Acres of Diamonds

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Crime/Drama/History, USA, 2013

Synopsis Nucky Thompson walks down a dark hallway and checks out the view from his posh oceanside hotel room in Tampa. We next see him meeting with Bill McCoy, a Florida bootlegger who's still stinging from the Navy cracking down on a liquor shipment of his. Bill shows off his machete skills, precisely slicing a coconut to drink its milk. Bill is trying to talk Nucky into doing business with him and another man named Tucker. Bill tells Nucky, "Tucker is very excited to meet you.""Most people are," Nucky replies, "until they do."Richard Harrow is back home burying his pistol.Dr. Narcisse is teaching a course to a small group of black men about "the new Negro." The men leave and Arnold Rothstein is introduced to him. Dr. Narcisse says it is "an honor" to have made Rothstein's acquaintance. Dr. Narcisse is apparently interested in getting into the heroin business to sell to black people. Dr. Narcisse is offended when Rothstein asks for large bills. Rothstein makes it clear he didn't mean to offend, but Dr. Narcisse doesn't dwell on it and asks who to pay. Rothstein says his finance man, Mr. Diamond, will be in touch. Dr. Narcisse stands and Rothstein leaves as Dr. Narcisse sassy he has "other business with Mr. Madden." After Rothstein leaves, Dr. Narcisse tells Madden he needs a performer from The Cotton Club to work elsewhere. Dr. Narcisse tells Madden that "Mr. Pastor will not be returning."Richard doesn't seem very amused by a guy named Hugh who is paying a visit to the house, and calling Richard "Rick." After Hugh leaves, Richard and Emma joke about Hugh's riveting conversation about gravel. Richard remarks that Hugh might not be much of a brother-in-law, but Emma says he's nice enough and comes from a nice family. Richard lays some money on the table and tells Emma to take it and pay the back taxes. Emma insists she did pay them and isn't going to pay them twice. Richard is confused.The wind is blowing in Tampa and Nucky is eavesdropping on a young guy talking people into real estate in Tampa. The guy's name is Skeeter Walsh and Nucky engages him in some conversation and buys the guy a drink to find out more. He wants it "square." Skeeter explains that he and other guys are "binder boys," who take 10 percent of the purchase price on new housing and he says it's booming. He says there were nine binder boys last year and there are now 74. Nucky's intrigued.A bunch of college kids are listening to a speech on a phonograph when Willie Thompson, Eli's son, convinces some girls to meet in the basement later be promising that he knows someone who can provide some booze. Willie's offer makes him look good, both to a girl named Doris he seems interested in, and to the apparently leader of the guys, Henry -- who is also interested in Doris.Gillian is visiting a home with Roy Phillips, the man who'd previously looked at her place and is in the area to set up a new Piggly Wiggly, and he asks if she'll join him for a dinner with a colleague and his wife. The caveat is that he needs her to pretend to be his wife because the colleague doesn't know Roy is getting a divorce. Gillian actually seems happy to do it.Chalky gives Dunn Purnsley some orders to move some tables around. Purnsley feels this is beneath him, but he's on Chalky's bad side. Soon enough, in walks singer Daughter Maitland, who is brought in by Dr. Narcisse. She's stunning and Chalky and Purnsley take notice. Chalky, annoyed Purnsley is still standing behind him, tells him "those tables ain't going to set themselves." Dr. Narcisse sends Daughter along to the dressing room and stays behind to talk to Chalky. Dr. Narcisse tells Chalky she'll be performing for the week. Chalky says, "I hope you're asking, not telling." Dr. Narcisse clarifies that he's offering the talented singer if Chalky will have her. Chalky shouts at Purnsley again about the tables. Chalky tells Dr. Narcisse, who asks about Purnsley having been the manager of the staff, that Purnsley does what Chalky tells him to do. Dr. Narcisse says, "When men make themselves into brutes, it is just to treat them as brutes."Willie and a bookish-looking friend drive up to a liquor warehouse and Willie comes in and introduces himself to Mickey Doyle, who isn't impressed. Willie says he's hoping to get some booze for a party, but Mickey rudely tells him to take a hike. Willie grabs a case on the way out the door and one of the guards grabs Willie. Mickey walks over and shoves him against a stack of crates and slaps him in the face. Mickey threatens to call Willie's dad, but Willie begs him to keep him out of trouble. Mickey gives in and tells Willie to keep it all between them. He lets Willie take the booze. Willie does and thanks him.Richard is going through relics in the barn and comes across a book. He flips through some pages and brings it with him, among other things. There's a glow of sunlight coming through the roof and Richard takes his mask off for a moment to let the light hit his uncovered face. Soon enough, Carl Billings, the man who hired Richard to kill his two business associates. Carl has another man with him, who is pointing a gun at Richard. Carl has his man get Richard's wallet and Carl looks through it. Richard suddenly pulls a knife and stabs Carl's guard. Carl comes over and, after Richard's mask falls off in the scuffle, steps on Richard's hand and points his gun at Richard. Looking at Richard's face, Carl says, "Jesus, I'm doing you a favor." Carl cocks the gun and just as he's about to pull the trigger, another gunshot rings out. Emma stands, stunned, in the doorway of the barn holding the shotgun she just used to save her brother's life.Nucky shows up at night for his meeting with Tucker in Tampa. Tucker toasts "to new friends, and all." A waitress joins in on the toast, but Tucker slaps her on the rear and tells her to scram. Tucker asks Nucky if he's ready to get rich. Nucky says he isn't joining in on their venture because the land around Tampa is being developed and the liquor trucks would attract too much attention rumbling down Main Street by the church. Tucker is incensed. Nucky gets up to leave and apologizes, telling them to find a new partner. Tucker says he doesn't like having his time wasted and Nucky replies, "You're not the one who came all the way down here." On his way out, Nucky thanks the waitress for her hospitality.Daughter Maitland is on stage at The Onyx Club and Gillian is in the audience with Roy. Gillian is playing the role of Roy's wife, but throwing a few curve balls. She spills Roy's hopes of getting the man's company to merge with Piggly Wiggly, and later suggests some spiked coffee. She then quips that Roy tried to marry her when she was still underage. Gillian gets up to powder her nose and the man's wife joins her. Chalky and Dr. Narcisse watch Daughter singing and Chalky says "white folks seem to like her.""Yes, that would seem to be important," Dr. Narcisse replies, trailing off as Chalky walks away. He then finishes, "to you."Willie's friend is trying to impress the ladies with the shotgun-holding guys he and Willie came across to get the booze, but one isn't interested. Willie is getting congratulated by some guys for scoring the liquor but he's watching the main cool guy, Henry, getting aggressive with the girl Willie was first trying to impress by offering to get booze for the party. Doris walks away and Willie steps in front of Henry to stop him from following. Doris asks Willie to walk her home. Upstairs, Doris takes Henry to the library -- then kisses him.Bill, who arranged Nucky's meeting with Tucker says he owes Tucker more than $200,000. Tucker said he'd forgive the debt if the guy got Nucky involved. Bill tries to convince Nucky that Tucker has the whole thing figured out, but Nucky says it's a bad deal. Bill asks what he's going to do and Nucky tells him he'd made his bed. Bill says he thought Nucky was a friend, but Nucky says that if he'd come to him as a friend it would be different. Bill apologizes for having made a mistake."Well, look at you now," Nucky says. Bill leaves.After dinner, Roy and Gillian are laughing about how many fibs they had to come up with to get through dinner. Roy tells Gillian he thinks they "make a pretty swell team." A man comes by and tells Gillian that they've met before. The man is a friend of Roger's and his repeated questions make Gillian uncomfortable. Roy stands up to confront the guy and tells him to leave. He does. Gillian tells Roy she has no idea what that was about and excuses herself to use the restroom. Inside, shoots some heroin. She comes back out and sits across from Roy, who asks if she's OK. She says she's fine, then notices the ice cream melted.Willie and Doris are still making out in the library when Henry leads a whole group of people into the library to interrupt. Willie pushes Henry to the ground and threatens him for touching him. Henry stands up, looks down at Willie's pants and says, "Well, it looks like your anger isn't the only thing that's risen." Willie storms out, embarrassed.Nucky comes back to the restaurant where the meeting happened. The waitress is still there. They have a little chat about being alive. Nucky says he recalls he once was, before Prohibition. Before that he was a "simple, run-of-the-mill crook -- a corrupt city official." He says he was happy, with plenty of money and friends, "then, suddenly, plenty wasn't enough." She's not buying it, saying, "Anybody who says money doesn't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop." Nucky mentions his son's birthday is the next day. He clarifies that Teddy isn't with him. He's in Brooklyn. Nucky says it might be best to let Teddy forget him. The waitress chides him for the convenience of thinking "the best choice is the one that requires the least amount of effort on your part." Her name is Sally, and she says she knows all about Nucky because he's all Tucker's been talking about. She asks for a cigarette. She says they're friends and do some business. Nucky asks if Tucker is dangerous and Sally says he'd kill you if he had the chance, but he's not too smart. Nucky asks how someone like that got to run the rackets down in Tampa and she says, "Enough money and the right connections, you can do pretty much anything down here."Things are winding down at The Onyx Club at the end of the night and Dr. Narcisse walks up behind Purnsley, who pulls a switchblade. They argue calmly about whether Purnsley would benefit from killing Dr. Narcisse, who says Dickie Pastor's "account has been settled, and, in any event, it was merely financial in nature." Dr. Narcisse sits down and says he's there on new business. Dr. Narcisse tells Purnsley that Chalky offered to give him up in exchange for Dickie Pastor."Chalky White ain't never been my friend," Purnsley says."That much is obvious," Dr. Narcisse says, pulling up a chair for Purnsley to sit in next to him. Dr. Narcisse slides some heroin across the table and asks Purnsley if he knows what it is. Purnsley correctly identifies it and Dr. Narcisse tells him "it is freedom, power" and control over men like Chalky."Where you going, friend?" Purnsley asks."As far as you'd like me to take you," Dr. Narcisse says. "But we shall go there together."Bill is in his room, drinking and depressed, when Tucker comes knocking and says they're going to "settle this." Tucker strangles Bill.Hugh is back and chatting Richard up about how run down the barn is. Hugh confides in Richard, who is about to leave for a train, that Emma thinks the world of Richard, "but you're only visiting." Hugh also says this isn't the kind of place Emma should be raising a child alone. Before he leaves, Richard tells Emma that in France when he couldn't sleep, he'd think about the day he would come home. He'd picture the yard, the flowers, the porch, their parents, Sampson and her, he tells her."Send me an address," she says, "if you want me to know where you are."Richard steps toward the car, but Emma tells him to come to her. She hugs and him and whispers in his ear, "You need to call yourself to account."Bellmen come to Nucky's door to get his bags, and there is a delivery. It's a small box. Nucky opens it and sees a toy lizard with a note, from Sally's bar, that reads, "For Teddy."In the hotel lobby, Nucky tries to make a call to Bill McCoy, who answers. Nucky says, "I'm in." Bill is confused, but Nucky continues, telling Bill, "Tell your hillbilly friend he answers to me," and again confirms that he's "in.""Sure, Nuck," Bill says, with a stunned looked on his face. "Right, of course."They end the call and Bill hangs up the phone. He slowly walks over to a chair. Tucker is slumped on the floor, with a machete still lodged in his head in front of a blood-splattered wall. Bill holds his head in his hands and cries.

Directed by Allen Coulter  

Starring Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Michael Stuhlbarg, more...

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