Mottern directs this straightforward relationship drama about a tough, isolated woman without melodrama or sentiment. It's not a romance, although Nathan Fillian is fine as Monaghan's love interest. It's more of a coming-of-age story about a mother learning how to connect with her kid. I'd take this one over The Boys Are Back any day.
While Monaghan makes the most of a juicy role, I doubt that the Oscar buzz surrounding this film will land her a nomination. She probably has as good a chance as Clive Owen of winding up in the Oscar derby, because the movie won't be widely seen. Maybe the Indie Spirits will come through with a nomination, as they did for Wendy and Lucy's Michelle Williams last year.
[Photo of Monaghan by Henny Garfunkel.]