Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek star as Tom and Mae Garvey, struggling Tennessee farmers constantly one step away from foreclosing. Their farm sits next to a river that both nourishes their land and constantly threatens to overflow its banks and destroy their crops. The Garvey's sell some of their equipment for obscenely low prices at a foreclosure auction, at which some of their neighbours are forced to give up everything they own. The stoic Tom takes a job as a scab at a mill where the union workers are striking. Meanwhile, Mae has a platonic flirtation with local bank manager Joe (Scott Glenn), who saves her life when she's trapped under a heavy piece of farm equipment.
A story of hard working country folk struggling to meet payments. Pitting their lives against a wealthy businessman. The pace is glacial, the plot telescoped and the excitement nil. If you are not careful you will fall asleep.