Script Type: Feature
Genre: Character-Driven Drama – Coming of Age Story
Length: 130 pages
Home, is a story of triumph over tragedy, a reflection from the life of an old wise man seeing the path he took as a young and innocent youth growing up in a world of turmoil, alcoholism, social depression, and enormous pain. The story evolves within the bucolic landscape of Vermont, and the people he grew up with all trying to survive as a family.
The story of HOME, is the story of a boy’s trials and tribulations of growing into a man, during American’s most difficult time – the Great Depression. But it’s also an allegory for America’s youthful struggles trying to grow up. Although a simple setting, we delve deep under the seasonal changes, and simple farming life of Mount Sinai, a home for boys in bucolic Vermont, to reveal a complex story with inter-woven dynamic struggles between adults seeking to find balance, and children trying to cope with the results of the dysfunction they cause.
Calvin is an old man now, who tells HIS story while introducing his grandson to Mount Sinai, a home for boys in Vermont where the old man grew up. His grandson has just lost his parents in a car accident and is distraught, and Calvin too old to care for the boy.
The arc of the film, follows the disintegration of Calvin’s family as Joe, his father, succumbs to the pain the Depression causes, his evolving alcoholism, and his wife leaving. Calvin is moved out of the home by the authorities, and sent to Mount Sinai. He is then adopted by the Corning’s, the managers of Mount Sinai who recently lost their own son to a tragic farming accident. Joe never gives up trying to get his son back, while Cal tries to grow up between the love of his paternal father, the love of his adoptive parents, and the family he grows to love and know at Mount Sinai.
The struggles of young love, innocence, wonderment, and the sacrifices for survival and each other, live through the colorful cast of characters of Mount Sinai, set against the arc of painful situations of the adult world around them, under the natural beauty of Vermont and its changing seasons.Read More
The film introduces to us a color cast of characters, and then moves into their deeper stories, following their transitions over a 20 year period:
JOE WINDLE, Cal’s father, a large man with a rugged face, and tormented heart full of love for his family.
KATE WINDLE, Cal’s mother, a small, pretty Irish woman, who is loving and kind but terrified of her husband’s bouts of drinking and her inability to cope with the hardship of the times.
BILLY, a chubby youngster with a round, cherub face who is mischievous.
HOWIE, a nine year black boy with big sparkling eyes, who becomes Cal’s best friend and rival for their chosen wife – Betsy. Many children each with their own uniqueness, create a colorful backdrop against the many other adults surrounding them:
GROUCHY, a middle-aged spinster who governs the boys at the home, with a mean sneer hiding a loving smirk.
MRS. WALKER, a wise black woman about 40, teaching children History, and dealing with racism.
PETER CORNING a well-educated dedicated man of 45 deeply changed from the loss of his son, and his wife
MARGARET CORNING, a plain, kind-looking woman and artist who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, who manage Mount Sinai.
Mr. DIPPLE an older, fat man, with a big smile who runs the local store in town.
MR. JACOBS, the owner of the lumber yard who is as tough and weathered as an old piece of pine.
BETSY, Cal and Howie’s love interest, who they fight over to see who will marry her when they grow up – even though Betsy knows nothing about it.
The many inter-woven stories have metaphorical meanings:
Howie convinces Cal to give Betsy a huge Bull frog as gift thinking it will woo her heart, but fails miserably grossing her out – Howie’s scheme works and the two fight in the tall grass because he cheated to steal her heart.
Betsy marries Calvin many years later and Calvin as an old man, describes her to his grandson who never met her as she died years ago, and how much he misses her, while looking over the grounds of Mount Sinai in the present day and we seeing Betsy as a child meeting Calvin and Howie for the first time. This, like many scenes are juxtapositions of the swiftness of life – a child and a death, a memory and a future, in one landscape.
These moments of pain, beauty, tenderness and turmoil move between a distant time, and the present day of the film, as the seasons change throughout in sequence like the clock ticking through the seconds and years of our lives. The beauty of Vermont’s changing seasons always there, like the eyes of tolerance and wisdom, and mirror the scenes theme as we follow Cal growing up from a child in trouble, to a man in control like, built like a small Oak, that grows into a mighty tree.
“NEWLY BUDDING TREES, SMALL FLOWERS; IT’S A BEAUTIFUL FALL VERMONT DAY FULL OF HOPE.”
“TREES ARE IN FULL BLOOM, SUNS BEARING DOWN, IT’S HOT BUT GORGEOUS. LIFE FEELS FULL OF PROMISE.”
DEAD OF WINTER
“DEAD COLD. STILLNESS. IT FEELS DANGEROUS.”
Layers of story, characters purging their deepest fears, hopes and dreams, struggling juxtapositions of trying to save a home against despair, painful situations, leading to small and large triumphs, merge like mountains moving into the distance over the earth, against the bucolic blue skies and slow moving timeless clouds of Vermont, until the moon emerges fully lit, against a universe of possibilities.
HOME, is about the meaning of those words – “community and family” – often lost in our path forward as we try to overcome hardships, thrive in face of dire inner and external circumstances, and is a reminder of the goodness we are pursuing as one family, one community, one nation, and ultimately one world…
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