ALL ARTS Film Selects


The Drummer and the Keeper

Recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the drummer in a rock band strikes up a surprising friendship with an institutionalized teenager who suffers from Asperger's syndrome. The friendship changes the drummer's priorities and he learns compassion. When they are faced with an ultimatum, they must decide how much the relationship means to each of them.

AIRED: July 05, 2019 | 1:33:57


[ Breeze rustling ]

[ Grunting ]

[ Creaking and banging ]

[ Grunting continues ]

[ Upbeat song plays ]




[ Panting ]

[ Laughs ]




[ Liquid squirting ]






[ Cellphone vibrates ]




Must have fallen asleep.

Yeah, well, I don't know why those guys would take a sofa.

Yeah, well, you're right. They're crazy.


Hey, I'm really sorry.

There was, uh...

What are you doing here?

I'm here because I care about you.

That's why we're all here.

Is this about the sofa?

It's about everything, Gabriel.

It's setting stuff on fire,

driving around in a hearse,

frittering away the money that Mom left you

to play in

I mean, [laughs] like, have you ever paid rent?

Yeah, I was gonna pay it back.

Yeah, it's all right, man.

This isn't any of your business.

All right? It's my money.

Do you ever wonder what happened

to your friends, your girlfriend?

I don't have time for girlfriends,

and these are my friends, Alice,

and we're gonna be big.

All right? We're gonna be huge.

Shut up, will you? Both of you.

This meeting is happening because you're out of control.

Rock 'n' roll is supposed to be out of control, Pearse.

I mean, why do you think she keeps coming to our gigs?

For the last time, Nevo is not coming to our gigs.

There's no pop stars coming to our gigs.

You're a good drummer, man.

Yeah, thanks.

There's plenty other good drummers out there.

You need to get your act together right now.

You just need to maybe cut back on the booze and the spliff.

That is not what we agreed.

-He deserves a chance. -Are you both deluded, too?

Pearse: We all know he needs to clean up his act, and he will.

Won't you, man?

He's sick, for Christ's sake!

[ Sighs ]

[ Door slams ]

[ Tires screech, engine revs ]

[ Loney Dear's "Calm Down" plays ]



♪ Slow down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Back down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Calm down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ After you

♪ Slow down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Calm down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Calm down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ After you

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ There's nothing after you, ooh-ooh-ooh ♪

♪ Slow down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Back down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Calm down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ After you

♪ Slow down

♪ There's nothing after you

♪ Back down

Gabriel: I'm really sorry.

This is the last thing I'm doing for you, Gabriel.

I have kids of my own now. They are my priority.

I know.

[ Door opens ]

-Alice. -Ah.

Thank you so much for seeing us.



let's do this the right way, huh?

Are there side effects?

There are side effects with most medications.

Hopefully your brother's won't be too severe.

How long will I be on these for?

Well, let's see how you react.

We may need to switch your dosage

or change you to something else.

I mean on anything.

Oh, I imagine you'll be on some form of medication

for the rest of your life.

It's not such a big deal.

Lots of people are for one thing or another.

I mean, I take medication myself every day --

blood pressure.

That's what runs in my family.

Luck of the draw.

I'm also gonna recommend that you take part

in a mixed-ability football game.

It's set up by a former colleague of mine,

Eric Vasser. Football?

Physical exercise will be so therapeutic for you.

Plus, it may help combat any side effects you may experience.

Your mother once told me you used to be quite a handy player.

-Yeah, nice and easy now. -Ah!

-Nice touch. -Touch it!

Eric: Good touch, Sean.

Okay, yeah, trap and tap, trap and tap.


-Gabriel, right? -Yeah.

Remind me why you're here again?

Just been, uh, overindulging a bit.

"Bipolar with psychotic and delusional episodes,"

it says here.

It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Grab a blue bib. Let's get you sweating.


Eric: Well-done, Robert. Nice touch.

That's it, yeah, nice and gentle.

Yeah, nice one, guys.

Yeah, nice and soft.

Soft and steady.

Yeah, keep the ball down.

Keep the ball down with your feet.

Yeah, right to your partner's foot.

Good stuff.

Okay, let's get this match started.

[ Whistle blows ]

Keep the energy levels up.

Well-done, Christopher.

Okay, now. Come on...

-Ugh! -Wonderful.

-Ugh! -Oh-ho-ho!

Eric: Great save. Well-played.

Yeah, don't let the man control the ball.

-Oof! -Ugh! Ugh.

Ref, I was in control of the ball.

What are you doing?

You could have broken my leg and my drawer.

Accidents happen sometimes in football.

You're not allowed to touch me.

Oh, but you're allowed to break my leg? Eric: Lads!

You're not allowed to touch me, I said!


Say you're sorry for hurting him.

I'm not saying sorry to that freak.

Well, then, get out.

Go on. You're not welcome.


You're all shit anyway.

He had no right to do that to you.

I was in control of the ball.

You okay about what happened today with that new guy?

Well, he didn't understand the rules.

No. That's right.

He didn't understand them at all.

[ Engine starts ]


[ Knocking ]

Toss: We're gonna be late for rehearsal.


[ Knocking ]


You look wrecked, man.

[ Sighs ] Just give me a hand, will you?


If this is what clean living looks like,

remind me never to try it.

[ Playing rock song ]


[ Song slows ]


[ Thud ]

[ Snoring ]

Flahavan: I really don't know what to tell you, Gabriel.

Yes, I -- I do have colleagues

who believe that intensive counseling and therapy

can be an effective alternative to medication for some clients.

I also have colleagues who prescribe yoga.

But in your particular case,

any regime other than the clinically proven route

we've agreed would be a huge gamble.

I can't play drums like this. All right?

I'm gonna have to stop taking these meds.

Mr. Vasser's football should be starting

to help with the fatigue.

Yeah, well, that didn't really work out.

You've stopped going to his sessions?

It's just football.

It's an integral element

of the therapeutic regime we set for you.

Yeah, it's just I don't remember you

prescribing special-needs football for my mom

or doing anything else that worked.

After your mother died --

After she killed herself.

When she succumbed to her illness,

I, of course, went through

all the decisions that were made --

That you made.

...that were made in her treatment

by me, yes, and on reflection,

there is one decision that I now think I got wrong.

Yeah? What was that?

In retrospect, it was a mistake to allow her

to continue to be treated in an outpatient context.

You can't lock me up

for not playing football with retards.

We have a plan, Gabriel,

and you need to stick to it.

[ Pencil scratching ]

He doesn't know what the rule is, Eric.

Tell him what the rule is.

What are you doing back here?

I'm here to play. Doctor's orders.

No doctor orders me what to do.

You don't understand. All right?

I have to.

If you can make friends with him, you can play.

Christopher, you ready for this guy to make friends?

A -- and learn the rules.

Yep, he has to learn the rules.

Yeah. Whatever it takes.

Go on, then.

"I want us to be friends."

Say it.

I want us to be friends, man, please.

And, Christopher, you have to forgive him

for what he did to you

because that's what we do when somebody's truly sorry

for what they've done, right?


So tell him.

I forgive you.

Good. Let's shake on it.


Okay, then. Let's play!

[ Indistinct shouting ]

Okay, guys, great game today.

Well-played, everybody.

All right. Let's collect the bibs.

Well-played, Sean.

Those drills really paid off.

Okay, guys, well-played, well...

What's your number?

[ Panting ]


Well, I need your number, or you need mine.

Otherwise, how are we supposed to stay in touch

or make arrangements?

We're not.

But that's what friends do, actually,

in case you didn't know.

Everything good here?

Yeah, I -- I'm just waiting to swap numbers.

He thinks we're supposed to stay in touch

as, uh, friends.

Well, you better give it to him, then.

Okay, guys, all back to the car park.

Okay, see you next week, guys.

[ Cellphone rings and vibrates ]

Gabriel: [ Sighs ]

[ Cellphone rings and vibrates ]


Yeah, I -- I can't right now.

I'm kind of busy.

No, later's no good either. I'm rehearsing.

Tomorrow? No, I'm -- I'm playing a show.

[ Doorbell buzzes ]

Listen, I got to go. Somebody's just come 'round.

[ Doorbell buzzes ]

Yeah, yeah, another friend.

All right. Bye.

[ Beep ]

Do you start with the biggest drum or the smallest one?

What are you doing here?

Well, you said you were playing tonight,

so I looked up your name and found your band's name.

Then I looked up that name and found out you were playing

here tonight before another band that's better than you.

Then I looked up the bus timetables.

All right. Listen, you can't be here right now, okay?

Everything okay? Cool for tonight, yeah?

-Yeah. -Hi.

I'm Gabriel's friend Christopher.

Are you his friend, too?

I'll just get the gear in.

[ Siren wails in distance ]

Christopher: Did you know that the average height

of the top-five goalkeepers in the world

is 1-meter-92-centimeters? It's 6-foot-3-1/2 inches.

Can you please stop talking about goalkeeping?

Can you please not touch me?

Listen, I kind of need to come across

as together right now,

especially in front of those lads.

You're not helping. -Well, I'm trying to help.

I don't want you to help.

Look, it's not you, man. All right?

It's know, your mental-health issue.

I don't have a mental-health issue.

I have Asperger's.

It's a syndrome, not a mental-health issue.


You have a mental-health issue. Eric told me.

He said you have bipolar and also

maybe one or two other things.

All right. Just keep talking about goalkeeping.

Just keep it down, will you?

-Need to do the sound check. -Yeah, two minutes.

Don't touch that.

Some really famous goalkeepers were actually

only 1-meter-73-centimeters or 5-foot-8-inches.

[ Rock song fading out ]

[ Applause ]

Thank you!

[ Applause continues ]

[ Indistinct talking and music playing ]

Hey, so, sorry I was a bit dead tonight.

What's with your little friend?

[ Scoffs ] He's not my friend, man.

He's just a guy I play football with.

[ Chuckles ]

You're playing football now, are you?

Yeah, just to get fit, you know, stay sharp.

It's, uh -- it's kind of a charity thing, too, so...

We better get the gear off.

Yeah, sorry. It's private back here.

Just, I sorted your equipment out.

What you do with it?



You packed the entire stage down

by yourself in 15 minutes?

I'm good at organizing things.

You're better than the listing magazine

said you would be --

well, a little better, I mean.

[ Laughs ] Do you fancy a beer?

By law, I'm not allowed to have alcohol for 44 more days.

Yeah, it's getting a bit late for you anyway, isn't it?

I think you just earned the right to break the law.

At the moment, I'm 1-meter-80-centimeters,

or 5-foot-11-inches, but I'm only 17,

and your body doesn't stop growing

until you're at least 22 or older,

so I think I'll be okay.

Yeah, you're never gonna be 6-foot-3.

How tall is your dad?

I don't know.

The last time I saw him, I was only 3 years old,

and he wasn't interested in goalkeeping then,

so I didn't ask him.

And he lives in another country now, so I don't see him.

So you just live with your mom then?

No, I live in St. Cosmas.

Is that, like, a -- a home?

It's not a home.

It's a residential unit for young people

with so-called developmental disorders

whose families find it hard to cope.

My mom lives with her new partner, Jeremy.

[ Voice fading ] But I'm moving back in to live with her

when I'm 18, and I'm more manageable...

[ Thumping ]

Do you live with your mom and dad?

[ Normal voice ] "Do you live with your mom and dad?" I said.

-They're both dead. -How did they die?

It doesn't matter.

Did they get knocked over, or murdered?

Or did they die of AIDS?

You can treat AIDS now,

but maybe they caught it before then.

My dad had a heart attack,

and then my mom killed herself, okay?

-Awkward. -What do you mean, "Awkward"?

Well, having to tell people your mother killed herself.

How did she do it?

"Awkward" isn't a word that I'd choose.

You could say, "Selfish," or, "Stupid," or, "Tragic,"

or you could just shut up, not say anything at all.

Did she do it in some really embarrassing way

you don't want to talk about?

Yeah, that's exactly it.

Now, can we change the subject, please?


How tall was your father?

I said let's change the subject.

Well, I am changing the subject.

I'm talking about goalkeepers again.

All right. Look, thanks for helping me

pack down the kit and all,

but tonight was a once-off, okay?

Why? Are you not playing any more concerts?

No. You're not to show up at any more concerts

or anywhere else around the band.

Do you play football?

Do I look like I play football?

Not regularly.

[ Laughs ]

You're funny.

Maybe you just found your new roadie.

[ Scoffs ] I got to go.


[ Indistinct talking and music playing ]

Drink your beer, man.



[ Banging ]

Eric, I drank beer!

Eric: Hey, hey, keep it down.

I -- I drank four big glasses of beer, Eric!

Where were you?

Okay, let's get you up to bed.

That's my personal space!

Okay, okay, but let's lower the volume.

Who gave you the beer?

My new friend, Gabriel,

and his friends Pearse and Toss.


I -- I don't like beer.


We'll have to keep an eye on that new friend of yours.

That'll be easy from now on.





No. I told you.

He told me to come.

It's what you've been begging for, isn't it?

Road crew?

It's just taking you a bit now to set up these days,

so maybe Christopher here can save us all some time, yeah?

We're gonna grab a coffee.

Be ready to play when we get back.

Listen, this isn't gonna work.

Of course it will.

I remember everything from the last day.

[ Tapping ]

It's kind of like LEGO but with much less pieces.

Do you have LEGO? -When I was a kid.

-What sets did you have? -Can't remember.

-What age are you? -24.

You probably had the building site

with the cement mixer, catalog number 423,

or the electric railway, catalog number 454.

I actually did have the railway.

My, uh -- my dad couldn't get it to work.

There were some faulty batches.

How can you possibly know there were faulty batches

in LEGO train sets 15 years ago?

Because I'm interested in LEGO.

Hey, can you not say anything

about my mental health to the other guys?

Can we just keep that a secret as a favor to a friend?

Okay, and in return,

you can practice penalties with me.



I'll show you my bass rig.

Here you go.

See, he kind of works, doesn't he?

[ Chuckles ]

Yeah, I guess.

And you're, uh, starting to feel better, yeah?

Yeah, yeah, no.

I feel a lot clearer, clean.

And the show next week --

there's a management guy coming, a big guy.

Are you serious?

[ Laughs ] That's great, man.

Yeah, look, good management is all we need.

Yeah, so we got to be, like, kicking.

He's looking for energy.

Thursday night you're our crew,

and wear black.

Are white shoes okay?

[ Laughs ]

Yeah, white shoes are fine, man.

[ Alien Envoy's "Baby" plays ]


♪ Drug squad Mugshot ♪

♪ Startled blue eyes

♪ All those years of falling ♪

♪ Years of lies

♪ Still beneath your paperwhite skin ♪

♪ I see the little boy longing just to be let in ♪

♪ Baby, baby

♪ All I see is who you grew into ♪

♪ But baby, baby

♪ Through your evil eyes

♪ I still see you just as a child ♪

♪ Mm, mm, mm

♪ Wander nights

♪ In slippers in rain

♪ You don't know these streets

♪ Don't know your own name

♪ CCTV shows angry and gray

♪ Where's that little girl looking ♪

♪ For a friend who will stay?

[Phone ringing ]

Woman:Hello. Grover Psychiatric Clinic.

Could I speak to Dr. Flahavan, please?

The doctor's out of the office at the moment.

When will she be back?

Oh, she's finished for the week.

Is it an emergency?

No. No. It's not an emergency.

♪ Baby

♪ Through your crazy days I still see you ♪

Alice:Hi. Leave a message after the tone.

[Beep ]

Look, I know what you said,

but I really need to talk to you,

so please call me.

I really need to talk to someone.

[ Door opens ]

I was just looking for something.


♪ But baby, my baby

♪ I still see right through when I see you ♪

♪ I see my child

[ Drumming ]


[ Whistle blows ]


Whoa. Hold on.

What height are you, again?

One meter, 80 centimeters.

Told you.

Well, that was cheating.

Yeah, under what rule?

[ Breathing heavily ]

[ Gasping ]

Christopher, sit this out for a few minutes, okay?

-Yeah. -Take a break.

What was that all about?

It was just a joke.

Okay, the goal stands 1-nil.

Georgina, you're on goals now, okay?

He's completely overreacting.

Yeah, don't worry about it, son.

No. But if that's how he deals with anything

that doesn't go exactly his way,

I mean, how's he gonna get on in the real world?

Well, maybe he's not.

Look, I know you're bipolar, now,

but try not to be an arsehole as well.

[ Dog barking in distance ]

[ Indistinct shouting ]

Look, I -- I didn't mean to upset you.

All right? It was just a stupid joke.

Well, it was stupid.

And you never came to practice penalties,

which is breaking our deal.

I'll come tomorrow. Promise.

Well, don't say you will if you won't.

Eric: Okay. Tracking back, remember.

Remember practice tracking back.




[ Cacophony of instruments playing ]

Girl: ♪ La la la la la la la la

♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪



You're a bit late.

Yeah, I got lost.

You want to introduce me to your mate?


We don't have lots of things in common,

but we're both Asperger's.

Asperger's -- that's like, uh, autism, right?

Technically Asperger's is on the autism spectrum,

but it's completely different to real autism.

Many of the greatest minds ever have been Aspie --

Einstein, Beethoven, David Byrne.

Roly organized a petition for us Aspies

to have our own private area,

but they won't even listen to us.

Clem has real autism. Completely different.

I don't have anything in common with him.


-Right. -Ahhhhhh!

Want to see my LEGO?


Let's do that.

[ Singing and instruments playing in background ]

Christopher: They gave me my own special space for it

because people tried to touch it, like Clem.

You're not allowed to touch it either, just look.

This is the gym, with a steam room and Jacuzzi,

and there's a cinema

with a real working screen from a phone.

[ Laughs ] How long did it take you?

About five years.

I started it just after I arrived.

I build each new set once to see how it's done,

and then I break it and use the pieces

to add rooms to my super mansion.



Hey, so the windows open.

They're not supposed to,

but that one is broken, I think.

So you could escape any time?

Come on. We need to practice now.



[ Footsteps ]

You approve of this?

Yeah, I'm starting to.

He could get hurt.

Well, the way I see it is,

if he's gonna stand any chance of living independently,

he's gonna have to get used to getting hurt.

The only question is, will it be worth it?

No, but people like that -- rock bands --

that's not the real world.

Well, maybe that's a good thing.

Maybe he'll fit right in.

[ Music thumping ]

He's here, okay?

This is the one.

Let's go out there and kill it.

All right?


[ Cheers and applause ]

I'll see you on the other side, yeah?



[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Exhales ]

Why aren't you going on to play?

I'm just getting my head straight.

Well, it is straight.

Compared to what it used to be, I mean.

Any more words of wisdom?

Don't make any mistakes.

I'll try not to.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Drum beats ]

[ Drumming ]

[ Playing rock song ]



♪ I try to take a look at your soul ♪

♪ They say the eyes are the windows ♪

♪ But yours were empty black holes ♪

♪ From all the lies that you've told ♪

♪ And the world's so hard

♪ You're driving fancy big cars ♪

♪ Like some wannabe rock star

♪ Just who the hell do you think you are? ♪

♪ But this is our chance to make it all right ♪

♪ It's all in our hands to stand up and fight ♪

♪ 'Cause this is the time for shouting out loud ♪

♪ You can make every change if you get with the crowd ♪

♪ Oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

♪ Oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

♪ Oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

♪ Oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

♪ Oh-whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Indistinct talking and music playing ]


You guys were amazing tonight.

I'm not in the band.

I'm just helping.

Well, you helped them be amazing.

You gonna join us for a beer?

I have to finish packing up the gear.

Plus, I don't like beer.

Okay. Vodka then.

We'll come find you when you're finished.


Man, that was the tightest we've ever been --

the tightest I've ever been, anyway.


Yeah, he's really interested.


We're meeting again next week.

[ Laughing ]

-Yeah! -That's brilliant, man.

That's brilliant. -Whoo-hoo!

Let's celebrate!

Guys, I -- I can't.

Early start, you know?

You lads go for it. All right?

All right.

To the bright lights.

[ Laughs ]

You've changed, yeah.

You haven't even touched your beer, man.

Gabriel: Water's fine, mate, honestly.



A beer for my man.

Oh, thanks, but I don't like beer.

Plus, there's someone else who's getting me a drink.

Yeah, sorry, we're having a band meeting here.

All right, then.

Come on, darling.

We know where we're not wanted.


it's not a good idea -- you and her.

Don't mind him. I don't bite.

Or if I do, you'll enjoy it.

I'm going for my drink now.

Ah. He's after a bit of fun.

Hurry up. I'm freezing!

Nearly there.

♪ Ahhhh!

Girl: ♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

♪ The movers and the

I'm supposed to be practicing penalties with Christopher.

He's probably still in bed.

He's been staying out really late,

going to concerts with some girl.

Eric says he's taking the P-I-S-S.

So where's Mr. Lover Man's crash pad?

Where does he sleep?

First floor, room 4.


♪ La la la la la la la la

♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

♪ The movers and the makers


So, I'm gonna clap my hands four times,

and when I do, you all start playing together, yeah?

All right.

One, two, three, four

[ Music cacophony resumes ]

♪ The movers and the makers

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

♪ The movers and the makers The movers and the makers ♪

♪ The movers and the makers La la la la la la la la ♪

The thing is, girls don't really treat you

like you're different like boys do.

I think because all boys are so different to all girls,

that when you're a little bit more different,

they don't really notice.

[ Laughs ]

Your concentration's way off today.

Listen, man.

There's something you should know about girls like Jamie.

They're into bands, not people.

You know, they don't always tell the truth.

You shouldn't say things like that about somebody

who's thinking about being my girlfriend.

She said she was your girlfriend for a while.

Yeah, for about two minutes when I was off my face.

Look, I'm not saying it to be mean, all right?

It's just...

I mean, you deserve someone you can trust,

trust you back,

actually believe in you, you know?

What are the rules for making people believe in you?

There aren't any rules for that.

Well, there must be some rules.

I don't know.

I guess you just show them what you're really feeling inside.

But suppose you show them what you're really feeling inside,

and they don't really like it?

Now you're not concentrating.

[ Birds cawing ]

She took an overdose...

my mom.


Took her, like, four days to die.

My mom takes paracetamol sometimes.

She was conscious for most of that time, but...

she wouldn't let me in to see her.

She wouldn't even say goodbye.

Well, maybe she had too much on her plate as it is.

That's what my mom says.

Did you catch your mental illness from her?

[ Chuckles ] Yeah.


Maybe that's it.

What's it like?

What, losing my mother?

No, your mental illness.

Well, it's like, on the days you're up,

anything can happen.

You feel like Batman.

Nothing's impossible.

That's more like Superman.

Batman doesn't have any actual powers.

[ Laughs ] Yeah, Superman, then.

Then on the next day, it's the total opposite.

Nothing can happen.

Everything's impossible.

You just feel hopeless.

But, luckily, you're taking your medication now,

so you feel better. You know what?

I don't feel better, man.

I just feel more,

and a lot of what I feel is sad and angry

and ashamed and scared.


just the normal emotions humans are supposed to have.

[ Chuckles ]

It's my birthday next Wednesday.

Oh, yeah. I'd totally forgotten.

You're turning 18. Big day.

Will you come to my birthday party?

It's at 5:30 at my mom's.

Your folks might not approve of me.

Well, I'll be a responsible adult then,

so they can't tell me who to be friends with.

[ Laughs ]



[ Door slams ]

[ Drumming ]


I thought you'd be in bed.

Ah, my sleep's all over the place, man.

I may as well practice as lay awake.

Were you working late? Yeah.

Yeah, there was a problem that came up.

Sorted them.

Storm in a teacup.

Brought your bass with you?

Yeah, yeah.

I had to get a bit of work done on it.

The action was a bit out.


I'm just gonna take this to my room.

Nah, man. Stay and have your beer.

I don't miss it, honestly.

You must be bored,

after splitting from the booze,

staying in every night.

Well, actually, I'm out tomorrow night --

well, tea time.

It's Christopher's birthday party.

Ah. [ Laughs ]

You don't have to do that, mate.

Can't you make an excuse?

Nah. Nah, I want to go.

[ Can opens ]

Well, you kids have fun.

[ Laughs ]

[ Speaks indistinctly ]

Hi. -Hey.

We were all waiting for you.

Yeah, he's always been terrible at keeping time.

Well, you're just in time for tea --

sausages, plain pasta with butter, and broccoli,

all nicely separated.

[ Indistinct talking ]

Hello, you.

Pearse told me there's a practice session tonight.

Yeah, well, he was winding you up.

All right. There was never a practice session tonight.

Besides, you have a boyfriend now, right?

Think you're jealous.

So, I believe you two know each other through the music.

-Yeah. -Not really.


Anyway, um, happy birthday, man.

It's, uh -- it's just a small thing.

[ Paper ripping ]


Cool. That's what all the crew guys use.

I'd say you know all about that.


Don't mind me. I'm only teasing.

Well, it's not nice to tease, Jeremy.

[ Laughs ]

What line of work are you in, then?

How do you mean?

Well, you're hardly making a living

from drumming, are you?

Oh, we're doing all right, actually,

and, uh, my mom left me some money.

Well, that's not gonna last forever, is it?

Would you leave him alone, Jeremy?

You were young once.

-I always made me own way. -Yeah, doing what?

Doing whatever it took to put food on the table, son.

♪ Happy birthday to you

♪ Happy birthday to you

♪ Happy birthday, dear Christopher ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you


[ Applause ]

We'd better be getting him back to the unit.

We're supposed to be at the club at 7:00.

What's the unit?

Can you not let him finish his cake,

for God's cake, Jeremy?

I'm just saying, we don't want to be late.

Christopher: Mom...

when can we start bringing my stuff back here?

There's quite a lot.

I'm going up to get changed.


We wait and see, love.

Well, we might need Jeremy's car.

Your stepdad has a lot of work on at the moment.

Please don't bother him now.


When can I bother him?

Goodness sake. [ Sighs ]

We're having a nice time.

Can we not just enjoy the moment?

I, um... I have to go.

Oh, really?


Hey, listen, mate.

Let's practice penalties this week, okay?

For as long as you want.

-Okay. -Okay?

-Yeah. -All right.

Happy birthday, man. -Thanks.

Mother: I'll see you out, Gabriel.

Thanks a million for coming.


You can't do this to him.

I beg your pardon?

You're never gonna let him move back in here, are you?

I think I know what's best for my own son.

There's a very good adult unit at St. David's,

and they've agreed to take him.

He'll be very happy there.

He's been living for this day. All right?

When were you gonna tell him?

You don't have a child, do you?

So you're not gonna understand,

but if ever you do, believe me,

the one thing you'll want more than anything else

is for them to find someone else in the world

who loves them as much as you do,

and when you know that that's never going to happen...

You give up on them. toughen up.

You have to.

He's my friend.

Whatever that means to you.




I thought you were out tonight.

Left early. Where you going?


eh, just out.

I've got to run.




[ Rock music playing ]

♪ You're locked and you're loaded ♪

♪ Bullets exploding

♪ Blood is flowing

♪ And, baby, you know it


[ Door slams ]

I told him that we should tell you.

What, that you want to replace me?

It's the management guy.

He thinks the drums need more life.

Yeah, what do you think?

You don't play like you used to.

[ Scoffs ]

That's ridiculous. All right.

I'm more together now than I've ever been.

You wanted me to get straight, remember?

You both did.

We just wanted you to be more workable with.

You were out of control.

And now?

Now you're tooin control.

You've lost something. I'm sorry, man.

Yeah, well, I can get it back.

I can get it back easy. All right?

You just need to give me a chance.

It's not up to me.

I'll prove it to you.

Just need a couple of weeks.

A week!

[ Door slams ]





I thought you didn't have any shows until next month.

Are you rehearsing today?

Because Gabriel is supposed to be practicing penalties with me.

I'm always free.


[ Cellphone clicks ]

You sure about this?

Yeah, why not?

I mean, he -- he knows the gear,

and it's the biggest show of our lives.

Yeah, but they're kind of friends, though --

him and Gabriel.

I don't think there's much future in their friendship.

[ Match striking ]




[ Cellphone vibrates ]






[ Kids shouting in distance ]





[ Indistinct talking ]

[ Muffled rock music playing ]

-[ Laughs ] -Stop.

Ah, crew's here.

Exactly like you did last time, yeah?




[ Drum pounding ]

Hey, Christopher.

This is Joey.

He'll be playing with us this evening.

Playing what?


Joey, Christopher here has you all set up.

Thanks, man. Sweet.

Gabriel plays your drums.

Yeah, it'll be Joey from now on,

but don't worry.

We still want you to crew for us.

You're great at this, man.

Plus, we'll be paying you -- 100 a show.

More soon, with any luck.

But Gabriel is my friend.

Well, we're your friends, too.

Well -- well, not as much as he is.

Oh, you're only joking.

You? So you knew as well?

You didn't even give me a chance to prove myself.

Mate, you've had your chance.

What -- he told you I was on medication?

We all know you're on medication.

I don't give a shit if you're on heroin or lithium

or your vitamins are horse tranquilizers.

I don't give a shit if you're stark-raving mad

as long as you're the right type of mad for this band,

and you're not.

You never will be.

You're done, man.

Is that my kit up on stage?

-Yeah, it's band property. -And you set it up for him?

Well, you don't mind if I sound check then, do you?

For old times' sake.

-Oh! -[ Groans ]


[ Drumming ]





[ Crashing ]

[ Microphone feedback ]

Thank you and good night.

Oh! [ Groans ]


[ Breathing deeply ]


That was pretty intense.



Why are you kissing her?

Because it's meant to be.

We're friends!

You're not supposed to kiss my girlfriend.

How retarded are you?

We were never friends, and, by the way,

because you completely missed the point,

your mom is never gonna let you back into her house.

Yes, she is, in -- in a few weeks.

No, she's not, not ever, and you know what?

She's right.

And when you get too old for St. Cosmas,

she's just gonna ship you off to some other dump

for grown-up freaks.

You're never moving home.

You shouldn't say that, not even as a joke.

It's not a good joke.

A joke?

I'll show you how serious I really am.

You coming?



What is this place?

Do you have a light?

Wait here.




[ Camera shutter clicks ]





[ Alarm ringing ]

Geez. Where were you?




Why do you want to go to Nevo?


[ Buzzing ]



Is she really gonna hire you?

Gabriel: She's come to see me play, like, seven times.

What do you think?

Are you sure that this is even her house?

I can see a light on.

[ Sirens wailing ]

I'm going.

So go.

I don't need you.

[ Wailing continues ]







[ Footsteps ]

Roly: Eric, Eric, we've a big problem.

We know, Roly.

No, not -- not this. Another one.

They've abolished us.


There -- there won't be any Asperger syndrome anymore.

We'll all just be autistic.

Says who?

The -- the American Psychiatric Association.

It was just a label, Roly.

Yeah, but it was our label, and they've abolished it.

It's the way of the world, I'm afraid.

Well, yeah, but then the world isn't fair.

Roly, this really isn't the moment.

♪ When it started out


♪ Will you know

Breathe in...

and out.

♪ When it's over

♪ Will you know?

♪ If you've got your destination ♪

♪ And it's real sophistication [ Sobs ]

♪ Do you go?

♪ Mm, mm, mm, mm

♪ Mm, mm, mm, mm

♪ Will you hold her high?

♪ We'll come home

♪ And shelter you

♪ On my own

♪ But I have some reservations ♪

Gabriel: It's been two months.

Flahavan: You had a very extreme episode.

Far better this than jail or, God forbid...

At least a jail would have a release date.

Look, the logic here is clear.

In the absence of a family member

or any other responsible person

willing to oversee your treatment,

you need to stay in an inpatient setting,

but do keep reaching out to people.

Build bridges.

Make amends.

From in here?


You could try writing letters.


Gabriel: "Dear Alice,

I'm sorry for all the trouble and pain I've caused you.

I hope someday you feel able to give me one more chance..."

"Dear Toss,

sorry about messing everything up for you

and for Pearse.

I hope the new drummer is working out."

"To whom it may concern,

I want to apologize for setting myself on fire on your wall.

I'd mistaken your home for somebody else's,

not that that excuses my behavior."

[ Clears throat ]

"Dear Christopher..."



I've got a treat for you.

A letter?

And the doctor said you can have this back

once you follow the rules.






So, no more nasty stomach cramps?

Gone. I feel good.

I still haven't heard back from my sister

or anybody else that I've written to.

Well, I'm afraid people do move on.

It's just, I've done everything that I've been asked to do.

I think you're doing fantastically,

but it's not up to me, as you know.

The tribunal would take your views on board.

Persevere with your sister.

I really think that's the best course.

There's one teeny thing that's raising some concern --

this new hobby of yours and what it's costing you,

all these deliveries.

[ Sighs ] It's my money.

Of course it is.

It's just with your previous history

of destroying and discarding things important to you...

No, look it -- it's nothing like that.

I swear.

Okay, no panic.

Seeing as you're doing so well,

we won't make a big fuss about this...

-Thank you. -...for now.

Eric: Easy, guys. There's enough for everyone.

Do I have to be in goals again?

We take turns, Georgina.

[ Indistinct talking ]

Do you know anything about this?



It arrived today... in a delivery lorry.

Well, it's got a couple of little things wrong.

Yeah, we all do, son.





I accept your apology

because that's what you do

when somebody says they're sorry or shows you,

if they're your friend, especially.

[ Laughs ] I was the shittiest friend

you could have possibly had.

It's just 'cause you got mentally ill again.

I'm still at the unit, like you said.

Look, I was being crazy and mean when I said that.

But you were right.

My mom prefers living with Jeremy in the house

and just seeing me for visits.

Jeremy pays for me to live in St. Cosmas,

and he'll pay for me to move to St. David's in a few weeks

once the paperwork is organized.

I miss our practices.

I could bring a ball next time.

I don't think football is allowed here,

but please come again anyway.

Nobody else does.

I don't have many other things in common with you.

[ Laughs ]

Yeah, well, that's the best thing about you.

I had an idea.

An idea?

Well, Roly had it,

but he said we could use it if we wanted to.

What kind of idea?



What do you think?

I think you're out of your mind,

and Roly.

That's the exact point. We're not.

Have you shared this with Eric?


And he was happy about it?

He was really happy.

[ Laughs ]

Look, you haven't thought this through.

Okay, I mean, for a start, there's my sister.

What's she gonna say?

Maybe nothing.

Yeah, then there's your mom.

Sweetheart, you know we couldn't agree

to anything like that.

Wait. Let me get this straight.

Then there's Dr. Flahavan.

I mean, you haven't met her, have you?

Not yet.

In over 20 years of psychiatric practice,

that is the single most unusual thing

I've heard uttered in this room.

I mean, have you any scientific basis for this idea of yours?


And that's all before we get to the tribunal.

I mean, what chance do you think we have of persuading them?

A good chance.

This is a completely logical argument.

I don't think that logic is gonna be enough here.

Why not?

Here are the rules,

and this is why we come into them.

We have an answer to every single question they could ask.

Yeah, and they have total discretion.

They can turn us down, even if we do answer

every question they ask.

Suppose it did work.

Will it make you happy?


Yeah, it'd make me happy.

All right.

I'm in.

[ Chuckles ]

Look, whatever happens,

just coming up with this, man, just trying,

you've already done ahuge thing for me --

biggest thing anyone has ever done.

You just need to practice your speech.

Oh, no. You do.

They're never gonna listen to me.

They might just listen to you.


Everybody's good at some things and...

Everybody's good at some things and...

Everybody's good at some things and...!

[ Gasps and whimpers ]


[ Breathing deeply ]


Woman: This is an impressive piece of research

you've presented, Christopher,

and you're right.

There is no specific legal bar

to someone with high-functioning autism,

such as yourself, seeking to have a patient

released into their care,

and between the one-off payment

your stepfather has agreed to make in your future

residential care costs for yourself

and what remains of Gabriel's own inheritance,

your idea is, in principle, economically viable.

Man: What I would have to ask is...why?

Why would you do this for someone who let you down

so badly in the past?

And more importantly,

how can we be sure that your commitment here today

can survive whatever the future might bring?

[ Chair scrapes loudly ]

Everybody's good at some things

and not good at other things.

People always say that.

But what if the things you're good at

aren't the right things for you to have a proper life?

Well, it doesn't ruin your life

if you're not good at LEGO or football,

but if you're not good at understanding people

when they're not telling the truth,

then you're not allowed to have a job or a house

or a wife, which isn't fair

because you're not the one not telling the truth,

but you're the one being punished!

Eric! You're invading my space.

Man: Christopher, this meeting is about

Gabriel's situation, not -- not your own.


It's just the same with him!

The thing he's not good at means

that the things he is good at don't count!

[ Pencil scratching ]

Well, it's like LEGO...

...where you lose one piece,

and you can't finish your kit you're building

because of that one piece you're missing... you throw it away.

It's a waste...

...because somebody else might easily

have that piece you're missing.

He's good at understanding people,

but he's not good at staying in control.

I'm good at staying in control,

but I'm not good at understanding people.

We each have a piece the other one is missing,

so if we could just have a chance --

if you could just give us a chance

to share those things,

instead of two wasted people, there could be none.

[ Pencil scratching ]

Thank you, Christopher.

[ Chair scrapes loudly ]

Well, I think we've heard everything we need to.

[ Whispering indistinctly ]

Have they listened to me?

[ Louder ] "Have they listened to me," I said?

Gabriel: No, mate, I don't think they have.

[ Normal voice ] Why not?

Because I think that they just can't imagine

the idea of somebody with a developmental disorder --

Oh, "neurodiverse" is our new word.

...neurodiverse person like you standing guardian

to a mentally ill person like me.

Can I ask, on what basis are you so confident

that such an arrangement could actually work?


[ Laughs ]

Yeah, here's the thing people don't tell you about...this.

Once you go over the edge once, you know where it is,

how close it's always been, how it's always gonna be there.

It's just one tiny wrong step away.

Confidence isn't something that I've been having much of lately,

about the future,

about playing the drums or holding down a job

or having a relationship

or my family ever wanting to see me again.

I can't honestly say that I'm confident

about anything anymore.

But the one thing that I do know

is that if I ever screw up again,

and I probably will sometime,

he is always gonna be there.

I mean, he just won't go away.

And I'm not just confident about that, okay?

I'm sure.

You really believe you deserve to be given this chance?

No, I don't.


But he deserves to be given this chance,

and I'm lucky enough to be a part of it.



You have to take them exactly like they are in the container.

I know.

I set an alarm on your phone to remind you.

And you have three sessions of therapy

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday --

10:00, 11:00, and 10:00 again.

Have you not got packing to do?

I'll call you every morning to make sure you remember.

I packed last night.

Okay, but if anything weird happens, right,

or if anybody's mean to you...

I'm 18.

I'll remember everything you said.

These are all the places we're going.




That's further than I ever got.


[ Horn honks ]

That's them.



Oh, hey, are you gonna bring that?

Oh, well, they like football,

and their manager said maybe we could practice on days off.

Yeah, it's just, you might not have time, you know?

Well, I can practice in my head, anyway.


Could be useful for a drum tech.

Very useful.

Now, you're gonna do great, man.

Have fun.

I'll see you in three weeks. All right?

Two weeks and five days.

Enjoy your new job, too.

[ Door opens ]

[ Door closes ]






That looks good, Clem.

Good luck.


All right, Roly?

Yeah, don't distract me.

I'm filling out my application for Stanford.


Wow, man. Hope you get in.

Well, of course I'll get in.


This is just a few parents, right?

Plus the partners and donors --

40 tops.

40? Jesus.

I mean, you've done brilliantly getting the boys together.

I mean, they're almost listenable now.

[ Laughing ]

And enjoy. All right, man.

All right, so, guys,

we're gonna play this right through to the end, okay?

We're gonna start and finish together.

All right?


[ Indistinct talking ]


[ Taps out beat ]

[ Playing slow tune ]

♪ I did not lose my voice

♪ I hid it where

♪ They could not laugh at it

♪ For good or ill

♪ It hid until

♪ You spoke to me

♪ I'm learning now

♪ I'm learning quick

♪ To use this voice

♪ To sing with it

♪ To amplify

♪ To tell you why

♪ And how you are like me

♪ Oh, how you are like me

♪ Oh, how you are like me

♪ Me

♪ And I

♪ Am like you

♪ I am like you

♪ I am like you

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Villagers' "Nothing Arrived" plays ]



♪ Savanna scatters

♪ And the seabird sings

♪ So why should we fear

Good job.

♪ What travel brings?

♪ What were we hoping

♪ To get out of this?

♪ Some kind of momentary bliss? ♪

♪ I waited for something

♪ And something died

♪ So I waited for nothing

♪ And nothing arrived

♪ It's our dearest ally

♪ It's our closest friend

♪ It's our darkest blackout

♪ It's our final end

♪ My dear, sweet nothing

♪ Let's start anew

♪ From here on in

♪ It's just me and you Hey ♪

♪ I waited for something

♪ And something died

♪ So I waited for nothing

♪ And nothing arrived

♪ Well, I guess it's over

♪ I guess it's begun

♪ It's a loser's table

♪ But we've already won

♪ It's a funny battle

♪ It's a constant game

♪ I guess I was busy

[ Alien Envoy's "Baby" plays ] ♪ Wander nights

♪ In slippers in rain

♪ You don't know these streets

♪ Don't know your own name

♪ CCTV shows angry and gray

♪ Where's that little girl looking ♪

♪ For a friend who will stay?

♪ Baby, baby

♪ All I see is who you grew into ♪

♪ But baby, baby

♪ Through your crazy days

♪ I still see you just as a child ♪

♪ So hard to care

♪ To find who's hiding in there ♪

♪ But I'm gonna dive

♪ Dive down past your shifting shape ♪

♪ I'm gonna dive

♪ Dive down past your losing game ♪

♪ I'm gonna dive

♪ Right through back to where you were clear ♪

♪ When you were born


♪ Baby, baby

♪ All I see is who you grew into ♪

♪ But baby, my baby

♪ I still see right through when I see you ♪

♪ I see my child


♪ Lying still on your hospital bed ♪

♪ You're not speaking loud

♪ But I hear what you say


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