Infinitely Polar Bear

Synopsis: Infinitely Polar Bear is a 2014 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Maya Forbes, and starring Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, and Ashley Aufderheide. The film premiered in competition at the 30th Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2014. The film was released on June 19, 2015, by Sony Pictures Classics.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
64
Rotten Tomatoes:
81%
R
Year:
2014
90 min
Website
811 Views


EXT. COUNTRYSIDE. DAY

A man strides up a grassy hill. He is in his late-30s, clean-

shaven with shaggy hair. He wears a well-cut tweed riding

jacket, jodhpurs and riding boots. He carries a large

shillelagh which rests on his shoulder.

This is CAM STUART. He sings with gusto, a Civil War

marching song.

CAM:

...John Brown’s body lies amouldering

in the grave/

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering

in the grave

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering

in the grave

His soul is marching on/

Glory, glory hallelulah/

Glory, glory hallelulah...

At the top of the hill there is a boulder. It catches his

eye and he c*cks his head, bemused.

Laid out on the surface of the rock is a cheap fake beard.

He looks around. There is not a person or a building in

sight. The tall grass bends in the wind.

EXT. HILLSIDE. DAY

Cam, now wearing the fake beard, stands on the rock, gazing

out imperiously. He takes several deep breaths through his

nose, appreciating the fresh air. Then he jumps off the

boulder and continues his song as he marches down the hill.

CAM:

He’s gone to be a soldier in the

army of the Lord/

He’s gone to be a soldier in the

army of the Lord/

He’s gone to be a soldier in the

army of the Lord...

He disappears from view. A TITLE CARD READS: 1978.

INT. CHILDS’ BEDROOM. NIGHT

In the darkness, we hear:

CAM (O.S.)

Girls, wake up. Wake up.

2.

A flashlight clicks on. It swings between two sleeping

children.

Two bi-racial girls are sprawled out asleep on their beds.

AMELIA is ten; FAITH is eight. Cam shakes them. They resist

waking. He pulls their twisted covers off.

CAM:

Rise and shine.

Finally they sit up. They blink at him, disoriented,

shielding their eyes from the glare of the flashlight.

CAM (CONT'D)

Happy birthday, Amelia.

Amelia turns on her bedside lamp.

AMELIA:

It’s not my birthday.

Cam is disheveled and dirty, still wearing the tweed riding

jacket, jodhpurs, riding boots and fake beard. His eyes are

wide, wet and burning.

AMELIA:

You look ridiculous. Why are you

wearing that beard?

CAM:

Do you like it?

FAITH:

No.

CAM:

Then it’s history!

He rips off the beard and throws it to the floor. The girls

eye him warily.

AMELIA:

Where were you last night? Mommy

was worried.

FAITH:

You smell like mothballs.

CAM:

Good nose, Faithie. This riding

outfit belonged to Great-Grandpapa.

We’re exactly the same size.

Cam admires the craftsmanship of the jacket.

3.

CAM:

Hand-stitched by blind nuns.

AMELIA:

Wasn’t everything hand-stitched

back then?

CAM:

Not by blind nuns.

FAITH:

Where’s Mommy?

CAM:

Sleeping. Shhh.

Faith collapses back onto her pillow, whimpering.

EXT. HILL. DAY

Cam, without the fake beard, marches up the hill as the sun

comes up. His daughters hurry behind him, still half-asleep.

They both wear sweaters over their nightgowns. He stops to

look at the sunrise and takes a long drag on his cigarette.

CAM:

It’s going to be one hell of a hot

day.

FAITH:

I’m freezing.

She looks like she’s going to cry.

CAM:

Take my jacket, Faithie. I don’t

need it. Are you cold, Amelia?

He puts his jacket on Faith. Teeth chattering, Amelia shakes

her head no. Cam pats her approvingly on the head.

CAM:

Tough cookie.

She smiles with pride, shivering.

EXT. FOREST. DAY

Cam and the girls traipse through the woods, each one of them

searching for something on the ground. Sunlight filters

through the hundred-year-old trees. The air is humming and

buzzing. It feels like summer.

4.

Suddenly Cam kneels by a rotten tree trunk. He gives a sharp

WHISTLE.

His daughters run to him. The ground is covered with bright

orange chanterelles. They are beautiful. They seem to glow

in the shade of the tall trees. The girls are mesmerized.

FAITH:

I wish I had a gown that color.

He holds out his hand and they each slap him five, laughing.

INT. HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY - KITCHEN. DAY

The chanterelles sizzle in a cast-iron pan. Cam stirs them

gently, still wearing the jodhpurs but no jacket or shirt.

He also wears a battered old gray fedora with a small freshly-

picked flower stuck in the band. A cigarette dangles from

his lips. His gut hangs out. An attractive African-American

woman in her mid-30s leans against the kitchen counter. She

wears a housecoat. She looks tired. This is MAGGIE.

CAM:

That’s what education should be

about. Hands-on, in the field.

(calling loudly)

You girls are fierce mushroom-

hunters!

MAGGIE:

They’re in bed. Exhausted.

CAM:

It’s good for them to see the

sunrise. They’re too stuck in

their cozy little routines.

MAGGIE:

They’re ten and eight.

A long loaded silence. Then:

MAGGIE (CONT'D)

You haven’t been taking your

lithium.

Cam picks up the cast iron pan and slams it down hard on the

burner. Maggie jumps and screams, startled. She turns and

hurries away.

CAM:

God damn it!

5.

INT. HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY - LIVING ROOM. DAY

Toys are scattered everywhere. A coffee table lies on its

side. Cam holds a pack of cigarettes in each hand. His face

is enraged. Maggie rushes away from him. He follows her.

The girls watch from the upstairs landing.

CAM:

My grandfather started the Harvard

Forestry School -- I’m trying to

bestow some of his legacy to my

children -- and you’re hassling me

about lithium!

MAGGIE:

I’m calling Dr. Wendell.

Cam steps in front of her and smashes the phone out of the

wall. He kicks a zebra skin drum across the floor.

MAGGIE (CONT'D)

We live in this house -

He jabs his finger in her face.

CAM:

You’re just like my parents. You

want to keep me doped! Depressed!

Fat! Slow! You’d neuter me if you

could!

MAGGIE:

(like speaking to a child)

Your parents let us live in this

house on the condition that you

remain stable -

CAM:

To hell with the house then! I’m

not going to let my goddamn parents

use it as a choke chain!

MAGGIE:

How could you not take it?! How

could you do that to us?!

He suddenly drops to his knees, maudlin and melodramatic and

overcome with sincere emotion. He holds onto her housecoat.

CAM:

It kills me, Maggie. The girls and

I had a beautiful morning. It was

magical. That doesn’t happen when

I take my lithium.

(MORE)

6.

CAM (cont'd)

Don’t you understand? Please tell

me you understand.

He looks so desperate that she wants to say she understands.

But she can’t. He reacts with another 180-degree turn, back

to anger. He pounds the floor repeatedly.

CAM (CONT'D)

You know what? Forget it. I’m

going to find someone who gets it.

Who gets me!

Cam turns and rips open the front door. He marches down the

sloping lawn, swiftly and stiffly like a soldier.

Maggie runs to the open door.

MAGGIE:

That’s just an excuse to get laid!

CAM:

(without looking back)

It’s a chance to be understood!

MAGGIE:

By getting laid!

CAM:

Boo hoo hoo! Poor bourgeois Maggie

and her bourgeois monogamous

fantasy!

EXT. DRIVEWAY. LATER

Maggie, wearing a crochet dress and knee-high boots, throws

garbage bags stuffed with clothes and toys into the trunk of

a pale blue Saab. The two little girls watch their frantic

mother. Amelia holds the entire “Little House on the

Prairie” series; Faith hugs eight different Barbie Dolls.

Cam appears at the end of the long driveway, riding his

bicycle uphill. He is now wearing a red Speedo, thin-soled

canvas tennis shoes, and a red bandana tied around his neck.

It is a ridiculous get-up. When he sees Maggie, he starts

shouting.

Rate this script:4.0 / 2 votes

Maya Forbes

Maya Forbes is an American screenwriter and television producer. She made her debut as a film director with Infinitely Polar Bear. Her other writing credits include the screenplay of The Rocker and many episodes of The Larry Sanders Show. more…

All Maya Forbes scripts | Maya Forbes Scripts

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