The car journey to Arcadia – a small town in sunny California – takes several days. This is where Dad and the three kids are heading in their estate car packed to the brim. At the beginning of their trip everyone is in fine spirits. Apparently, it’s just another relocation, the future looks bright and Mum will be joining them soon. But it soon occurs to twelve-year-old Greta that something’s not right. What is Dad hiding from them? And what does her teenage sister know that she doesn’t?
The journey takes them right across the US, from motel to motel, snack bar to snack bar. Every day, Dad gets more irritable; he provokes embarrassing quarrels with other people and keeps having secret, heated conversations on his cell phone. Greta can’t seem to reach her mother on the phone. She’s really missing her. Every kilometre that brings the little family closer to California seems to make their world teeter. Actor-musician John Hawkes’ performance is convincing in the role of the father in young indie director Olivia Silver’s intelligent road movie. The use of music is sparing, instead, the sound of traffic noise, the nightly chirping of the cicadas and the wind that sweeps across the wide open spaces of North America dominates the soundtrack.