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logline and treatment

Log Line: It’s the holidays, and Marcella, a wayward teen, mourns her mother who died on Christmas Day giving birth to her. A priest/minister assures her that all will work out. Her mother then appears in a dream and explains that she would not have an abortion, as was advised by her doctor, because she loved her too much.

Treatment by Peter Bacho bachop@evergreen.edu

OVERVIEW: of Marcella’s Dream

This screenplay introduces us to Marcella Andre, a 17-year old who has lost her way. She is an intellectually gifted but indifferent student, preferring to skip school much of the time. She hangs out with Mike, who is also quite bright and has a gift for math and statistics – “Lissen up,” he says. “Yo, baby, if there’s no equation, it don’t exist. Numbers be the only true God.”

Despite his talent, Mike, who is 21 and white, considers himself ultra hip and street savvy. He prefers to spend his days drinking, smoking dope, listening to hardcore rap, and, when he’s sober, playing with statistics (hence, his love for baseball and for his home team, the Atlanta Braves). Mike survives by stealing, selling grass from his home grow, and visiting food banks.

Two of the reasons they are compatible are that both believe that the only moment that matters is the here and now, and neither believes in anything beyond what they can see, smell, feel, and touch.

Adam, Marcella’s single father, loves her and is trying his best to provide a good structure. But it’s obvious his wife’s death has left a big hole in his daughter’s life. His love and attention aren’t enough, especially during the holiday season, when Marcella goes into a deep depression thinking obsessively about her mother who died giving birth to her on Christmas Day. To a large degree, she blames herself for her mother’s death.

During these difficult days, she lashes out – at her father, God, acquaintances, strangers, everyone but Mike, who gets her drunk and high and makes her relax.

In the end, she has to make a choice during the Christmas of her 17th year. Does she continue in her anger and aimlessness, or does she try to believe, to make what for her would be a challenging leap of faith.


The movie opens with a V/O and with Marcella in her room sending an email to Reverend Powell. She tells Reverend Powell that it’s been “a long time since we’ve seen each other. Christmas Eve, remember? And since then things have been going well. I’m finishing up my first year in college and am doing well – certainly, better than either of us would have guessed at the time.”

From here, most of the story will be told in flashbacks.

The first flashback scene is Marcella and her father having breakfast. He is trying to engage her in conversation. She ignores him. He asks what her plans are for the day. She continues to ignore him. In frustration, he erupts and says he knows it’s been hard for her, particularly at this time of year, but he’s tried his best and that maybe she should seek counseling because she is about to blow what all of her teachers say is a bright academic future.

Marcella watches him impassively as he rises and continues to speak his mind. At the end, Marcella, who continues to pick at her food, dismissively says “whatever,” before rising to leave.

She walks out the door.

The father asks, “Marcella, what time will you be…”

Marcella doesn’t reply.

“Home,” the father says sadly, as he turns to walk away.

Cut to the second flashback scene: Marcella and Mike are seated on a couch in his seedy apartment. They kiss and pass a joint. Mike babbles on about his beloved Braves, and how’s he’s crunched the numbers and figured out that the Braves are a cinch for the Series now that they’ve added “Jesus, ah, ****, some dude from Venezuela, second baseman, hit 260 last year for the Giants, but get this, he hit 310 with men on base. That means bet the house this season cuz we gonna win close games; that means…”

Marcella is loaded. “That means I’m hungry,” she suddenly says. “And who’s this Jesus…whoever…and just what were you talking about, and why should I care?”

Mike groggily gets up. He checks the cupboard. Empty. The refrigerator. Empty. He spots an onion on the kitchen table, then walks over, swats away the bugs, and tosses it to her. She glares at it and throws it back.

“I got a better idea,” Mike says.

Cut to the third flashback scene: Marcella and Mike are in line in a food bank
in front of a small church.

As the line moves forward, Mike fades into the background to chat with an acquaintance, Bobby Ray, who is wearing a Braves hat. Mike swears that their team will make it to the Series. He is lavishly praising Jesus, the new second baseman.

“”Jesus, dog,” Mike exclaims. “What can I say? He don’t just play second base…”

Bobby Ray is now talking, but nothing can