Monday, January 12, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Regarding Henry (1991) - Juxtapose an Old Foe to Show Arc

[Quick Summary: A head injury changes Henry, his wife Sarah, and daughter completely.]

NEW NEWS, people, NEWS!

You ready?!

The writer of this script, Jeffrey Abrams, is THE J.J. Abrams! [Ok, ok, so this is just new-to-me news.]

Now, on to this script.  It reads fast and clean, and hit me hard. 

If you are dealing with an illness in the family (or ever have), you treasure time over stuff. You savor the small things. You re-prioritize.

People on the outside, however, think you've lost your touch.

Abrams captures that contradiction in the scene below.

Watch how Abrams juxtaposes Phyllis vs. Sarah. (Phyllis represents Sarah's old life.) The contrast shows how much Sarah has changed:

ex. "BRENDA: It's like she's got two kids now.
PHYLLIS: Worse. What does she possibly have to look forward to?
DANIEL: Christ, one minute you're an attorney, the next you're an imbecile.
BRENDA: Well, that's not a very long trip.

Phyllis and the others can't help but laugh.

At that moment, Sarah walks up to Phyllis, holding her glass of red wine --close to Phyllis' white dress.

Their eyes meet. A heavy, quiet moment.

SARAH: Phyllis. I'm afraid we can't stay for dinner. I just wanted to say goodnight and thank you.

Sarah carefully hands the glass of wine to Phyllis, who closes her eyes in humiliation.

Henry walks up behind Phyllis.

HENRY: Yes. Thank you.

Sarah takes Henry by the arm. They leave."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Contrasting an Old Foe with the New You = Shows you much you've changed.

Regarding Henry (1991)
by Jeffrey Abrams (a.k.a. J.J. Abrams)

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