Take What You Can is a 2013 American Drama film written and directed by David O. Russell starring Christian Bale, Jenna Fischer, Dave Franco, Anna Kendrick, Chris Cooper, Michael Shannon, Sally Field, Barbara Hershey and Jonathen Groff.

The film was a commercial box office and critical success earning much praise and securing an Oscar Nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as securing Golden Globes for Bale and Kendrick's performances and Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Franco, Shannon and Field's performances.

The film was released theatrically on June 18th, 2013 and is slated for DVD and Blu-Ray release November 12th, 2013.


A bitter New York doctor takes a short term sabbatical in a rural Virginian town after having a mental breakdown over his wife April (Jenna Fischer) divorcing him.

The cynical, unaffectionate manic takes to the beautiful small town of Carlisle, West Virginia where he barricades himself away from the more then welcoming local community, that is until he is called upon by a desperate broken 19 year old girl Henrietta Simons (Anna Kendrick) who tells her bestfriend is in hospital and no one is willing to help him.

Dr. Henry dismisses Henrietta at first but soon acting on the memory of April's final words to him before handing him his divorce papers comes to visit the hospitilised boy Harrison Miles (Dave Franco).

Harrison is a bright, aspiring 19 year old writer and formerly closeted town homosexual.

He however had been discovered in an intimate kiss with Carlisle's local 19 year old football hero Travis Lindberg (Jonathen Groff) the son of prestigious construction worker Walter Lindberg (Chris Cooper) who is close friends with the town mayor.

Harrison had been severley beaten by the other football players and a vast mob till he was pulled away by his life-long friend Henrietta and brought to the hospital, where after being stabilised in a tox report was diagnosed with Aids which is set to kill him.

The doctors, nurses and various other orderlies of Carlisle Community Hospital are forbidden from further treating Harrison by the Mayor's authority who is acting on his bestfriend Walter's wishes.

Angry mobs constantly stand outside the hospital and yell forth to Harrison's room and a beaten Harrison pleads with Dr. Henry to make it stop.

Henry feeling pity for him revolts against the local community with Henrietta and then tries to begin by starting a following beginning with him, Henrietta and Harrison's parents.

However after coming to Harrison's residence with Henrietta Henry discovers Harrison possesses a religious, abusive drunken father Robert (Michael Shannon) and an almost catanonic afraid mother Connie Miles (Barbara Hershey).

After a rally of outsiders are brought in to march on the town in defence of Harrison so as to ensure the staff of Carlisle Community Hospital assign Dr. Henry to the case of treating him they permit him to be taken and treated elsewhere out of the Mayor's jurisdiction.

Travis bids Harrison a farewell kiss and is overseen by his father who had been staking them out.

Later when Travis returns home he in turn is beaten for the kiss he shared with Harrison as Harrison himself is transported by Dr. Henry and Henrietta to April's apartment in Queens.

There she tends to him as Harrison is hospitilised at the apartment and is treated by Dr. Henry which helps to gravely improve Harrison's health. April follows an upset Henrietta out of her apartment to a park outside as Dr. Henry remains inside with Harrison and they share their private tragic life stories.

Henry tells he had to get a fodix when he was his age as he was born with bones incorrectly arranged in his right leg, he tells of the constant harassment he suffered from his classmates and that unlike Harrison he did not possess a wonderful friend like Henrietta, that he had none and he grew up with only his father who also ridiculed him and abused him as he was a malignant drunk.

Outside Henrietta shares her tragic story with April of how she grew up with Harrison and knew from the instant he gave her a daffodil at Carlisle Elementary in third grade that she was in love with him.

April tells that she had been a foster child all her life going from family to family of neglectful nasty parents until landing with a nice single woman Patricia Farming, who happened to live in Queens the one place she had always dreamed of living in.

She tells that she also dreamed of getting married and having plenty of children and experiencing a full family as the loving Patricia passed away due to breast cancer when she only her age.

The group soon then assemble then take Harrison through a tour of New York as he never seen the city having never ventured out of Carlisle.

April and Henry reconnect after Henrietta falls asleep that night at Harrison's bedside as they read a manuscript of Harrison's novel he had hoped of leaving Carlisle to publish, it is dedicated to his mother, Travis, Henrietta (listed as his soul mate) and with the now added in Dr. Henry Childstrom and April Childstrom.

Henry and April kiss but she shys away as they break out in an argument over what he did wrong in the first place which ended their marriage he was not ready to settle down. A miraculous recovery is made of Harrison and plans are made for the group to return him to Carlisle to pick up his belongings and return to NY to pass in his manuscript to a publishers April has connections with.

Dr. Henry takes Harrison back along with Henrietta and April and April gets into a fight with Travis' homophobic father who strikes down Harrison again.

Henrietta attacks Harrison's father and Dr. Henry and the authorities drive them apart.

April comes to apologize to Henry that night and says she wants a life with him again, if this time he's ready for it to which he states he is.

Henrietta helps Harrison pack up as he sees a beaten Travis and consoles with him.

Harrison comes to the Lindberg residence and confronts his parents verbally abusing them for their treatment towards their own son and how they are shallow horrible parents.

That night as Harrison embraces in a hug with his mother, finally reconnecting with her and breaking her free from her catatonic state he is shot and killed by Samantha Lindberg (Sally Field) who shoots him dead.

Samantha then grapples with guilt over what she has done and as Travis comes to her along with Walter Henrietta who had foreseen the whole tragedy gets Samantha's handgun and cocks it at her.

The authorities are alarmed to the scene by the neighbours and Dr, Henry leaves April to follow the police cars and paramedics to the Miles residence.

There he tries to negotiate with Henrietta who is ready to take Samantha's life.

He believes to habe gotten through to her but she ultimatley as begins to lower the gun pulls it back up and shoots Samantha twice in the chest killing her and a third bullet lands in Travis' shoulder blade.

The gun then goes empty as Henrietta attempts suicide and the authorities wrestle her to the ground as Walter, The Mayor, the locals and Dr. Henry watch on in horror.

Dr. Henry and April visit Henrietta in jail before her parents can arrive and in the months following Harrison's manuscript novel is published and becomes a New York Times best seller, the title called "The Difference Between Girls and Boys."

Dr. Henry has settled down with April and April has fallen pregnant.

In talking over names if they bear a boy they name it Harrison or a girl they name her Henrietta.

The film ends as Henrietta looks out her cell window and sees the playground from third grade where Harrison passed her a daffodil and told her you are my soul mate, the credits come as a guard announces to a tranced Henrietta that she has a visitor named Travis Lindberg.


  • Christian Bale as Dr. Henry Childstrom
  • Jenna Fischer as April Childstrom
  • Dave Franco as Harrison Miles
  • Anna Kendrick as Henrietta Simons
  • Chris Cooper as Walter Lindberg
  • Michael Shannon as Robert Miles
  • Sally Field as Samantha Lindberg
  • Barbara Hershey as Connie Miles
  • Jonathen Groff as Travis Lindberg
  • Chace Crawford as Austin Heckel
  • Angelica Huston as Esther Heckel
  • Ned Beatty as Mayor Kimball


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