You Can Count on Me


1h 51m 2000

Brief Synopsis

Orphaned at a young age when their parents were killed in a car crash, Sammy and Terry have remained close despite the different paths their lives have taken. Married and divorced at a very young age, Sammy is a devoted if somewhat overprotective mother to her eight-year-old son, Rudy, who harbors r

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Nov 10, 2000
Premiere Information
World premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT: 28 Jan 2000; New York and Los Angeles openings: 10 Nov 2000
Production Company
Cappa Productions; Hart Sharp Entertainment; Shooting Gallery
Distribution Company
Paramount Classics
Country
United States
Location
New York, USA; Margaretville, New York, United States; Phoenicia, New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Synopsis

Outside of Scottsville, New York in the Catskill Mountains, the parents of young Samantha "Sammy" and Terry Prescott are killed in a head-on car collision. Several years later, still living in their childhood home, Sammy is a bank lending officer and single mother, who forgoes part of her lunch hour each day so that she can drive her eight-year-old son Rudy from school to his baby sitter in the afternoon. When the inflexible Brian Everett, who lacks true managerial skills, is hired by the bank as her new boss, he orders her to make different arrangements for her son. At home, Sammy is cheered to receive a long-overdue letter from Terry, announcing that he is coming for a visit, the first in two years. That evening, after she reads Rudy's school essay describing his estranged father as a dashing secret agent, Sammy meets with her longtime, but uncommitted boyfriend, Bob Stegnerson, to discuss what she should tell Rudy about his father, with whom she no longer has contact. Meanwhile, Terry, who is unemployed in Worcester, Massachusetts, argues with his girl friend, Sheila Seidleman, about their lack of money. After callously suggesting that Sheila move back home with her parents, Terry leaves and a day later arrives in Scottsville, where he is greeted by the town sheriff, Darryl. He then meets an enthusiastic Sammy for lunch at a local restaurant. While prodding Terry for details about his recent activities, Sammy is disappointed to learn that his visit will be brief and that he needs a loan to help Sheila, who is pregnant. Terry then admits that he spent three months in a Florida jail, after brawling in a barroom, but scoffs at Sammy's suggestion that he needs religious guidance. After lunch, Sammy gives Terry money, then vents about being used. That night, Terry telephones Sheila, but learns that she has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Shaken, Terry immediately mails Sheila the money, then accepts Sammy's offer to move back home. The next day, Sammy lends her car to Terry, in exchange for his promise to drive Rudy from school to the baby sitter's. At work, while she and her co-workers chafe under Brian's exacting yet trifling demands, Sammy gets a concerned call from Rudy's baby sitter, who says that Rudy never arrived there. Alarmed, Sammy bolts from work in search of him and discovers that Terry has taken Rudy with him to his part-time carpentry job. When she returns to work, the shallow Brian, who has little sense of priorities, rebukes Sammy for her abrupt departure. That evening, after spending several hours in an empty bar, Terry returns home and expresses his disgust with small town life to Rudy. When the boy asks if Terry knew his father, Terry admits that he did, but never liked him. Later, in an effort to be useful, Terry works on the house's aging plumbing and baby sits Rudy while Sammy goes on a date with Bob. Literally interpreting Sammy's orders to limit Rudy's television viewing, Terry takes his nephew to a pool hall, where they win a round of eight-ball. Meanwhile, over dinner, Sammy is shocked by a marriage proposal from Bob, who has until then been indecisive about their relationship, and asks for time to consider it. She returns home, unaware that Terry and Rudy have barely preceded her and that Terry has demanded a promise from Rudy not to tell his mother about their outing. When Sammy trips and gashes her knee on an exposed section of piping that Terry has been repairing, she announces she will call a plumber. The next day, Brian introduces his pregnant wife Nancy to his employees and Sammy is intrigued by the obvious tension between the couple. That afternoon, Sammy learns about Rudy's trip to the pool hall from Darryl. Terry, sulking over the arrival of the plumber, forgets to pick up Rudy, who then walks through a rainstorm to Sammy's office. Outraged, Sammy scolds Terry for forgetting Rudy and for taking him to the pool hall. Terry, believing that Rudy broke his promise, angrily banishes his confused nephew to the baby sitter's house. After work, Sammy talks Brian into going out for dinner, where he admits having marital difficulties, and afterward they have sex in his car. That night, Sammy and Terry reconcile. Sammy confides her feelings of discomfort about Bob's proposal and admits to her affair with Brian. After some bickering, Terry learns that it was not Rudy who told Sammy about the pool hall and feels guilty. Soon after, Sammy and Brian's affair spills into their workday when they kiss in his office, and Sammy is distracted when she meets Bob for dinner. Afterward, she meets Brian for a hasty tryst at a motel, which gives Terry a chance to apologize to Rudy privately for accusing him of betraying their secret. The next day, troubled by her errant behavior, Sammy consults her pastor, Ron, but instead of addressing her problems, she voices her concern about Terry. Ron comes to the house to counsel them and suggests that Terry has found no meaning in life. An annoyed Terry agrees that he is not a good influence on his nephew and calls off the fishing trip he and Rudy had planned. Stung, Sammy accuses Terry of taking his anger at her out on Rudy. The next day after church, Terry shows up with fishing rods, and he and Rudy leave together. Sammy again meets with Ron and confesses her affair with Brian, but is disconcerted when Ron fails to upbraid her. She meets with Bob, and although they admit they love each other, she declines his offer of marriage leaving their relationship undefined. Then, after a sexual rendezvous with Brian at the motel, Sammy tells her boss they must stop seeing each other. Meanwhile, at the fishing hole, Rudy again asks Terry about his father and Terry decides that Rudy should know the truth. They go to a trailer park in a nearby town, where Terry introduces Rudy Kolinski to his son, but when Rudy, Sr. denies that he is Rudy's father, he and Terry exchange insults. A fistfight ensues, after which the police arrive and arrest Terry. Upon returning home, Sammy grows anxious at finding both Terry and Rudy's absence and calls the police, then Bob, who waits with her. The next morning, when Terry calls from jail, Bob accompanies Sammy to bail him out. After they retutn home, Sammy, who has missed work, receives a call from the furious Brian, who fires her. Rudy tries to deny to himself that Rudy, Sr., is his father, but Sammy admits that he is. Later, claiming that he is a bad influence on Rudy, Sammy asks Terry to get his own place and offers to buy Terry's share of the house to provide him money. Terry refuses the offer, deciding instead to leave Scottsville and spend his last days in town at a friend's house. While he packs, Terry explains to Rudy that he wanted to show him what his father was really like. When Terry expresses anger at Sammy for throwing him out of the house, Rudy offers to accompany him, and Terry is touched by the boy's loyalty. Sammy returns to the bank to confront Brian, implying she will reveal their affair if he indeed fires her. Although Brian tries to exude a dignified professionalism, Sammy declares that he will have to allow her to continue to pick up Rudy after school and he meekly agrees. She then returns to work, and later has lunch with Bob. At home, Rudy is despondent about Terry's departure. After several unsuccessful calls, Sammy finally reaches Terry, who has been out visiting their parents' graves, to ask if he will see Rudy before leaving town. The next day, just before Rudy's school bus arrives, Terry shows up to say goodbye. Afterward, when Sammy accompanies Terry to his bus stop and confesses her deep concern for him, Terry reassures her that he will be fine. He admits how much she means to him and that it comforts him to know that she is at home rooting for him. After promising Sammy that he will always return to her, Terry boards his bus and leaves, and Sammy drives to work.

Crew

Keith Abell

Co-producer

Ryan Aktari

Assistant eng

George Alias

Addl grip

Laurie Allen

Casting Assistant

Bill Anagnos

Stunt driver

Dave Anderson

Gaffer

Domenic Andreoli

Extras casting

Kevin Tyler Asch

Set prod Assistant

Axium Entertainment Group, Inc.

Prod payroll

J. S. Bach

Composer

Wanda Ballman

Composer

Michael Banton-jones

Music eng

Lesley Barber

Music comp and orch

John Billeci

Addl Electrician

Chris Bingham

Key makeup

Jason Block

Post prod accountant

Hugo Bonilla

Company Electrician

Roman Borys

Cello

Jimmy Bosch

Composer

David Briggs

Foley Editor

Dan Brillman

Set prod Assistant

Pete Burns

Assistant to Mr. Hart and Mr. Sharp

Alexandra Bush

Prod Coordinator

Nancy Cabrera, Gun For Hire Post

Foley artist

Rob Carli

Scoring Assistant

Steve Carlis

Executive Producer

Marcus Carmouche

Addl prod Assistant

Adam Carroll

Art Department intern

Shawn Carroll

Art Director

Donald C. Carter

Executive Producer

Jared Cauliffe

Office intern

Ed Cohen

Gaffer

Barry Cole

Music Supervisor

David Conelli

Addl driver

Max Corbacho

Addl Electrician

Christopher Covert

Music Supervisor

Jada Cox

Addl Electrician

Barbara De Fina

Producer

Moira Demos

Addl Electrician

Chris Des Marais

Props Master

Lisa Diamond

Post prod accountant

Aaron Dobbs

Addl prod Assistant

Larry Donahue

Caterer

Matt Duncan

On set dresser

Patrick Dundas

Foley rec

Steve Earle

Composer

Mark Erdman

Prod Secretary

Lola Jean Fawbush

Composer

Mike Fay

Assistant picture Editor

Robert Fernandez, Sound One Corp

Re-rec eng

Matthew Fleece

ADR eng

Sue Foley

Composer

Jill Footlick

Line prod

Jill Footlick

Unit Production Manager

Cara Forte

Set intern

Rebekah Frankel

Addl Electrician

Alfredo Frasson

Col timer

Darryl Furr

Best boy Electrician

Michael Ginsburg

Loc Assistant

Susan Glod

Scenics

Great Northern Brokerage Corp.

Prod insurance provided by

Gun For Hire Post

Post prod accountant

Gun For Hire Post

ADR and foley facilities

Gun For Hire--new York

Prod services

Mike Harrison

Composer

John N. Hart

Producer

Sandy Hays

Steadicam op

Wendy Hedin

Supervisor Sound Editor

Sean Heilig

Co-capt

Mario Herrera

Scenics

Don Hewitt

Stunt Coordinator

Joe Hobeck

Post Assistant

Lawrence Hoff

Boom Operator

Nicole Holmquist

Tutor

Imperial Bank

Credit facility Arrangements

Julian Iragorri

Co-producer

Stephen Kazmierski

Director of Photography

Patrick Kendall

Film runner

Chris Kenneally

Post prod Supervisor, Gun for Hire

Bap Kennedy

Composer

Timothy Kirkpatrick

Background vocals

Ross Klavan

Background vocals

Todd Klein

Key grip

Cheri Knight

Composer

David Kramer's Looping Group

Background vocals

Robert Kravis

Associate Producer

Annie Kuronyi

Assistant loc Manager

Steven C. Lawrence

Key prod Assistant

Patrick Lee

Credit facility Arrangements

Raechel Legakes

Film runner

Ariane Lemay

2d Assistant Camera

Robyn Lencheski

Office intern

Michael Lerman

1st Assistant Director

Erica Levy

Assistant to Ms. De Fina

Geof Lipman

Dolby Sound consultant

Kenneth Lonergan

Writer

Kenneth Lonergan

Company

Martin Loomer

Copyist, score prep

Francis Maiorino

Art Department Assistant

Grace Maloney

Art Department intern

Marah

Composer

Lydia Marks

Set Decoration

Chris Marsh

Addl loc Assistant

Anne Mccabe

Editing

Matthew Mccarthy

Background vocals

Amy Mccusker

Wardrobe Assistant

Larry "reg Dunlop" Mcgee

Addl driver

Chris Meehan

Company grip

Kevin Meehan

Boom Operator

Larry Meistrich

Producer

Scott Miller

Composer

Michael Moffa

2d 2d Assistant Director

Eric Morgan

Post intern

Melissa Mortensen

Cast runner

Movie Chefs

Caterer

Melissa Myers

Addl prod Assistant

Natexis Banque

Credit facility Arrangements

Kelly Neese

Boom Operator

Ellen Nylen

Shopper

On-core Productions

Cont and spotting

Jennifer Osborne

Addl prod Assistant

Tanoa Parks

Prod accountant

Joan Pearce, Research Associates

Research and clearance

Betty Sue Perry

Composer

Janine Pesce

Assistant Props master

Rachel Peters

Associate Producer

James Post

Key hairstylist

Bennett Pozil

Credit facility Arrangements

Morgan Rector

Credit facility Arrangements

Peter Reigner

Company grip

Teresa Reilly

Director's Assistant

Timothy Reilly

Addl grip

Danielle Reisigl

Office prod Assistant

Republic National Bank Of New York

Prod bank

Larry Riley

Still Photographer

James Robinette

Assistant caterer

Jendra Robinson

Company Electrician

Kenny Roby

Composer

Phil Rodowsky

Cont and spotting

Todd Rodowsky

Cont and spotting

Eddie Rodriguez

B Camera 1st Assistant

Mark Ruben

Carpenter

Michael Rudolph

Company Electrician

Doug Sahm

Composer

Peter Schneider

Sound Mixer

Martin Scorsese

Executive Producer

Susan Senk

Pub

Anthony Serignese

Addl prod Assistant

Jeffrey Sharp

Producer

Michael Shaw

Production Design

George Sheanshang Esq.

Prod and dist counsel

Mike Shore

Dial Editor

Susan Shufro

Music Editor

Mark Skazinetsky

Orchestral leader

Kelly Smith

Assistant prod Coordinator

Luke Smith

Set intern

Adam Snyder

Best boy grip

Jim Sofranko

B Camera op

Lauren Speilberg

Extras casting Assistant

Francis Spieldenner

B Camera 2d Assistant

Igor Srubshchik

Video playback

Cynthia Steljes

Oboe

Morton Swinsky

Executive Producer

Patricia Sztaba, Match Cut Film Services

Negative cutter

Stan Sztaba, Match Cut Film Services

Negative cutter

Niknaz Tavakolian

Camera loader

Michael Taylor

Script Supervisor

Joshua Telson

Set intern

The Effects House

Titles & opticals

The V-roys

Composer

Ivan Therrien

Office intern

Tiffany Thomas

Assistant prod accountant

Peter Thorell

2d Assistant Director

Lina Todd

Casting

Melissa Toth

Costume Design

Hsuan Tsen

Addl prod Assistant

Barnaby Fisher Turner

Set intern

Juliet Verni

Loc intern

Joe Violante

Dailies adv

Erin Stacey Visslailli

Addl prod Assistant

Tommy Weissler

Transportation capt

John Welsman

Orch contractor

Erica Westheimer

Assistant Costume Designer

Aurelia Winborn

1st Assistant Camera

Nicole Wohl

Casting Assistant

Kristin Wolfe

Art Department intern

Wendy Wong

Office intern

Rae C. Wright

Background vocals

Jasmine Zauberer

Craft service

Jonathan Zeidman

Loc Manager

Jamie H. Zelermyer

Prod Supervisor

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Nov 10, 2000
Premiere Information
World premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT: 28 Jan 2000; New York and Los Angeles openings: 10 Nov 2000
Production Company
Cappa Productions; Hart Sharp Entertainment; Shooting Gallery
Distribution Company
Paramount Classics
Country
United States
Location
New York, USA; Margaretville, New York, United States; Phoenicia, New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m

Award Nominations

Best Actress

2000
Laura Linney

Best Original Screenplay

2000

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The opening credits list the principal actors, beginning with Laura Linley, while the closing credits list the cast in order of appearance. The closing credits also include a written statement by producer Jeff Sharp dedicating his work on the film to his mother, Virginia Sharp Albright. You Can Count on Me marked the directing debut of screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, who also appeared in the film as "Ron." The film was shot on location in Margaretville and Phoenicia, NY, according to the closing credits.
       Reviews differ in describing Ron as a priest or a minister and whether "Sammy" is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. Ron is called "Father" within the film, but the denomination of the church is never mentioned and appears to Protestant.
       In interviews about the film, Lonergan indicated that the project initially began as a one-act play of a brother and sister conversing over lunch. The lunch scene remains in the film near the beginning of the story, very nearly in its original form. You Can Count on Me had its premiere in January 2000 at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and shared the Grand Jury Prize. Linney was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award and a Best Actress Golden Globe Award. Lonergan received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screenplay. In addition to being named one of the top ten films of 2000 by AFI, You Can Count on Me received best film and best new writer awards at AFI Fest and the British Film Institute's top honor, the Sutherland Trophy, at the Regus London Film Festival.

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for a 2000 Open Palm Award by the Independant Feature Project (IFP).

Nominated for the 2000 award for Best Picture by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Nominated for the 2000 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Best Actress (Laura Linney).

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2000 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Winner of Best Actor (Mark Ruffalo) at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival.

Winner of the 2000 award for Best New Filmmaker (Kenneth Lonergan) from the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Winner of the 2000 award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen from the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

Winner of the 2000 award for Special Filmmaking Achievement by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

Winner of the 2000 Golden Satellite Award for Best Screenplay - Original from the International Press Academy.

Winner of the New Directions Prize and the Best New Writer Award (Kenneth Lonergan) at the 2000 AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival.

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and co-winner, along with Karyn Kusama'a "Girlfight," of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

Winner of two 2000 awards including Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Laura Linney) from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Winner of two 2000 awards, including Best Actress (Laura Linney) and Best Screenplay, from the National Society of Film Critics.

Winner of two 2000 awards, including Best Screenplay and New Generation Award (Mark Ruffalo) from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Released in United States 2000

Released in United States August 2000

Released in United States Fall November 10, 2000

Released in United States January 2000

Released in United States June 2001

Released in United States November 2000

Released in United States October 2000

Released in United States on Video June 26, 2001

Released in United States September 2000

Shown at American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California February 23 - March 1, 2000.

Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival (Gala) August 13-27, 2000.

Shown at London Film Festival (World Cinema) November 1-16, 2000.

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 24 - September 4, 2000.

Shown at Sydney Film Festival June 8-22, 2001.

Shown at Toronto International Film Festival (Special Presentation) September 7-16, 2000.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 22 - October 5, 2000.

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Critics Week) August 30 - September 9, 2000.

Feature directorial debut for playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan. Lonergan's plays include the recent Off-Broadway hit "This is Our Youth." The screenplay for "You Can Count on Me" is based on a one-act play Lonergan wrote for Naked Angels, the acclaimed New York-based theater company, of which he is a founding member.

Began shooting June 1, 1999.

Completed shooting July 2, 1999.

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California February 23 - March 1, 2000.)

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 24 - September 4, 2000.)

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival September 22 - October 5, 2000.)

Released in United States 2000 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Critics Week) August 30 - September 9, 2000.)

Released in United States January 2000 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (in competition) in Park City, Utah January 20-30, 2000.)

Released in United States June 2001 (Shown at Sydney Film Festival June 8-22, 2001.)

Released in United States on Video June 26, 2001

Released in United States August 2000 (Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival (Gala) August 13-27, 2000.)

Released in United States September 2000 (Shown at Toronto International Film Festival (Special Presentation) September 7-16, 2000.)

Released in United States October 2000 (Shown at AFI Fest 2000: The American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival (New Directions) October 19-26, 2000.)

Released in United States November 2000 (Shown at London Film Festival (World Cinema) November 1-16, 2000.)

Released in United States Fall November 10, 2000