
ELIO sits among a mountain of his father's books and papers.
He has his address book in hand and is trying to call London.
...Yes, yes...I'm still here. (pause)
Yes, Perlman. Elio Perlman.
I need to speak to the Maestro. (pause)
Yes, I know. Well, are they in Vienna? (pause)
Can you give me a number for him? (pause)
Okay, okay. Then can you please leave
an urgent message that I called? (pause)
PROFESSOR PERLMAN has entered the room and look expectantly at his son.
ELIO merely shrugs. O.S. MAFALDA rings the bell calling everyone to breakfast.
INT. DINING ROOM - PERLMAN VILLA - DAY
MAFALDA is trying to get everyone situated as eggs, juice, toast and party leftovers are spread on the large table.
TILDA, ANNELLA and VIMINI are nearly finished eating when ELIO enters.
The dog scurries around begging for scraps.
Any luck reaching them, Mio Piccino?
I think they are supposed to be playing in
Vienna this week, though.
You are their soloist, you'd think they'd be calling
every day to get you back.
It does seem odd.
Maybe you should just show up.
ELIO frowns at the idea as he butters some toast.
That's what I'd do.
I know. But I'm not party- crashing, hat in hand.
If they want me back...they'll call.
OLIVER is having some trouble cracking his egg...VIMINI reaches over to help him.
So, Oliver, are you almost ready for your big trip?
I think so, Pro.
ELIO wipes his mouth and gets up from the table.
Caro, what are your plans today?
Marzia and I are going to hike up to Monet's Berm.
Sounds fun. (beat)
More work for us, Professor?
I'm afraid so.
Well, we are having our nails and hair done in town.
ANNELLA looks toward PERLMAN concerned.
Will you be alright with only Oliver and
Mafalda to look after you?
I think we can manage for one afternoon, my love.
INT. STUDY - PERLMAN VILLA - DAY
OLIVER sorting through papers.
PERLMAN, glasses on, is making revisions to the manuscript.
I like the way you say that David is a bridge
between Jews and Christians.
A King to both faiths.
Michelangelo, a Christian, sculpted his most
famous statue of a Jewish King.
But Michelangelo wasn't thinking about religion.
To him, David was a symbol of strength and beauty...
and all things Florence.
So, if David is Florence, then Goliath must be...
The statue represents politics more than religion.
But the sensuous nature of it tells us even more.
Certainly Michelangelo, being who he was,
was keenly aware of the relationship
between David and Jonathan.
What do you mean?
Though both David and Jonathan both eventually
married women, in David's case several women...
the scripture states that the soul of Jonathan was
knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him
as his own soul.
They made a covenant with each other.
Another divided heart, Professor?
Exactly. In many ways it reflects Michelangelo's own
true love with the married nobleman Tommaso de' Cavalieri...
a relationship that lasted until his death.
History and art are always teaching us, Oliver,
they are a mirror.
So what is the lesson here...with this most famous of statues?
Maybe it's as simple as: true love is an unstoppable force.
The professor nods his approval.
The heart wants what the heart wants.
PERLMAN gets up from his desk, a hand on OLIVER'S shoulder.
I'm a bit tired from last night.
If I take a nap will you wake me in an hour?
Are you feeling okay, Pro?
Yes, yes. Just tired.
Then rest. I'll sort through the Michelangelo history.
(leaving the room)
One hour only.
Sweet dreams, Pro.