The Art of Getting By

Synopsis: Believing the quote that you are born alone, die alone and everything else is an illusion, George doesn't see the point of life, school, or homework. Then he meets Sally and he now has a reason to go to school and make friends, even if he's not ready to admit to himself or to her that he likes her. The school's principal and art teacher introduce him to an alumni, and successful artist, Dustin, who can help guide George along life's path, but other distractions start surfacing, and George might not even be able to graduate from high school.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Gavin Wiesen
Production: Fox Searchlight
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
83 min

Since the dawn

of recorded history,

something like 110 billion human beings

have been born into this world.

And not a single one of them made it.

There are 6.8 billion people on the planet.

Roughly 60 million of them die

every year. 60 million people.

That comes out to about 160,000 per day.

I read this quote once when I was a kid,

"We live alone, we die alone.

Everything else is just an illusion. "

It used to keep me up at night.

We all die alone.

So, why am I supposed to spend my life

working, sweating, struggling?

For an illusion?

Because no amount of friends,

no girl,

no assignments

about conjugating the pluperfect

or determining the square root

of the hypotenuse

is gonna help me avoid my fate.

I have better things to do with my time.


I've got a cupboard with cans of food

Filtered water and pictures of you

And I'm not coming out until this is all over

And I'm looking through the glass

Where the light bends at the cracks

And I'm screaming at the top of my lungs

Pretending the echoes belong to someone

Someone I used to know

And we become

Silhouettes when our bodies finally go

Do you have your work, George?

- No.

- Why not?

- I was depressed.


Oh, yes? Why was that?

Because I realized I'm gonna die one day.

We're all gonna die one day, George.

I don't think that's a reasonable excuse

for not completing

your trigonometry exercise.

Well, I was trying to.

I just couldn't shake

this awareness of my mortality.

Everything seemed meaningless,

- including the assignment, unfortunately.


I want you to go to the principal's office

and find meaning in the homework.

Bring it to me completed

by the end of the period.

- You're late.

- I was so engrossed in my work.

Boy, I wouldn't wanna be you right now.

- I haven't done anything.

- You've always done something.

You better go.


Even though you have

off-campus privileges as a senior,

if you are seen

anywhere in the city smoking,

you have your privileges revoked.

Automatic probation.

Why are you telling me?

- You think I can't smell?

- You can smell all you want.

Shall we get down to business?

Yes, we shall.

In a way, your future depends

on the next few months.

Not just for college.

I mean, it sets the tone

for everything that follows.

Now, I know how you think and I know

you're thinking it's too late

and you're gonna be a fatalist

and let it all go to hell.

But, George, if you keep performing

the way you are,

forget about college,

forget about graduating, even.


this counts as your official warning.

Suspension is next.

I thought probation was next.

Don't play the angles, George.

They won't work.

Neither do jokes.

I wasn't joking.

I know you're capable.

I have a real problem with motivating.

But I think I can do it.

I'll try.

All right, go.

And don't make me regret it.


Who's smoking up here?

George! What do you think you're doing?

Sorry. I...

I was having a tough day.

I guess the stress finally got to me,

Mrs. Dougherty.

George, why do you do these things?

(MOUTHING) Thank you.

Now, what do you mean by stress?

- Hi.

- Hi.

- I got an e-mail from your school.

- Oh, Jesus.

Some kind of academic probation?

Can I help you?

Can I get you a tutor

or a private college advisor?

If you don't get into a decent school,

then I don't know

how you're gonna get a job.

I have it under control.

Honey, if you don't get into

a decent college...

- I'm gonna go watch TV.

- No, you will not watch TV.

You will stay here

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    "The Art of Getting By" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 Dec. 2021. <>.

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