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Set in rural Pennsylvania, Deb Callahan's life is changed forever when her teenage daughter mysteriously disappears. Deb is left to raise her young grandson and navigates the trials and tribulations of subsequent years, until a long-awaited discovery of the truth is revealed.
Rex ReedFull Review Excellent American Woman is elevated beyond its woes by Miller's galvanizing, astonishing and multi-dimensional centerpiece development of character. You can't take your eyes off her because she has the extraordinary pace and timing to make you feel what she's doing while she's doing it, and you can't wait for her to do more.
Slant MagazineFull Review Above Average American Woman is elevated by its performances, especially Sienna Miller's as Deb. There's a degree of simplistic wish-fulfillment in the conclusion of the Ray storyline, and another sudden fast-forward sees the film skipping over the potential fallout and lasting effects of abuse.
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In the cluttered bedroom of her hand-me-down home in rural Pennsylvania,
31-year-old single mom
and grocery store cashier Deb Callahan (Sienna Miller) squeezes into a
skin-tight dress and spackles on
makeup in prep for a late-night hookup. Leaving her moody teenage daughter
Bridget (Sky Ferreira) and her
infant grandson Jesse behind, Deb heads out to a drab motel for a disappointing
tryst with a married man.
Despite well-intentioned criticism about her reckless lifestyle choices from her
older sister Kath
(Christina Hendricks) and her widowed mother Peggy (Amy Madigan), Deb remains
That is, until Bridget mysteriously goes missing one night.
When the local police and a neighborhood search party fail to turn up a
single clue, Deb and her
family are forced to confront an unimaginable truth: Bridget may be gone for
good. Shattered by the loss of
her daughter, Deb's self-destructive coping method results in a bloody DUI crash
on the side of the road.
As time passes with no news of Bridget's whereabouts, Deb raises Jesse on her
own while striving to
better herself by enrolling in accounting classes. Following a physically
abusive relationship with a violent
boyfriend, Deb's life changes again when Kath's big-hearted husband Terry (Will
Sasso) sets her up on a date
with his gentle co-worker Chris (Aaron Paul). After a mere six weeks of dating,
the two get married in a small
but joyous backyard wedding ceremony.
Years later, Deb's world has substantially improved. She finds success
managing an assisted living
facility, and her cozy domestic life with Chris and Jesse is a far cry from the
wild instability of her past. Even
her previously fraught relationships with her sister and mother seem noticeably
healthier. But when personal
challenges and private betrayals threaten the delicate progress she's made, Deb
is forced once again to begin