Lost and Delirious (2001) - Plot Summary Poster


Showing all 6 items
Jump to:


  • Lost and Delirious is the story of three adolescent girls' first love, their discovery of sexual passion, and their search for identities. Set in a posh, private boarding school surrounded by luxuriant, green forest, Lost and Delirious moves swiftly from academic routine, homesickness, and girlish silliness to the darker region of lover's intrigue.

  • A newcomer to a girl's boarding school is befriended by her two new roommates, and later discovers they are lovers. When one of the lovers decides she doesn't dare continue the relationship, the other becomes desperate in her attempts to win her back.

  • Mary Bradford is a shy, naive, freshman newcomer to a fancy girls boarding school where she strikes up a friendship with her two senior roommates, the overachieving Tori Moller, and the voraciously poetry reading, unapologetic, closeted lesbian Paulie Oster. As Mary tries to adjust to her new surroundings, with some guidance from the local groundskeeper Joe Menzies, she soon learns that Paulie and Tori are lovers. When Tori, under pressure from her classmates, wants to break it off with Paulie, she resorts to extreme measures to win Tori back.

  • When her father re-marries after the death of her mother, Mary Bedford finds herself bundled off to a posh girls boarding school. She's never been to boarding school before and it's all quite daunting at first. Soon however she makes friends, including her two roommates, Tori and Paulie, whom she soon realizes are lovers. She also becomes quite friendly with the gardener, Joe Menzies, and helps him on the school grounds as it reminds her of working with her late mother in the family garden. When Tori decides to end her relationship with Paulie however, tragedy ensues.

  • A newcomer to a posh girls boarding school discovers that her two senior roommates are lovers.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Mary (Mischa Barton) is a 14-year-old freshman new student at an all-girls boarding school located somewhere in rural Ontario and she is assigned a dorm room with Paulie (Piper Perabo) and Victoria, nicknamed Tori, (Jessica Paré), two seniors. In an effort to get the shy Mary to break out of her shell, Paulie and Tori involve her in their activities, such as running in the morning. When they hear that Mary's mother has recently died, Paulie nicknames her "Mary Brave." On Mary's first day at the school, Pauline turns a quiet afternoon on the campus into a music-blasting dance party and spikes the punch with hard liquor. Another day later, Pauline defends Victoria from a frustrated math teacher who humiliates her when she does not understand basic math.

    Mary observes the intimacy between her two roommates. Peering out a window at night, she sees them kissing on a roof. Paulie and Tori's relationship is close and Paulie is full of life. Over time, Paulie and Tori become more comfortable showing affection in front of Mary. It progresses from a quick kiss on the lips in front of her to the two sharing a bed and having lesbian sex while Mary is sleeping.

    When the three are out jogging one day, Paulie comes across a hurt falcon, which she befriends. After reading up on falcons, she trains the animal while keeping it in a makeshift birdhouse on the roof of their dorm building. While she is tending to the falcon, Mary and Tori meet some boys from the nearby boys school. One of them, named Jake, flirts with Tori, asking if she will be attending her brother's 18th birthday party and making it clear that he likes her. When Mary and Tori are alone, Tori expresses disgust at the boy's interest in her, saying, "He liked my tits." When Mary asks if she'll go to the party, Tori says, "And have all those gross guys groping me? No, thanks. I'd rather stay home and do math."

    Meanwhile, on the sides, Mary spends time with the local groundskeeper Joe Menzies (Graham Greene) whom she volunteers to help him work with landscaping around the campus. Mary confides in Joe about her troubled home life and her lack of parental attention by her father whom has began neglecting her following her mother's death and focus his attention to her stepmother whom treats Mary badly. Joe encourages Mary to live out her frustration and unhappiness through work.

    One morning, Victoria's sister, Allison (Emily VanCamp), another freshman student, and her friends rush into the room to wake up the older girls. Paulie is lying in Tori's bed, both clearly topless. Horrified silence falls over everyone. Mary pushes Tori's sister out of the room and closes the door. Tori angrily tells Paulie to get out of her bed. Paulie tries to downplay the situation, and Tori tells her she doesn't understand, explaining that her sister will tell her parents about it.

    When confronted by Allison, Tori tries to extinguish her sister's suspicions by telling her that Paulie has an unrequited crush on her and crawled into her bed. Her sister promises to "fix" the rumors about Tori and not tell their parents anything. As she walks away from this conversation, Victoria collapses into tears.

    In the school library, Victoria explains to Mary that her conservative family, her parents and her sister, are strongly opposed to homosexuality, and she must stop the relationship with Paulie to prevent their rejection. Mary sympathizes with both of her friends, as she too feels rejected by her father, who does not bother to show up to a father/daughter dance. In the forest at night, Tori and Jake have sex against a tree. Both Mary and Paulie accidentally witness this scene and run back to their room before Tori returns.

    When Tori returns to the room, Paulie asks her where she's been and Tori says she was with a friend. Paulie lashes out at her by telling her that she saw what Tori and Jake were doing in the woods. In a very poignant moment, Tori tells Paulie that the intimacy that they had shared will never happen again but she (Tori) would always love her, both as a friend and as a lover.

    At this point onward, Paulie rapidly degenerates into psychotic behavior over Tori's withdrawal from their relationship. She smashes a mirror and hurls a dish cart to the ground and begins to act out in belligerent ways in class and out of it. A rejection letter from the agency that handled Paulie's adoption, which informs her that her birth mother denied a request from Paulie to get in touch, further sends her over the edge.

    When Paulie is called into the headmistress Fay Vaughn (Jackie Burroughs) office over mouthing off one too many times to a teacher, Paulie refuses to talk to Headmistress Vaughn about her recent behavior or what is bothering her. The headmistress suggests that Paulie is going through a nervous breakdown, but Paulie says that it's not the reason and storms out of the office. Later, when Headmistress Vaughn confronts Paulie on the school's quad, Paulie finally confides in her about her romance with a female student who ended it out of shame (without naming Tori's name). The headmistress is suprisingly very sympathatic with Paulie. She tells Paulie that when she was younger, she suffered a nervous breakdown too when her "girlfriend" abandoned her in a similar situation, but the headmistress got over it and offers emotional support for Paulie. But Paulie refuses to talk anymore and walks off.

    Meanwhile, Victoria, clearly ashamed at her lesbianisum, creates an fabricated image of her heterosexuality to her friends and her sister by dating Jake Hollander (Luke Kirby) from a nearby all boys' school and avoiding Paulie.

    One day in the woods, Paulie declares a fencing duel to the death with Jake. Jake is not taking her seriously until he ends up on the ground after being slashed, with Paulie brandishing a sword above him. She demands that he give up Tori. When he refuses, she stabs him in the leg. Mary rushes to stop her and Paulie runs off.

    Mary runs to Victoria's soccer match, where the headmistress, math teacher and fellow students are congregated. Upon reaching the group, Mary sees Paulie, sobbing from the top of a nearby building while holding her falcon. Whispering: "I rush into the secret house," (a reference to Shakespeare on suicide) Paulie jumps to her death, and as she falls, the injured falcon flies out of the doomed Paulie's hands into the air. The final shot shows the recovered falcon flying away into the bright blue sky background.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page