Mrs. Helen Givings: April, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
John Givings: Alright! Sorry. Sorry! Sorry! Oh, oh, oh ma, have I said sorry enough times? Damn! I am sorry too, I’m just about the sorriest bastard I know, but you get right down to it, I don’t have a hell of a lot to be glad about, do I? Oh but hey, know what? I am glad about one thing. Wanna know what I’m glad about? I’m glad I’m not gonna be that kid.
Beckett’s Mother: Beckett, what is that?
Beckett: That’s a fern.
Beckett’s Mother: That’s right. This is a fern. What’s that?
Beckett: That’s a cactus.
Beckett’s Mother: That’s a cactus. That’s right, and what is the plural of cactus?
Beckett’s Mother: That’s right! What is that?
Beckett’s Mother: That’s right! That’s a baby. This lady is about to have a baby. Any day now.
Verona De Tessant: Or in three months. Thank you.
Beckett’s Mother: Beckett, tell the nice lady what you know about babies. Go on, tell the nice people. . .Beckett! You’re being rude.
Beckett: Babies like to breathe, and they’re good at hiding it. I put a pillow over a baby. I thought she wasn’t breathing, but she was. She was sneaky, but I’ll try again.
We often hear about an actor’s range and praise them for working in a variety of genres, etc. Rarely, however, do we hear the same praise for directors. Sam Mendes is one of those directors who never does the same thing twice. His debut film, 1999’s American Beauty was a slice of life family drama. It went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. His second film, 2002’s Road To Perdition was a period crime drama. In 2005 he made the dark comedy/war drama Jarhead. Three years later was the 2008 literary adaptation/period drama Revolutionary Road, which he followed up less than six months later with the indie dramedy Away We Go. Each of these films is so different from the other, but what they all have in common is Mendes’ strong direction, resulting in a plethora of amazing, complicated, compelling performances.