Birthday Girl script
Birthday Girl (2002)
Synopsis: John (Ben Chaplin) is a mild-mannered banker who has never been lucky in love. Fed up with waiting for the right girl to come along, John takes a chance on a Russian mail-order bride arranged via the Internet. His Internet love connection is the enigmatic Nadia (Nicole Kidman). When Nadia's Russian cousins, Yuri and Alexei, turn up unexpectedly to celebrate her birthday, John's life is turned upside down as he learns the truth behind their relationship and is taken on an adventure.

FADE IN:

In a Russian summer meadow, a young girl spins around and

around. A simple guitar theme plays as the low sun catches

her hair. Around her neck is a pair of field binoculars, and

she runs through the meadow with them pressed to her face,

spying butterflies, birds, rabbits. She reaches the top of a

hillock, and jumps into the air, and flies up into the sky.

We float up and up with her as she aims the binoculars up,

up, into the sun.

FADE THROUGH SUN TO:

An aerial shot of the rolling English countryside. Nothing

but fields and trees for miles. The shot describes a panorama

before looking directly down, at the earth, and we begin to

move.

We fly low over a field, a ditch and straight out over six

lanes of motorway. Cars and lorries tear below at a hundred

miles an hour. We fly over the hard shoulder to another field

beyond.

We descend on two young boys in the field. A pornographic

magazine is spread out of the flattened grass. One of the

boys puts a match to the centre page and as the flames lick

up, we begin to move again, across the field, over a path

and into a suburban garden.

We fly over five or six gardens, over a barbecue, over

children splashing in a pool, over a woman sunbathing, a man

mowing his lawn, a young boy bouncing up and down on a garden

trampoline, to arrive on the patio of John Buckingham. He

walks out onto the patio, where he sits in a chair, facing

his house, setting down a mug of tea.

CUT TO:

A blurred face sharpening into focus, John Buckingham, about

thirty-two, sitting on his patio, his garden behind, fields

beyond.

JOHN:

Hello.

His hand adjusts a microphone on his lapel.

JOHN:

Hello, hello. Hello...

He shifts in his chair. Coughs. He looks straight at us.

JOHN:

I don't believe in perfect love. You

know, love that comes out of the sky

like a thunderbolt and uh... This is

ridiculous.

He removes the microphone. He sits there, thinking very hard.

JOHN:

No. No no no. Nope.

He stands, turns and stretches.

BLACKOUT:

FADE UP:

He is sitting as before, looking at us.

JOHN:

Running. Reading. Going out. Staying

in. The countryside. Films, if they're

good.

BLACKOUT:

FADE UP:

JOHN:

Thoughtful. Outgoing. Ambitious.

Well-read. Reasonably popular.

Balanced. Trusting. Quite attractive.

Outgoing.

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Jez Butterworth

Jeremy "Jez" Butterworth is an English playwright, screenwriter, and film director. He has written screenplays in collaboration with his brothers, John-Henry and Tom. more…

All Jez Butterworth scripts | Jez Butterworth Books

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