At 52, Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan) lives a pretty monotonous but comfortable life. He's the absentee father of a grown son from a failed marriage, runs a small business, and visits the local diner regularly to flirt with career waitress Muriel (Karen Young). His past begins to resurface when he gets a call from Tom Kelly (Steve Buscemi), an old buddy on his deathbed. Tom believes he needs forgiveness from a fellow crewman, David Kagan, from their days in the Navy. The secret of what happened unfolds as Harry visits other old mates on his reluctant search for David. As Harry is forced to confront the past he's buried for so long, one wonders—is he searching for Tom's redemption or his own?
Director Bette Gordon (also showing a restored version of her 1983 film Variety at the Festival this year) carefully maneuvers a script by Nicholas T. Proferes (editor/cinematographer of Elia Kazan's The Visitors) by delicately unraveling what happened between the vets. Jamey Sheridan naturally conveys the complexity of Harry's demeanor, both stoic and vulnerable. The rest of the cast—including Aidan Quinn, Campbell Scott, and John Savage—beautifully contributes to this quiet, poignant story of redemption, escaping the past, and confronting the present.