Wonder Boys

GRADY
'The young girl sat perfectly still in the
confessional...

INT. CLASSROOM - UNIVERSITY - AFTERNOON

Grady--45-year-old novelist, professor, and insomniac--is
in the midst of reading a story to the dozen college
STUDENTS who make up his Advanced Writing Workshop.

GRADY
...listening to her father's boots scrape like
chalk on the ancient steps of the church, then
grow faint, then disappear altogether.'

As he finishes, GRADY ponders a pair of maintenance men,
perched on ladders in the quad below, stringing a large
banner between two bare trees. The banner reads:

WELCOME TO WORDFEST

GRADY turns, peers at his students. They look as if
they've been on a field trip.

GRADY
(a wave of the pages)
So. .Anyone?

A girl with jet-black hair turns to a pale young man
sitting at a desk in the back of the classroom. He is JAMES
LEER, 19. Like GRADY a moment before, he is staring out the
window.

CARRIE MCWHIRTY
Let me get this straight. The girl with the
big lips is depressed because, each night, when
her father goes off to work at the bakery, her
mother sneaks some mysterious lover into the
house. Not only does this girl have to listen
to her mother working this guy in the next
room, she has to wash the sheets each morning

before Daddy gets home. After a few weeks of
this, she starts to go a little nutty so Daddy
takes her to confession--only, once she gets in
the box, she gets a whiff of the priest and
realizes he's the mother's secret lover. Is
that it?

James Leer says nothing, huddling lower in the patty overcoat he wears.

CARRIE MCWHIRTY
I mean, Jesus. What is it with you Catholics?

GRADY
All right. Let's try to keep it constructive,
shall we? Howard, what about you?

HOWARD
I hated it.

GRADY
That's not exactly what I meant by
constructive, Howard.
HOWARD
I think James should try to be more
constructive. This is my second semester with
him. His stories are brutal, man. They make me
want to kill myself.

GRADY glances at James, but his face remains impassive.
Then--with a visible sense of relief--GRADY notices the
raised hand of the achingly beautiful HANNAH GREEN.

GRADY
Yes, Hannah?

HANNAH GREEN
I think maybe we're missing the point. It
seems to me James' strength as a writer is that
he doesn't take us by the hand. He treats us
like adults. He respects us enough to forget
us. That takes . . . courage .

GRADY nods, smiles subtly. Appreciative.

GRADY
Well put, Hannah. And a good note to end on, I
think.


VOCABULARY

scrape - skrzypieć, szurać
altogether - zupełnie, całkowicie, w sumie
maintenance - konserwacja, utrzymywanie
perch - przycupnąć, usadowić się
quad - kwadrat, prostokąt
jet-black - czarny jak smoła
sneak - podkradać się, wkradać
nutty - zwariowany
whiff - podmuch, zapach; przelotne spojrzenie
huddle - kulić się
impassive - opanowany, niewzruszony
achingly beautiful - extremely beautiful
nod - potakiwać, kiwać głową
appreciative - doceniający, pełen uznania, wdzięczny

Ways of looking
peer - przyglądać się, przypatrywać
stare - wpatrywać się, gapić się
glance - rzucać okiem, zerkać
get a whiff of sth/sb - uchwycić przelotnie jakiś widok


Phrases

well put - dobrze powiedziane, dobrze to ująłeś
miss the point - nie zrozumieć sedna, nie zrozumieć, o co chodzi
get something straight - upewniać się
to be in the midst of doing something - być w trakcie, w środku jakiejś czynności
the banner reads - na transparencie jest napisane
take us by the hand - prowadzić kogoś za rękę, przejąć nad kimś odpowiedzialność


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