count on

You Can Count on Me

You Can Count on Me is a 2000 movie, starring Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin and Matthew Broderick, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. It tells the story of Sammy, a single mother living in a small Catskill town and her complicated relationships with family and friends.


As children, Sammy and Terry Prescott lose their parents to a car accident. Years later, Sammy (Laura Linney), a single mother and lending officer at the local bank, still lives in her childhood home in Scottsville, New York while Terry (Mark Ruffalo) has drifted around the country, scraping by and getting in and out of trouble. After months of no communication with his sister, Terry is desperate for money, and comes to visit her and her son Rudy (Rory Culkin) who are excited about reuniting with their estranged loved one. Upset with Terry's situation, Sammy lends him the money which he mails back to his girlfriend. However, after his girlfriend attempts suicide he decides to extend his stay with his sister, which she welcomes.

For a school writing assignment, Rudy imagines his unknown father as a fantastic hero. Sammy only gives him vague descriptions of the truth while Terry lets his feelings be known about Rudy Sr.'s abandonment. Sammy rekindles a relationship with an old boyfriend, but is surprised when he proposes to her after a short time. She responds that she needs time to consider it.

At the bank, Brian (Matthew Broderick) is the new manager who tries to make his mark with unusual demands about computer color schemes and daily timesheets. He is particularly tough on Sammy, requesting that she make arrangements for someone else to pick up her son from the school bus rather than leaving work. After some minor arguments they end up having an affair, despite Brian's wife being six months pregnant.

Meanwhile Terry grows close to Rudy during the time they spend together. Yet he pushes the limits of Sammy's parental control during a late night game of pool at a bar. She turns to her minister (Kenneth Lonergan) to counsel Terry about his outlook on life. He resists his sister's advice but stays on good terms with his nephew. Realizing her own questionable decisions, Sammy turns down her boyfriend's marriage proposal and breaks off her relationship with Brian.

After a day of fishing together, Terry and Rudy decide to visit Rudy Sr. in Auburn. Confronted by his past, Rudy Sr. (Josh Lucas) is incensed, leading Terry to assault him and get arrested. Sammy brings her brother and son home the next morning and asks Terry to move out, which he does the next day. He plans to go back to the coast and scoffs at Sammy's suggestion to remain in town and get his life back on track. At first, it appears the separation will be another heartache, but they reconcile before Terry leaves, coming to terms with their individual life styles.



AFI Fest (2000)

  • Best New Writer
  • New Directions Award

Boston Society of Film Critics Award (2000)

  • Best New Filmmaker

Humanitas Prize (2001)

  • Feature Film Category

Independent Spirit Awards (2001)

  • Best First Feature
  • Best Screenplay

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards (2000)

Montreal World Film Festival (2000)

  • Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention
  • Best Actor: Mark Ruffalo

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (2000)

  • Special Achievement Award

National Society of Film Critics Awards (2001)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards (2000)

  • Best Screenplay

Satellite Awards (2001)

  • Best Screenplay, Original

Sundance Film Festival (2000)

  • Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic
  • Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (2000)

Writers Guild of America Award (2001)

  • Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

External links

Search another word or see count onon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature