Mary Jo Walker (McTeer) is a Southern mother who hides her self-consciousness by overcompensating. She drinks, wears revealing outfits, and says things that other people would never even consider. Fleeing her latest abusive relationship, she and her daughter, twelve-year-old Ava (Brown), head out west. They eventually settle in Starlight Beach, California, and seem to be getting along just fine on their own, but it isn’t long before the cycle threatens to repeat itself. McTeer’s portrayal of Mary Jo is so seamless that one might forget she is even acting. Reminiscent of the character driven films that made 1970s Hollywood so exhilarating.