Beautiful Jane is a screenplay for an adult drama feature film. A film shoot along the North Shore of Prince Edward Island serves as the setting for this tale of visible and buried scars.
Beautiful Jane tells the story of Jane and William, a couple trying to salvage a marriage after the possibility of death forces them to take another look at life. After a long and debilitating battle with Crohn’s Disease and a ‘last resort’ Ileostomy, Jane, angry and resentful, lands at the Charlottetown Airport to join her fifty-something Film Director husband William as he tries to 'make good' for the decade of meaningless films he's made by memorializing his life through the creation of a self-penned film. The huge jagged scar and the blood red ‘alien on her belly’, frighten and disgust Jane, burning deep scars into her soul, eerily luring her into adding more by discreetly cutting herself in morbid fascination as she goes about her days watching a distant William at work. She sinks further and further into herself, even going so far as to allow William his sexual freedom because of her inability to find any beauty left within herself worth sharing.
Jane is drawn to Eli, a young Mi’k Maq Native Canadian working as the shoot's wrangler, whose painful memory of a pretty young mother lost forever to the dark abyss of suicide, is endured through the beauty he finds in the animals and nature that surround him. Eli draws the older man's wife into a new understanding of what it means to allow oneself to be loved despite physical and psychological scarring. Eli's passion for photography and Jane's inevitable post-surgery weakness converge in a surreal modelling shoot in a cemetery filled with 'lives lived', while William drives himself and the film crew crazy as he tries to discern meaning in his own life, which he knows is more frail, weaker and more scarred than Jane's. As Jane begins to find hope through Eli's unspoken vision of the beautiful world they share, conventional social barriers such as age are broken.
As the film progresses, William lives more and more on the blurred line between sanity and reality as he withdraws behind layers of self-built scars and walls. He submits to the unthinkable when he offers Eli cash to 'babysit' Jane so William can take his lover, Kyra, a selfish, jealous young First Assistant Director, to Halifax to a concert on Citadel Hill. William's mind crumbles more and more as the film shoot wears on and he becomes aware of the unusual friendship his wife shares with the young wrangler. The Director, strangely revered by his crew even as he teeters on a discernible psychological edge, loses all reason when it’s apparent both the shoot and his personal life are beyond his control. He terrorizes his followers and angrily abandons the set, tearing out to the unstable red sandstone cliffs of PEI in a rented middle-class SUV. He stares down the cliffs' treacherous beauty, bordered by the roiling Atlantic Ocean. Tempting fate, he guns the engine and screams out his anger to the wind before pulling a hard left moments before the eroding red soil beneath his tires would have given beneath the weight of his burden.
Jane's good friend Shauna, William's sister as well as the film crew's on-set continuity wardrobe gal, sees the couple's individual and collective angst somewhat objectively, and tries to provide unsolicited and hard-edged support, forcing them to confront their fears and stop hiding from reality. A zany Third Assistant Director named Mikey offers comic relief through his undying allegiance to a bossy Jane who doesn't care who she hurts as she flings slings and arrows in all directions as a reflection of her pain.
Inevitably some hard truths come to the surface as Jane and William finally ask themselves how they truly want to spend the rest of their lives - broken, afraid and essentially alone, or with all caution thrown to the wind so that they may live in a manner where they may find happiness.
Together Jane and Eli realize that age is simply a combination of experiences, and that beauty can be found within, as William comes to the painful understanding that some scars are invisible and sometimes those are the wounds that never heal.