Andre Dubus
Selected Stories
Tom Wilkinson
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Sissy Spacek


movie trailer ( - quicktime)

NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by - Robin Mates , who writes... " There are a lot of "wistful" scenes, so I'm basically going to give the important plot points"

The movie opens with Natalie (Marisa Tomei) and Frank running in a field, kissing a little and basically happy and maybe in love.

Frank Fowler is a promising architect, potentially on his way to college, who spends most of his time with Natalie, her two children, and fishermen looking for lobster. Even though he should go to college, he tells Natalie he wants to stay for an extra year. Though his parents, Ruth and Matt (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkenson) say they like Natalie, they are worried that their son is falling for her and will waste his life with Natalie, fishing.

Ruth is a choir teacher, and Matt is a doctor who spends his lunchtime at the docks.

While the Fowlers are throwing a birthday party for one of Natalie's sons, Richard, her husband (whom she is divorcing) comes by. As the movie develops, we learn of his abusiveness. He treats Natalie badly, and beats up Frank.

Frank applies for architectural school, and gets in. He breaks up with Natalie to satisfy his parents. He is talking to the dean when one of Natalie's sons calls, begging him to come over. Frank goes over, and the place is a wreck. Richard starts banging on the door, and Frank tells Natalie and the kids to hide upstairs. They go reluctantly, but Natalie runs downstairs when she hears arguing and then a gunshot. Richard shot Frank in the face.

Ruth and Matt are heartbroken, but it visibly affects Ruth a lot more. She stays away from her job, and the tension between the two is growing.

Richard gets let out on bail, since Natalie made a mistake on her statement between the police and court; a technicality. Ruth keeps seeing Richard everywhere, so the two go up to their friends' cabin.

Ruth sees Richard and the market, but he acts as though he doesn't notice her. She comes home, devastated, and tells her husband that she saw him and he just smiled at her. (He didn't, she's trying to get Matt as upset as she is.) She and her husband have a screaming, plate-breaking fight. She says it's his fault Frank got killed for being lenient and not caring; he says it's her fault for being so overbearing. They finally make up.

Matt goes to see Natalie at work, but it is very uncomfortable. She goes to see Ruth and gets slapped.

Matt finds out where Richard works and goes there, gun in hand. He brings him to Richard's apartment, and tells him to pack his bags. Matt bought Richard a plane ticket and says that he's jumping bail so they don't have to deal with him. They leave, and Matt leaves the ticket on the counter. The two drive up to the cabin, with Matt telling Richard that he's flying out tomorrow.

They get to the cabin, and Matt's friend is there. As Richard grabs his bags, Matt shoots him three times. The two men take the body and bury it in the woods.

Matt goes home, takes off his clothes and goes into bed with Ruth. He never had to tell her what he had just done. She had manipulated him to this point and knew exactly where he was. All she asks is, "Is it done?" Matt is just laying there, thinking about what he did, and Ruth gets up to make him breakfast.


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