Nov 8, 2012

Carnage

In the movie Carnage (Roman Polanski 2011) — adapted from Le Dieu du carnage, by French playwright Yasmina Reza — two young teenagers get into a fight in the park; one hits the other in the mouth with a stick. Alan and Nancy Cowan (Waltz and Winslet), visit the home of Michael and Penelope Longstreet (Reilly and Foster), the parents of the boy who was hit: “As the Cowans and the Longstreets go through the motions of mature, reasonable conflict resolution, that old primal force asserts itself in various forms. These nice, complacent people turn angry, competitive, contemptuous and stupid” (A.O.Scott, Carnage Review, NYT, December 15, 2011). You can see here  the  trailer & clips and you can find her the whole screenplay. Below two key moments of the “dialogue”.

- NANCY: Hotshot firebrands like my husband, you got to understand, it's hard for them to get excited about what happens down the block.
- ALAN: Exactly.
- PENELOPE: I don't see why. I don't see why. We're all citizens of the world. I don't see why we shouldn't have some sense of community.
- MICHAEL: Oh Penny! Give us a break with the  highfalutin clap trap!
- PENELOPE: I'm going to kill him.

----
- MICHAEL:  They don't give a shit! It's so obvious, right from the beginning,  they don't give a shit! She doesn't  give a shit either, you're right!
- ALAN: Like you do?
- NANCY: I...
- ALAN: Explain to me, Michael, exactly how you care. What does that mean anyway? You're more credible when you're  being openly despicable. Truth is, nobody here cares. Except maybe Penelope, one must acknowledge her integrity.
- PENELOPE: I don't need your acknowledgment! I don’t need your acknowledgment!
- NANCY: But I do care. I really do care.
- ALAN: We care in a hysterical way, Nancy. Not like heroic figures of a social movement.
- (to PENELOPE:) I saw your friend Jane Fonda on TV the other day. Made me want to run
- out and buy a Ku Klux Klan poster.
- PENELOPE: My friend Jane Fonda? What the hell  does she have to do with this?!
- ALAN: You're the same breed. You're the same kind of involved, problem-solver woman. Those are not the women we  like, the women we like are sensual, crazy, shot full of hormones. The ones who want to show off how perceptive they are, the gatekeepers of the world, they're a huge turnoff.  Even poor Michael, your own husband is turned off...
- MICHAEL: Don't you speak for me!
- PENELOPE:  We don't give a shit about what you like in a woman! Where do you get off spouting these opinions? You're one man whose opinions we don't give a shit about!
- ALAN: She's screaming. A quartermaster on a slave ship!
- PENELOPE: What about her? She doesn't scream?  She didn't just scream that your little asshole was right to beat up  ours?
- NANCY: He was right! At least our kid isn't a little wimpy-ass faggot!
- PENELOPE; Yours is a snitch, that's supposed to be better?