Vincent and Lorraine

Vincent & Lorraine

A love story in three parts…

It’s 1982, and a debauched night out ends in heartbreak for Vincent and Lorraine, a barman and a cook at a South London pub.

20 years later, Vincent is divorced with two daughters. He drives a taxi and Lorraine runs a restaurant. They reconnect but it seems the ghosts of that night are still with them. It almost lasts a year.

By 2022, Vincent’s daughters are grown up. He’s discovered therapy and Lorraine is selling her business to a chain. They’re hitting 60, and a chance encounter feels like life might be dealing them a final chance to undo their mistakes and make up for lost time.

Vincent and Lorraine is the follow up to writer-director David Walter Hall‘s award winning debut feature Passing Through.

Selected for the first Lift-Off Global Network Script and Screenplay Showcase of 2024, and winner of Best Screenplay at the New Renaissance Festival Amsterdam, this feature-length romantic drama has parallels with Celine Song’s Past Lives, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy.

A project in development with a completed 95-page screenplay. Get in touch if you are interested in reading more.

Synopsis

Part 1

A night in Soho

It’s 1982, closing time at the Star and Camel, an unassuming Camberwell boozer. 21-year-old barman Vincent and 19-year-old cook Lorraine stay for a drink with the landlord and his friend Elvin. Lorraine doesn’t believe Elvin’s story about a local clown who is taking the artform to new heights. “Why isn’t he on telly then?” she demands, and Vincent cracks a smile.

Sam and Elvin hit the road and leave the keys for Vincent and Lorraine to lock up. Vincent suggest they go out on the town, but they’re running ahead of themselves. They have sex in the staff room upstairs, before they’ve even got changed to go out. They feel connected. Lorraine still wants to party, so they take the night bus into Soho.

A bat gets trapped on the bus. The driver has to stop and let everyone out while he and the ticket inspector set it free. The passengers cheer at the absurd spectacle and the night fills up with magic.

At the disco in Soho, Vincent is taking a long time at the bar, and Lorraine makes a decision she may never fully understand. Feeling alive and empowered, she slips off her underwear, and leads a man on the dancefloor upstairs to a fire escape, where she has sex for the second time that night, this time making it wanton and unfeeling. She finds Vincent with the drinks.

“Where’ve you been?” he asks.

“I’ll tell you later.”

They sit on a bench talking about everything and nothing into the early hours, falling in love. As the sun rises, Lorraine realises she has something she needs to share. She comes clean about the man on the fire escape. Vincent is devastated. He never wants to see her again.

Part 2

A difficult year

It’s 2002. Twenty years have gone by and Vincent has done the Knowledge and is working as a black cab driver. His fare asks him to go to a new restaurant in an upcoming part of town called Lorraine’s Plaice. “I knew a girl called Lorraine once,” he muses. “Fucking rotter.”

He’s still angry, and because this is a film, Lorraine is of course the same Lorraine we left in tears by the river twenty years earlier. She’s outside the restaurant with a customer. Their eyes meet. Vincent panics and drives off.

But he comes back. The next day he knocks on the door of the restaurant, and Lorraine invites him in for a coffee. Vincent shows her photos of his twin 6-year-old daughters. The divorce from their mum was for the best, he confides.

So they go out for a drink, and spend the night together.

A few happy weeks go by together and then tragedy strikes. Vincent’s brother has died of a suspected drug overdose. He needs to talk to someone, but Lorraine has to work. Vincent has a drink with his mates instead, and swings by the restaurant, only to find Lorraine in high spirits, drinking and partying with her customers. Betrayed again.

At the funeral, Vincent delivers the best man’s speech he wrote in case his brother ever got married one day. His parents get upset and Lorraine takes the twins outside.

Months pass. It’s now Christmas, and Vincent and Lorraine drive to his parents in Essex. Vincent’s anger surfaces again, this time at his father, who in Vincent’s mind never did enough to help his brother.

Spring comes and they’re thinking of buying a house together. But a knock comes on the door. One of Lorraine’s staff, who lives above the restaurant comes round to get some drugs Lorraine has been stashing for him. Vincent can’t believe it. Drugs killed his brother, why would she do this? She only says she didn’t want any drugs on the premises of her restaurant. He can’t tolerate her priorities.

And so he goes out and drinks. When she finds him she hears him complain to a stranger about what she did on the fire escape the night they first got together. She won’t even talk about it after that. She calls the whole thing off. Twenty years pass.

Part 3

Together again

It’s 2022. Vincent, aged 61, is having lunch with his grown-up daughters. One of them has unknowingly selected the new Brixton Market location of a popular seafood chain called Lorraine’s Plaice, the owner of which has lately become a well-known TV chef.

Vincent plays it cool, but lets slip he’s been to Lorraine’s Plaice before, and the girls suddenly remember. Was it a mistake to come here?

And because this is a film, Lorraine is there in the building meeting with her marketing team and business manager. She sees Vincent and comes over. It’s awkward but she just wants to say hello. She asks Vincent to let the floor manager know if he wants to see her later on, when they’ve eaten. She’ll be in the office upstairs.

The girls head off. Vincent vapes and considers the options. He invites her down, and they go for a stroll. But where to? Almost as a joke, they suggest the Star and Camel, where their story began. “Isn’t his weird enough?” asks Vincent.

Transforming for a moment, in front of his eyes, into her 19-year-old self, Lorraine turns and insists, “I love a bit of weird!” Is he falling in love all over again?

And so they end up back where they began, 40 years down the line. Vincent seems less angry now. He’s discovered NLP therapy, transformed himself and trained to become a therapist, to help others. Lorraine has gone from chef to successful business woman, but has skimped on the inner growth. She’s been too busy for that. Soon though, she’ll be selling the business to a group of venture capitalists who will roll out her brand across a hundred new locations.

What will she do with all her free time when she sells the company? Don’t just sit around says Vincent, “do something amazing.” With the fizzing of possibility in the air they transform into their younger selves in each other’s eyes. Silently they both understand what’s happening.

In the mirror in the loos, the young Lorraine gazes at the woman she’s become. She comes back out and complains: she’s on TV, people tell her she’s a national treasure, they want to put her face on a can of soup, but she feels disconnected; she doesn’t feel like anyone really loves her. Vincent diagnoses the problem: “You can’t stop pushing it away,” and she agrees. And as she gazes out the window, catching her younger reflection in the glass once again, he reaches over to her and adds, “maybe there’s still time.”

And so they seem to have found themselves at last, and each other. They walk off into the busy street, and disappear into the crowd.

Characters and casting

Vincent

Vincent evolves from a young barman to middle-aged cab driver, then NLP guru in his later years.

Casting possibilities

Actors to play the older Vincent, at ages 41 and 61 might include Jamie Bell, Riz Ahmed and Domhnall Gleeson.

Make-up would be used to age the actor in the final section. A lookalike would be cast to play the character at age 21.

Lorraine

Lorraine’s trajectory takes her from cook in a lowly Camberwell boozer, via running her own restaurant, to eventually become a TV chef, businesswoman and national treasure.

Casting possibilities

Actors to play the older Lorraine, at ages 39 and 59 might include Sheridan Smith, Sarah Snook and Lily Allen.

Make-up would be used to age the actor in the final part of the film. A lookalike would be cast to play the character at age 19.

Production

Vincent and Lorraine is a relatively low budget production that could be shot on below-the-line costs of under $1M. It has the potential to attract A-list talent in the two lead roles.

We hope to have a full budget breakdown available soon.

Director’s vision

The story grew from the idea that there are moments in our lives, particularly when we’re young, which while seeming free-floating and spontaneous, in retrospect come to define us. We can’t step back from them in real time. We can’t know if we’ll see those people again or return to that place. But as the years go by, these moments take on a deeper meaning.

The night out in 1982 is a moment that, for better or worse, defines Vincent and Lorraine for the rest of their lives. In psychological terms, we see a clash of insecure attachment styles: Vincent is anxious-preoccupied, Lorraine is fearful-avoidant. We see the same patterns in their relationship decades later. It is a tragedy of squandered happiness, lifted by the hope that things do sometimes fall into place in the end.

The music of that night will literally provide the themes that reverberate through the rest of their lives, the instrumentation shifting to acoustic guitars and then piano, but the melodies remaining the same, the themes used throughout the score taking us back to that night out in Soho, reminding us they are reliving those emotions again and again.

I’ll want the actors to aim for a tone of low-key naturalism, in contrast to the music and cinematography which will subtly hint towards the power of nostalgia and the uncertainty of memory. We’re seeing the story played out but did it really happen this way? Only the scenes in the near-present day will feel completely reliable.

David Walter Hall

Read the screenplay

Please get in touch to request a copy of the latest script.