erik lundegaard

Dialogue of the Day: “Rois et reine”

“Your mother has asked me to adopt you. Do you know about that? I've thought about it and I've decided that it's not a good idea. I came here to tell you that.

I didn't know your dad but I think he was a great guy. He gave you a load of things: your name, your face...

So you already have a father. Okay, he's dead. That's sad. But it was before you were born and it's not easy to mourn a stranger.

There's a German poem about a boy whose mother is dead. [Speaks German] That means,”Your mother's soul lashes out at the sharks before you.“ That poem always reminds me of you because I think your dad's soul protects you from sharks.

So it wouldn't be a good idea for me to pretend to be your father now. Your mother used to say you and I should be friends. But a grown-up and a child shouldn't be friends. I know that when I was little, I didn't like those grown-ups who'd try to charm me or try to establish complicity with me. ...

I carry you in my heart now. Even if you turn into a total bastard or I don't see you for 1279 years, I have to think about you because I enjoy doing it. As a child, you don't have to think about grown-ups or about me. Unless you need to. ...

You see, the past isn't what's vanished. No, it's what belongs to us. What belongs to us now are the memories we both have. It's weird, isn't it? Because there's no name for what we share. ...

And I'd like you to see that doctor you got on well with. A child shouldn't talk only to his mother. A mother is great to look after you, to love you, for you to love, etc. But she's not enough to make you grow up. You need an extra adult to help you to grow so you're not shut up in the love between parents... and children. Maybe that scares Nora and not you. Nora probably thinks, ”My God, am I a good mother for Elias? Let's see the doctor.“ And you think, ”Nora's the one who needs the doctor, not me!“

That's smart. You can separate what she wants from what you want. In a way, you're right but... This is the only advice I have for now: Of course, we're always right. But it's always possible that we could be a bit wrong too. Being a bit wrong is very good news! It means you don't have the whole answer. That life will be more exciting and full of surprises than you thought.”

--Ismaël (Mathieu Amalric) talking to Elias (Valentin Lelong) in the great epilogue to Arnaud Desplechin's “Rois et reine” (“Kings and Queen”) (2004).

Scene from "Rois et reine" ("Kings and Queen") (2004)


Posted at 06:59 AM on Fri. Sep 02, 2011 in category Quote of the Day  
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COMMENTS

Dan wrote:

This was a very interesting movie that I just watched the other night and did a search for the shark comment. This movie was so full of life. Didn't pretend to have all the answers just laid out some situations to get you to think how you'd respond to them. Thanks.

Comment posted on Thu. Jul 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM

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