Music from Another Room (film)
|Music from Another Room|
|Directed by||Charlie Peters|
|Produced by||John Bertolli |
|Written by||Charlie Peters|
|Starring||Jude Law |
|Music by||Richard Gibbs|
|Edited by||Carroll Timothy O'Meara|
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures|
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2021)
The film begins at Thanksgiving, with five-year-old Danny (Cory Buck) ringing a distinctive doorbell, labeled "Swan". He is with his military doctor father visiting the house of his late mother's dearest friend, Grace (Brenda Blethyn), and her family. Grace is expecting her fourth baby soon, and goes into labor later that day. The baby won't wait for the hospital, and so Danny's doctor father is delivering the baby on the couch in the den. but the umbilical is snagged and, as he's been enjoying Thanksgiving wine all day, he fears he may not be sober enough to reach in and untangle the cord. Danny had been hiding in a corner but now is curious and his Dad spots him and asks him to use his smaller hands to unwrap the umbilical cord from the baby's neck to allow it to be born. It's a girl, and Grace names her Anna immediately. Danny is astounded by the whole event but happy, and announces, as the others celebrate, "I'm going to marry her!" Everyone chuckles but the wise and romantic Grace, looks at him again, with more thought and the scene ends.
Danny's dad has new work in England and so they move away. But Twenty-five years later, Danny, (Jude Law) now 30, moves back to his hometown after his father dies. He is a Mosaic Tile Restorer, a graduate of training by masters, and hopes to become a Master Tiler himself, interviewing for a recommended restoration. He finds a cheap apartment owned by a bakery shop couple who offer him a job delivering cakes while he waits for his tile work to start. During his first delivery, Danny gets lost and when he stops for directions, the bell he rings is the distinctive Swan bell that he rang so long ago. He is at Grace Swan's and before he leaves, she realized who he is. He also sees Nina (Jennifer Tilly) and THE Anna who he helped bring into the world, but then goes on to complete the delivery, mystified at the coincidence. He tells his kind baker boss and his wife about the chance reunion, and they fill him in a bit on their story.
Soon, Anna and Nina's family order a cake from the bakery and Danny immediately leaves to deliver it, hoping to see Anna, but crashes his bike into a car right outside the home and loses consciousness. He awakes in Grace's house to meet Anna's entire family— Nina again, revealing her lifelong blindness and the fears she lives with keeping her from any kind of normal life. He meets their brother Billy (Jeremy Piven) and Billy's wife, Irene (Jane Adams),who is distraught over her husband's infidelities and exhibits bizarre behaviors. Danny reacquaints with Anna's kind father father Richard (Bruce Jarchow), her sister Karen (Martha Plimpton), and Anna's boyfriend Eric (Jon Tenney). He is invited to stay for dinner, during which he learns of Anna's recent engagement to Eric. They talk about love and when asked what love is like, Danny states it is like hearing music from another room, but it is so beautiful, that you hum along and it stays.
Danny next begins his job as a tiler/mosaic artist in the local museum. He confesses his love for Anna to his coworkers, who give him a trick, two-headed coin, telling him to tell Anna: "Heads you love me, tails I leave you alone." He uses it the next time he is alone with Anna, but she claimed the right to read the result and calls "tails," and leaves. A few days later, he is with Anna again and asks her to run away and marry him. Anna rejects him kindly and rides away, with Danny chasing her.
He is now friends with the family and fails in attempts to help Nina out of her self-imposed prison of fears. He sees that Anna's motherly way with her siblings is a bit stifling, and works at helping her lighten her grip and let them all be freer. He enjoys some success with Nina, even getting her to go with him to a local dance, where she meets Jesus, a young tradesman who cares for her immediately and she dances with him, and they are rarely separated after that. Soon it is clear they are a pair and this is just in time because Grace has been ill and is now dying. Anna becomes jealous of the love between Nina and Jesus (Vincent Laresca), and rushes to Danny's home, to actualize her passion as well, confessing she lied and that the coin read "heads." The two then sleep together, but part to let Anna tell her mother about her love for Danny first. Irene and Billy have another bizarre confrontation, ending in her shooting him in the foot.
Nina and Jesus elope during the night and his family and friends celebrate the union in church and party after. Nina returns home to tell her mother gleefully, and Grace is thrilled because she can now die in peace concerning Nina. And later that night, Grace dies in Richard's arms. Anna arrives home to tell her mother about her relationship with Danny only to find that she is too late - Grace has died. At Grace's funeral, Anna tells Danny that she already told Eric about their affair. Danny tells Anna he is leaving in a couple of days, anyway, and says goodbye. He winds up business at the tile site, making something special for the wall and packs, painting over Anna's name he'd had over his bed. That night, Eric announces he and Anna are going to Paris to get married in a few days. Nina is convinced that this direction for Anna is all wrong. The next day, Nina has Anna meet her on the site of Danny's tile work - Swans! Like the family name - and also carrying a message to Anna. Nina is insistent, making her point to Anna that she belongs with Danny, not Eric, and advises her to go after Danny.
Anna at first rejects her sister's viewpoint but then the swans in the tile work inspire her and clear her own blindness. She races to the train station, till she finds Danny and begs him to take her with him, no matter where he is going - her own adventure, as her mother had wished for her at their last good talk. Now it is Danny's turn to demur: Danny says that it won't last. Anna holds up a regular coin and says if it lands heads, she will go with him, tails she will leave him alone. Danny says, "fine, but I get to read it." Anna flips the coin and Danny puts his foot on it when it lands. But then he simply looks at Anna with resolve and, without looking at the coin, declares it is heads, the two kiss, and they are off on their new life together.
- Jude Law as Danny
- Jennifer Tilly as Nina
- Gretchen Mol as Anna
- Martha Plimpton as Karen
- Brenda Blethyn as Grace
- Jon Tenney as Eric
- Jeremy Piven as Billy
- Vincent Laresca as Jesus
- Jane Adams as Irene