One Chance

Synopsis: One Chance is a 2013 British-American biographical comedy-drama film about opera singer and Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts, directed by David Frankel and written by Justin Zackham. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Production: The Weinstein Company
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.8
Metacritic:
52
Rotten Tomatoes:
63%
PG-13
Year:
2013
103 min
$1,318,022
Website
831 Views


INT. ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH - DAY

Where a CHURCH CHOIR comprised of ordinary Welsh faces,

begins a medley of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”... The

chirpy rendition continues over the following scenes...

INT. PRINCESS OF WALES HOSPITAL, EMERGENCY ROOM - DAY

The doors fly open as a team of EMS WORKERS wheels in a

YOUNG PAUL POTTS (9) lying on a gurney. His parents ROLAND

and YVONNE POTTS follow.

DR. THORPE (29) a new intern meets the team along with a

NURSE...

FEMALE EMS:

Male, nine years old, possible ruptured

eardrum.

YVONNE:

His name’s Paul.

DR. THORPE

Right. Room three, please.

He follows the gurney into a triage room, while the nurse

waylays Roland and Yvonne with her clipboard.

NURSE:

You’re his parents?

YVONNE:

That’s right.

NURSE:

I’ll just need to get some basic

information from you.

ROLAND:

(to his anxious wife)

He’ll be alright.

NURSE:

(filling in a form)

Right, so it’s Paul...last name please?

ROLAND:

Potts. P, O, double-T, S.

2.

NURSE:

Paul Potts. Like the Cambodian dictator

who massacred all the--?

YVONNE:

(for the millionth time...)

Not at all like the Cambodian dictator.

NURSE:

Right.

INT. ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH - DAY (FLASHBACK)

Shots of the choir... Four rows deep... First and third

rows leading the song; rows two and four following several

bars behind... All eyes on the peripatetic CHOIRMASTER...

Several rows behind the fourth row, Paul stands alone,

singing with gale-force might...

YOUNG PAUL:

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and

joy. O tidings of comfort and joy.

Several members of the fourth row wince at the decibel

level as-

INT. TRAIGE ROOM THREE - DAY

The gurney is locked into position as the medical team

takes over. Yvonne wrings her hands in the doorway.

DR. THORPE

How long since it occurred?

YVONNE:

About an bour. They said he just

collapsed after his solo.

ROLAND:

Miracle he hasn’t ruptured our eardrums

from all his hooting and hollering.

YVONNE:

(elbowing her husband)

He’s a passionate singer.

INT. ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH - DAY (FLASHBACK)

Where Paul sways as he solos with eyes fervently shut,

hands clenched, voice like a wind throughout the

cathedral...

3.

YOUNG PAUL:

Fear not then said the angel, let nothing

you affright. This day is born a Savoir

of a pure Virgin bright. To free all

those who trust in Him-

CHOIR:

--from Satan’s power and might. O tidings

of comfort and joy.

A distinct THUMP is heard... The members of the fourth row

look over their shoulders to find Paul is vanished from

sight.

CHOIR (CONT’D)

Comfort and joy. O tidings of comfort and

joy.

INT. EMERGENCY HALLWAY - DAY

As Paul is wheeled into surgery. Young Dr. Thorpe, now in

gown and gloves, meets his parents at the door...

DR. THORPE

--got some fluid build-up in the middle

ear. Not to worry, we’ll have him right

as rain in no time.

YVONNE:

So you’ve done this sort of thing before?

DR. THORPE

Of course. Well, not with anyone still

breathing...

(realizes the faux pas)

I’m still new, but rest assured, live or

dead, the bits are all the same once you

start digging around inside.

(now they’re freaked)

Cafe’s just down the hall.

He heads into surgery... As the doors swing shut-

ROLAND:

(arm around his wife)

He’ll be just fine.

MATCH CUT TO:

EXT. POTTS HOUSE - DAY (SEVERAL DAYS LATER)

A two-story row house adjoined on either side and

identical to the sixty other homes on the block.

4.

The door slams behind Paul, who stands on the landing,

carrying his school bag.

He pats the large bandage mummifying his repaired ear,

then looks both ways before descending the steps to the

sidewalk.

He checks his surroundings again before venturing out the

gate and turning down the road.

MATTHEW:

There he is! Get ‘im!

Paul runs as a flock of screaming YOUNG BOYS crosses the

road, hot on his heels... Their screams blend into the

continuing choral medley as we return to...

INT. ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH - DAY

Where the same Welsh choir-faces, several years older now,

continue the song with undiminished fervor over-

EXT. PORT TALBOT, WALES - DAY

Establishing shots of this gray, industrial steel-town

huddled on the edge of the Celtic Sea.

From above the city, we see Paul, a lone figure running

down the center of a road...a moment later the group of

boys appears in close pursuit until they catch him and

start punching...

INT. ST. CATHERINE’S CHURCH - DAY

Reveal that the rows behind the choir are empty... And

yet, Paul’s voice rises above the rest, though it sounds

impossibly far away...

EXT. PORT TALBOT STREET - DAY

Paul tears around a corner, the lead pursuers close behind

him... He’s slightly older now, closer to thirteen or

fourteen with a few extra pounds...

He cuts across a busy intersection, narrowly avoiding a

lorry which momentarily cuts off his pursuers...

EXT. BUSY STREET - DAY

Paul weaves through pedestrians. He’s aged again, nearing

eighteen, and puffing even harder with the extra weight.

The boys chasing him appear older, larger, and there are

more of them than before and they’re gaining on him.

5.

EXT. ALLEY - DAY

Paul turns down the empty alley, losing his schoolbag to

the clutching hand of the closest pursuer...

Near the alley’s end, Paul veers wide to the left in

anticipation, then cuts right, barely fitting his belly

through a narrow pedestrian opening...

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Justin Zackham

Justin Zackham is an American and British screenwriter, director and producer. He wrote the hit films The Bucket List, One Chance, and the FX series Lights Out, and The Big Wedding, which he also directed. more…

All Justin Zackham scripts | Justin Zackham Scripts

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