Burn After Reading
BURN AFTER READING
The Abridged Script
INT. DINNER PARTY
GEORGE CLOONEY, JOHN MALKOVICH, and TILDA SWINTON all converse during a party.
I just lost my job at the CIA, but just to make sure that nobody in the audience has anyone to sympathize with in the movie, I'm going to act like an arrogant prick to everyone.
Since I didn't win an Oscar for my performance in 'Michael Clayton' I'm going to give up on subtle performances entirely and overact my way through this whole thing.
And I'm going to be a stuck-up, raging bitch, thereby completing the trifecta of loathsome lead characters.
TILDA stops fucking JOHN and starts fucking GEORGE who is also fucking ELIZABETH MARVEL who disappears from the fucking MOVIE which is fucking over the AUDIENCE. Fuck.
FRANCES MCDORMAND quirks her way around the GYM where she works with BRAD PITT.
Whoa, like, hey, I found this CD belonging to John Malkovich and it's all sorts of data and shit! Too bad there were no MP3s for me to put on my Apple brand iPod. iPod: rediscover your music.
Whoa, Brad Pitt? I didn't know you still did movies that didn't require you to wear expensive suits or rob casinos. What's with the, you know, acting?
I was watching all these awesome movies from the late nineties and realized I was in half of them. Figured I should ignore the fact that I'm too old for this kind of role and try again.
Oh, well lets blackmail the guy who lost this CD so I can pay for cosmetic surgery to make me look less like John Tesh.
The two of them are STUPID and therefore HILARIOUS. They get into WACKY HIJINKS that almost get close to making a POINT but luckily NEVER DO.
You two are in over your head.
Because we're casually dabbling in blackmail, espionage, and treason?
No, because you're starring in a movie that is obviously a forgettable, throwaway palate cleanser of sorts made to follow up "No Country for Old Men" and absorb the bulk of post-Oscar-win-criticism. I've already forgotten this movie and it's only half over.
FRANCES and BRAD continue to try and make money from the discovery of a CD containing JOHN MALKOVICH'S screenplay for a jewel thief movie. FRANCES also starts dating GEORGE CLOONEY.
Hey, come down to my basement and check out this thing I made. It's a chair that shoves a dildo up your vagina as you rock back and forth on it.
What the fuck does this have to do with anything?
I dunno, apparently it keeps getting rejected from every Coen movie and finally landed in this one or something. Isn't it super wacky? It's a totally inappropriate sexual device smack-dab in the middle of a movie that gains nothing whatsoever from it's inclusion!
That's so zany! Plus it pads the movie out a little longer!
They FUCK. GEORGE also fucks TILDA some more. Eventually GEORGE gets startled by BRAD PITT and shoots him in the FACE.
Oh God! What have I done?! I've murdered the only remotely entertaining part of this utterly pointless movie!
The audience members are all checking their watches to see if it's early enough in the movie to get their money back, let's hurry and tie up all the loose ends. And by "tie," I of course mean "completely ignore."
Alright, let's finish your story by having me suddenly leave your house and never hear from you again at all.
Great, then you can run away in the middle of the park and never be heard from again as well!
Telling a story sure is easy when you don't bother actually telling it!
INT. CIA HEADQUARTERS
DAVID RASCHE is explaining the events of the movie to CIA DIRECTOR J.K. SIMMONS.
...and then Frances McDormand's other coworker broke into Malkovich's house, so Malkovich killed him with a gun and a hatchet and a flamethrower. Oh, and then our guy saw it and intervened, killing Malkovich. Let's see, then we picked up Frances, and then we gave her the money for her surgery. The end.
Is this how movies end now? Just have a character say the ending out loud on camera? Jesus. What did we learn from all of this?
That actors will agree to be in your movie without even reading the script if you've just won the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars?