A Country Called Home

Synopsis: A COUNTRY CALLED HOME is a compelling coming of age story with universal appeal because it deals with trials and trepidations that most people experience in one way or another, no matter who they are or where they are from. The story incorporates the views of people from all walks of life; different generations, different places, and different socio-economic backdrops.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Anna Axster
  1 nomination.
90 min




(WHISPERS) Please don't leave a message.



Hey, where are you going? I was just coming to see you.

Oh, I'm sorry, I gotta go see Cole.

Wait, why, what's up with your brother?

Nothing, I just gotta go see him.

You gonna ask me?

Ask you what?

How I did in the poker game.

Well, you're not wearing your shirt, so, I'm guessing you didn't do too well.

Yeah, only 'cause the guy who won it from me left early,

so, I didn't get a chance to win it back.

But about an hour ago, I turned it around. I won...

...over $200.

So, you've got my money.

I kind of had to pay some back rent.

I gotta go.


Hey, Ellie.

What are you doing?

Sarah wants to start parking her car in here, so...

All this stuff's gotta go to Goodwill.

You send your resume in to that design firm you were talking about?

They're never gonna hire somebody without a degree, so...

How do you know without even trying?

I, um, got a call

from somebody in Texas.

Was it Dad?

I don't know, I haven't listened to the message,

I'm too scared to listen to it.

You want me to listen to it?

Wha... What do you think that he wants?

Booze. Or money to buy booze.

Or money to get out of jail so he can go buy booze.

-Yeah, but do you think that maybe he... -Erase it, Ellie.

As far as I'm concerned, we have a mom and dad

and they're both very much dead.

Except no one's gotten around to burying Dad yet.

I think that we should hear what he has to say.

Let me show you something.

I found this, uh, this morning.

That trip was about the last time I can remember being a whole family.

Who's to blame for that except Dad?


WOMAN ON RECORDING: This is a message for Ellie.

This is, uh, your stepmother, Amanda.

I think you may wanna head on down here to Texas.

Your daddy had a stroke, and I don't know if he's gonna be around much longer.

Anyway, I just thought I should let you know.

He wants money, right?

Is there anything?

I'm sorry, but this flight is overbooked.

Yeah, well, I know. What does that mean?

It means that not everyone on this flight...

No, I know what the words mean, but I...

I really have to get on this flight.

My father is not well.

Uh, it's... There just...

We do have another flight that leaves at 3:30...

No. Please, um, I...

-I've got to get on this one. -I don't...

Could you just check for, like, a last minute cancellation or...



I'm sorry, but the 3:30 is the best that we can do.

-But there's... There's got to be... -(CELL PHONE VIBRATING)


-Hello? -AMANDA:
Ellie? We lost him.

Who, what? Lost who?

I'm afraid we lost your daddy. He died not two minutes ago.

Hey, there you are!

Oh, hi!

-Wait, you are Ellie, aren't ya? -Yeah.

It's a good thing or I might've been arrested for being a lesbian.

-Can you get arrested? -I'm just kidding. Is that all you have?

-Uh-huh. -Okay, come on now, we gotta scoot.

I had no idea you'd be so late.

-I know. There was a problem... -Do you drive a truck?

I guess.

I might've had a few too many cocktails waiting for you,

I'm gonna need you to drive.

-(KEYS JANGLING) -AMANDA: There you go.

(SIGHS) Oh, hang on, just a sec.

Before you get in, I wanna show you something.

How's the light out here? Can you see okay?

See what?

Well, what do you think?


Well, they're your daddy's suits.

I mean, I like the brown, but everyone else seems to like the blue.

Mmm. Maybe we can buy him something new.

Like some black.

God, are you... What a waste that'd be.

Actually, can I be 100% honest with you?

-Okay. -I really don't know that your daddy wanted to be buried.

Well, what did he want?

I mean, he always said we could just shove him under the couch.

But sometimes he'd say he wanted to be cremated.

-Oh. -Yeah.

I know you know your daddy joked around a lot.

I mean, did he ever tell you or your brother what he wanted?

Mmm-mmm, I don't think we ever talked about his death.

Are you kidding? He talked about that all the time.

Come on, hop in.

(SIGHS) What time's your brother flying in?

-Cole's not coming. -He's not?


Well, I didn't know it was quite like that.

It is, and then some.

So, which way am I going?

Grandma! -(GASPS)

(SIGHS) Tommy, go back to sleep. We'll be home soon.

That's my grandson, Tommy.

What, he's just been out in the car the whole time?

I couldn't exactly bring him into the airport bar now, could I?

I'm hungry, Grandma.

Okay, I'll fetch you something. Just, when you pull out of here,

make your first right and head down the road a while.


(OVER PHONE) Hello? -Hi, it's me.

How was the trip?

Uh, it was a little...

Are you okay?

Did Dad say something awful to you?

No, Dad's dead.


He died while I was still at the airport

and this Amanda woman called to tell me.

I don't understand, so you... So you're still at the airport?

No, I decided to come to Texas anyway.


Um, I gotta go, I'll, I'll call you later.


Come on, get in.

Why can't this just wait until tomorrow?

It just can't.

Anyway, I thought you might want to see your daddy

before they take him over to the funeral home.

I don't wanna be rude, but I think that I can wait to see him.

Okay, look, can I be 100% honest with you, Ellie?


Technically, me and your daddy ain't exactly married on account of

I'm still married to some no-good son of a b*tch

-who lives up near Houston. -I don't understand.

I need someone to officially sign some forms

so they can release his body to the undertakers.

-Someone who's family. -I see.

I knew you were coming,

I didn't wanna make your grandparents have to do it.




I thought that might be you, you look just like your father.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Thank you.

What's this?

Your father asked me to give it to you if you showed up here.

Amanda, where did you get that wheelchair?

Oh, uh...

These things are not toys.

No, I know, Susan, it's just he's so heavy.

-You just about done here? -Uh-huh.

This is where you live?

Oh, this is it. "Be it ever so humble..."

We had an apartment down the road,

but your daddy loved to monkey around with those guitars.

This place suited him 'cause of the garage.

It's my son's place.

Really, it was too big for just him and Tommy by themselves.

He was still making guitars?

Oh, making 'em, repairing old ones, sure.

Yeah, he worked on 'em most days.

Don't think he ever finished too many,

but he loved working on 'em.

All right, come on, love bug. You gotta get up, we're goin' in.

(SIGHS) Let's see.

Uh, yeah. And that's my baby boy.

Jack, this is Ellie.

Mark's daughter.

Oh, he's a charmer.

No, don't worry, don't worry about a thing,

I'll put your son to bed.

He works hard, so we cut him a little slack when he acts like a poo-poo head.

I'll be right back.

There you are.

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Jim Beggarly

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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