Dear Eleanor

Synopsis: Two teenage girls travel across the U.S. in 1962, during the chaos of the Cuban missile crisis, in search of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Director(s): Kevin Connolly
Production: Nine Nights
89 min

We stand today at the threshold

of a great event.

Both in the life of the United Nations

and in the life of mankind.

This universal declaration

of human rights may well become

the international Magna Carta

of all men everywhere.

You only meet your once-in-a-lifetime friend

once in a lifetime,

and I had to travel a long way

to realize that.

That October,

I'd just turned 15 years old.

My mother was dead,

and I thought it was my fault.

Home was the last place I wanted to be.

I wanted it to swallow me up.

- But she wouldn't let it.

- Thank goodness you're home.

Can I run through my speech

with you one more time?

I'm tired of hearing that stupid speech.

I just want to make sure I've memorized it

and left nothing out when I introduce her.

And I'm nervous.

I'm sure Mrs. Roosevelt won't mind

if you leave something out.

You should come with me

to hear Mrs. Roosevelt.

You're the future of this country.

You and Max the Wax, God forbid.

I mean, things are hard for women today.

When are you gonna learn

that women need to stick together?

I stick together. Me and Max the Wax

are going to the movies later to see Gidget.

Would you at least pick Henry up

from school so that I'm not late?

No! Let the little wiener walk. I had to.

Thanks a lot. Dinner is in the oven,

make a vegetable and I don't mean corn.

One of the most famous stars

in Hollywood history is dead at 36.

Marilyn Monroe was found dead in bed

under circumstances

that were in tragic contrast

to her glamorous career as a comic talent.

On the surface, she seemed to have

such a sensible mind...

She was fate because of me.

She was hit by a car.

My mother loved Eleanor Roosevelt.

She said she was the greatest First Lady

our country ever had.

Women gotta stick together,

don't you know?

- Why can't we have corn?

- No more corn.

Is Dad gonna eat?

I don't know. He's busy.

He's always busy.

I wish he'd be a pumpkin man again.

We're not pumpkin people no more

because Mom's gone,

and he don't give a flip

about pumpkins no more.

Heck, I don't think he'd even notice

if one of us went missing.

This don't taste like sloppy joe.

I wish Mom could make it.

It's Mom's same recipe,

so quit complaining.

- And we're still a family.

- I'm itchy.

Me, too.

It's because you have the chicken pox.

I'm next, ain't I?


Marilyn, rest in peace.

And RIP Jesus.


You chewed up my letter!

- I'm gonna have a serious talk with you...

- "Dear Eleanor...

- ...when I get home.

- " name is Maxine Wax,

"and I'm 15 years old.

"You may have already heard of me

as my family is very famous."

Keep reading.

"I'm writing to you because my best friend

Ellie has gone berserk

"and practically lost her mind.

"Her mom died this last summer,

and I know it would mean a lot to her

"if she could meet you

and get some words of encouragement

- "from a real trooper."

- Okay, skip to the end.

Right there, Billy.

"Sincerely, sincerely, Maxine Wax.

"P.S. You're probably a very busy person.

"You can just send her

an autographed picture of yourself

"because that would be neat, too.

"Thanks, Mrs. Roosevelt."

I liked maps.

I could look at the State

Farm Road Atlas for hours.

Opening it gave you a sense of adventure,

and that everything was possible.


And that you could plot

a new life for yourself.

And the red-lined highways

would take you there.

Ellie, are you up there?

Max the Wax and I are going

to Dairy Deluxe! Wanna come?

Yeah, hold on.

Hi, Annabell.


Say, "Hey, Max."


Come here.

Don't fall. Don't fall.

Hey, look out for her.

- What, come on!

- You promised!

Hey, did you guys know that Manteca

is the pumpkin capital of the world?

I'm serious. Without Manteca

there wouldn't even be a Halloween.

- Hey, Billy.

- Don't. Don't start with that again.

- Billy!

- You guys know that

- I do not like that, Max!

- Billy!

There's your dad, sitting in his truck

staring at nothing again.

Come on, let's go.

Saturdays, we confessed.

Max loved to confess.

One time she was in there

for two whole hours.

But I knew my sin was so bad,

no amount of Hail Marys could save me.

You're up.

I got nine Our Fathers, 10 Hail Marys

and six Acts of Contrition.

And they want to see me again next week.

After confession, we'd go to the movies

with our cleansed souls.

We were good for the first two minutes,

and then impure thoughts

about Warren Beatty would creep in.

We're going to hell.

I understand,

that's probably a good idea. Hi.

I'll give you $250. That's more than fair.


I'm sure it is fair,

but Carolina's piano is not for sale.

- $300.

- $300.

- Why is your mouth blue, son?

- Don't know, sir.

- Jack, go wash your face, okay?

- I did, and it don't come off.

The thing is, we're gonna keep

the piano, all right?

Come here, come on.

Oh, my Lord, me, too. Come here.

You're hot.

It's all right.

Come on.

Let's go find him, come on.


Couple of little ladies headed your way.


Third one's got it.

Fourth one's gonna get it.

- Get what?

- Chicken pox.

I'm not gonna get it

because I already had it.

But now she's running a fever

and she won't stop crying,

and somebody's got to take her temperature

and I'm not gonna do it.

Why not?

Because it goes up her butt, that's why.

She needs to go to a doctor,

but I'm not grown-up

and I'm not her parent so you gotta do it,

or you can do this.

- Okay.

- You are on your own, buddy.

I'll be in the car.

I'm gonna concede this game.

Dr. Henning to pediatrics.

Dr. Henning to pediatrics, please.

Hi. Thank you.

Give her baby aspirin

until her fever reduces.


She don't look too bad.

- I'm trying, Ellie.

- Not hard enough, Dad.

- She still sleeping?

- Yeah.

All the kids are home sick today,

so you're gonna have to stay here

and take care of them.

I have a big history test I can't miss.

Okay, well, I'll...

I'll call Grandma and...

There's a party at Tom's tonight.

- You want to come over?

- No, no, daddy-o.

I'm going to Motorcycle Rita's

to get drunk and have sex and do drugs.

No doll's called Motorcycle Rita.

Yes, there is. And that's where

Marijuana Millie's going tonight.

No doll's named Marijuana.

Okay, maybe not your dolls,

but my dolls do a lot of interesting things

yours would never do.

Well, my dolls like to go camping

all the time at Lake Don Pedro.

And eat tacos and swim.

Who cares about tacos and Lake Don Pedro?

What's been up with you lately?

I thought we were playing dolls

and having fun and stuff like that,

and all of a sudden

your doll is out of control.

- Millie used to own a bakery.

- She sold it.

Can't be naked and own a bakery.

I'm going home.


I thought we were gonna make s'mores,

and camp out in the backyard with the

Little Elvis and play records all night long.

It's not gonna be any fun

if it's just me and him.

Aren't we a little old

to be playing with dolls?

Yeah, that'll be the day.

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Cecilia Contreras

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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