Synopsis: Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed suicide) his brother Conrad, who has gone long ago and surrendered to addictions of all kinds, suddenly returns and gives Nicholas a card giving him entry to unusual entertainment provided by something called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). Giving in to curiosity, Nicholas visits CRS and all kinds of weird and bad things start to happen to him.
Actors: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn
Production: Universal Pictures
  1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
7.8
Metacritic:
61
Rotten Tomatoes:
73%
R
Year:
1997
129 min
350 Views

EXT. MANSION -- DAY -- HOME MOVIES

A stately mansion. A perfect lawn. A BUTLER carries a

birthday cake with sparking sparklers...

Past wealthy MEN in crewcuts and thin ties, WOMEN in cat-eye

sunglasses. Everyone sings (silent) "Happy Birthday"...

CHILDREN follow the cake, in dresses and suits, gathering

round NICHOLAS VAN ORTON, 7, guest of honor, who wears a

blindfold. MOTHER comes to remove the blindfold and

Nicholas ogles the cake, laughs. He reaches for a sparkler.

STEP PRINT:
Mother intercepts, fussing, fixing his hair...

Nicholas' FATHER sits near, smoking, nodding. He's intense,

thin, wearing a party hat. He notcies the camera without

mugging for it, bends to snuff his cigarette in an ashtray.

SPLICE-JUMP TO/STEP PRINT: a Harlequin CLOWN ties balloon

animals. Nicholas assists, distracted by the inattentive

children who look into the camera and pull hair and stand on

their chairs...

Men are drinking, storytelling, laughing. A fraternity...

The women are elsewhere, doing movie-vamp poses for the

camera, blowing cigarette smoke, brightly dressed, eyelids

blue and green, lipstick perfect...

Servants clear the table. Father holds a piece of untouched

cake. A man talks to him, but Father stares off, lost in

thought. He's forgotten the party hat on his head...

STEP PRINT:
Mother puts her arms around Father and makes him

face the camera. He leans in, posing dutifully.

SPLICE-JUMP TO:
a nanny in uniform, ILSA, holds an INFANT

(CONRAD) to the camera, places the baby in Nicholas' arms.

STEP PRINT:
Nicholas is gentle, overwhelmed by cradling his

tiny brother.

SPLICE-JUMP TO:
children play tag. Across the lawn, Father

heads to the house. He looks back, walks backwards.

STEP PRINT:
he gives a small wave, continuing away...

Kids chase past. Nicholas and two other kids huddle, arms

locked, spinning round and round, till they stumble

different directions, falling, laughing, dizzy...

Nicholas gets up, wearing a PUPPET on each hand.

STEP PRINT:
He walks CLOSE and peers in the camera, steps

back, happily talking. We can't hear because it's SILENT...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. VAN ORTON MANSION, BATHROOM -- MORNING

The emotionless face of NICHOLAS VAN ORTON, just today 40,

looks upon itself in a mirror. He brings an electric shaver

across his chin, shuts it off, wipes his face with a towel.

INT. VAN ORTON MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- MORNING

Nicholas crosses. The bedroom is spacious, devoid of

clutter. A weight-machine in a far corner. A big T.V.

shows CNN with no sound.

At a bedside table, Nicholas picks up a heavy, gold ROLEX,

sliding it on, checking the time. 6:32.

INT. VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT

Nicholas stands at the kitchen islandm his tie thrown over

his shoulder, eating breakfast. ILSA, now elderly, is

across the way doing dishes.

The only sounds are the tiny clicks of Nicholas' knife and

fork against his plate. He's reading a German newspaper.

Nicholas jabs the last piece of egg, skewers the last bit of

ham and last square of toast. Plate's clean.

He sips his last swallow of juice, dabs his mouth with a

napkin, picks up his briefcase and heads to a back door.

NICHOLAS:

(without looking)

Thank you.

ILSA:

Have a nice day.

EXT. VAN ORTON MANSION, BACKYARD -- MORNING

Nicholas walks down a garden pathway to a three-car garage.

He looks at his Rolex.

CUT TO:

INT. NICHOLAS' BENTLEY -- MORNING

Bentley Continental Coupe. Quiet. Nicholas drives, begins

humming, barely audible. A Prince song, "Erotic City."

NICHOLAS:

(sings, to self)

...until the dawn... making love till

cherry's gone..

(humming, quiet)

... Erotic City, you and me...

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John Brancato

Michael Ferris (21 November 1931 – 20 March 2000) was an Irish Labour Party politician who served for more than twenty years as a member of the Oireachtas, as both a Senator and a Teachta Dála (TD). more…

All John Brancato scripts | John Brancato Scripts

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