Fourteen-year-old Joe (Ed Oxenbould) is the only child of Jeanette (Carey Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) - a housewife and a golf pro - living a seemingly idyllic life in 1960's Montana. His family's carefully constructed façade is about to come crashing spectacularly down, however, when Jerry loses his job - and his sense of purpose. In an attempt to restore his pride, Jerry takes off for the summer to help fight the wildfires raging near the Canadian border, a life-threatening job, for very little pay. An angry and bereft Jeanette must quickly learn to fend for herself, and does so with gusty, challenging cultural expectations and taking a quietly bewildered Joe along for the ride.
The acting makes this film.... a simple story of a family that has moved to Montana after many other moves. The mother seems a good one at the start, but life events change her life and perspective. It's really the son's story and how he views the family's life and transitions. One moral of the story - don't marry too young!