Mary Kay Place (Claire Spencer)Nick Stahl (Tom Spencer)Chris Freihofer (Les Hector)Woody Watson (Glen Briggs)Martha Plimpton (Ainsley DuPree)Margo Martindale (Dorothy)Kevin Anderson (Jack Stillings)Wally Welch (R.J. Prichard)Larry Flynn (Jim Nutter)Richard Jenkins (Willard Sprague)Maggie Moore (Janice)Vernon Grote (Fast Food Customer)Gary Ragland (Lee)Hal Holbrook (Sheriff Rogers)Carolyn Wickwire (Mrs. Rogers)Toby Metcalf (Officer #1)Darryl Cox (Officer #2)Karen Carney (Mrs. Sprague)
Tim Blake Nelson
We see two stories told over four time lines, which wind down to a devastating ground zero collision, as we watch a double tragedy unfold in a small Oklahoma town. The two stories are told out of normal time sequence, showing us brief glimpses of the beginning, middle and end of the two stories in seemingly random order. One story concerns Ainsley DuPree, who meets and marries her prison pen pal Jack. The other story begins with the discovery of a mute and bloody teenager, found wandering and in shock in the middle of the night, and the efforts of the town sheriff to determine what happened to him. As the film unfolds these tales, the viewer is confronted with questions of the existence and mercy of God and the hopelessness of being alone and adrift in an indifferent world.