24 - Synopsis

1) 8 guests of differing nationalities are gathered in the bedroom of a luxury Spanish resort hotel to comfort Bernhard (bar), a holidaying Dutch businessman whose wife has just run off with the tennis pro. When a Dane, Haakon (ten), suggests that her escapade may just be a 24-hour folly, it prompts an elderly Scottish lady, Irenë (sop), to give an account of her own experience.

2) The lights dim Irenë recounts how the death of her husband in an air accident 20 years previously left her rich but destroyed all sense of purpose in her life.

3) Visiting the Monte Carlo Casino she watches a handsome young American ( Lee played Haakon ) lose all his money, and seeing that he intends to harm himself she follows him outside, and eventually persuades him to come with her to a hotel.

4)  Awakening with him in the morning, she hears Lee’s story. To feed his gambling addiction he has stolen from an evangelist and also his ex-fiancée’s mother.

5) Irene spends the day helping him organize his return to the US and, tho not religious herself, finds amazing peace of mind in joining him rededicating his life to God in a chapel they pass. Giving him money to repay his debts, she takes him to the airport but has to leave for tea with her late husband’s relatives before the flight departs.

6) During tea she slowly realizes that altho she doesn’t love Lee , he is the first person to give her life meaning since the death of her husband. She feels impelled to follow him to the US, and disconcerts her relations by leaving abruptly.

7) But Irene is too late to board the flight.

8) Disconsolate she returns to the casino where, in horrified disbelief, she sees Lee at the very same table gambling again but this time winning. He gives no sign of seeing her but as Irene watches he begins to lose. Quixotically Lee stakes everything and when he loses he lunges at Irene , knocking her down, and accusing her of being a jinx. As Lee is dragged away Irene looks up and see her relatives staring down at her with undisguised contempt.

9) The scene returns to Bernhard’s bedroom which has now descended into twilight. Everyone sits in silence for a moment, but as they prepare to leave Bernhard’s wife’s phone rings. He grabs it and walks out of earshot onto the patio speaking excitedly in dutch. The other guests depart musing on the events.

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