A sincere heartfelt film that examines one family’s efforts to deal with the mess left behind from a mother’s suicide. Oldest daughter and single mother Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) develops naturally through the piece as she tries to balance her need to send her son to a better school with her desire to impress her high school friends. Unfortunately, her growth seems to happen because it is supposed to, rather than as the result of some significant relationship with another.
The candidates for such a meaningful relationship were there—her sister, her father, the one-armed shopkeep—any of those could have provided an alternative approach to life through which to challenge Rose. There is one scene at the end, with her sister in the bathroom, that is precisely the kind of emotional argument the story needed more of. As a result of this missing piece, the end seems to be a matter of convenience rather than the proof of some meaningful argument.
That being said, the film is worth seeing if for no other reason than to experience the sincere earnestness through which Adams’ Rose deals with the emotional baggage thrust upon her.