Shine script
Shine (1996)
Synopsis: Shine is a 1996 Australian biographical drama film based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. It stars Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Noah Taylor, John Gielgud, Googie Withers, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd, Nicholas Bell, Chris Haywood and Alex Rafalowicz. The screenplay was written by Jan Sardi, and directed by Scott Hicks. The degree to which the film's plot reflects the true story of Helfgott's life is disputed. The film made its US premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Geoffrey Rush was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1997 for his performance in the lead role.

INT. TRANSIT LOUNGE. AIRPORT - NIGHT

David HELFGOTT wakes with a start in an indistinct place

somewhere in the world. Late thirties, eyelids at

half-mast, he stares into the wet night, mesmerized by a

flashing red light.

David

(mumbling)

Kissed them all, I kissed them all, always kissed cats,

puss-cats, kissed them, always did; if a cat'd let me kiss

it, I'd kiss it - Cat on a fence I'll kiss it - always,

always, I will - didn't I? I did because I was different

wasn't I, I was - gotta be different again, haven't I darl -

He realizes the seat beside him is empty and panics.

David

Where-oh-where, Gillian? Where did she go, where-oh -

His weird begaviour draws attention.

Gillian

(returning)

It's alright David, I'm right here.

David

Here - here Gillian, right here. The thing is I thought you

were gone.

She emanates calmness, warmth and is an endless source of

energy. The effect is instantaneous. David settles '

Gillian

Where is there to go?

David

I don't know darling, I don't know, I'm hopeless without my

glasses.

Gillian

You've got your contacts in, silly.

David

I'm a silly, it's true, it's true.

A braying laugh.

Whooahh!

Gillian

Shhhh.

David

Oooh, shhh - shhh, sorry darling, sorry -

Gillian

It's alright. Stretch your legs.

David

Do you think so? Perhaps I should, perhaps I should stretch

my legs, should I stretch my legs?

He stands.

Gillian

Good idea.

David

Good idea, that's right -

AIRPORT ANNOUNCEMENT : Flight 313 to London via Frankfurt

will be re-boarding in 15 minutes -

David

Whooahhh, London, Gillian, London!

Gillian

Yes ' Shhh.

David

Shhh '

He looks out the rain-spattered window at the flashing red

light from an aircraft being fuelled immediately outside the

window.

David

Shhh, softly, softly, new story '

Dissolve to iridescent neon raindrops coursing down a window

in the night somewhere, Suddenly a desperate face fills the

frams. It's David in his late twenties. The full head of

hair, falling around his soaking wet face, tells us this is

years earlier; a sodden cigarette hangs from his lips

spectacles dangle off the end of his nose. He's looking

into ...

INT/EXT. MOBY'S WINEBAR - NIGHT

A pianist croons the last few bars of 'Only the Lonely'. A

waiter, TONY, shows the last two patrons to the door. TONY

and a woman in her mid-forties, Sylvia, put up chairs; the

PIANIST, SAM, slips into a stool at the bar. They chat but

all we hear is David's anxious breathing as we are seeing it

all from his POV. He raps on the window.

Sylvia

What does he want?

Sam

A drink probably. Get lost!

David disappears from the window and appears at the door.

Sylvia

Poor thing. Let him in.

Tony

He's a derro'!

Sylvia

He's saturated.

Resume David's POV as more words are exchanged then TONY

comes over and opens the door to him.

Tony

What's the problem, mate?

David

(a hundred miles an hour)

Sorry, sorry, sorry, mate, I'm the problem, I think I'm the

problem, such a problem. And wet! But it's not an ideal

world. Is it an ideal world? We just have to make the most

of it, I mean, this is the way we find it isn't it,

yeah-yeah-yeah! But it's more ideal than it was, I mean,

you know, we're privileged, we're privileged, we're

priviliged, aren't we, because not long ago, people would be

burned to a steak wouldn't they, er '

He sees 'MOBY'S' embroidered on TONY's tunic.

David

Moby, yay Moby, pleased to meet you -

Tony

Tony. Who are you?

David

(hugs Tony)

Tony, Tony not Moby Tony. Who am I Tony? Who knows Tony?

I don't know myself. Whooahh! David, I'm David, I'm David

Tony ' How does that sound?

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Jan Sardi

Jan Sardi is an Australian screenwriter. In 1997 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay), for Shine. He has also written and directed Love's Brother, and adapted The Notebook, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. Sardi also adapted Li Cunxin's Mao's Last Dancer, which film was released in 2009. more…

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