By Joanna Langfield

I wanted to see this estranged father daughter drama because I am a long time fan of Thomas Haden Church. I come away from it now also a big fan of Dianna Agron.

Alex Lehmann brings a light but compassionate touch to familiar ground, allowing us to spend time in the spectacular Oregon woods with a young woman, seeking out the father who left many years ago. Lloyd lives in a somewhat stereotypical shack, decorated on the outside with demeaning tags from suspicious locals, neglected garbage and oddly marked videotapes inside. Maggie discovers her father, once a brilliant scientist, fills not just his days but his nights taking care of his dog and communicating with aliens he meets as they fly by earth in the wee hours.

Turns out the initially buttoned up Maggie may have more in common with Lloyd than we first might assume. So many dramas of this ilk work out that way. But that’s okay, primarily thanks to the tenderness Lehmann lets develop with what feels like a spontaneity and, even more so, the two leading performances, which are downright terrific. Agron, best known for her work on the TV series Glee, delivers a grounded and mature understanding of the timing of her character’s reveal. It’s impressive and compelling work. And Church, who has been able to stretch far from the initial splash he made on TV’s Wings, with, most memorably, his Oscar nominated supporting turn in Sideways, is perhaps at a career best here. He, too, takes his time in letting us get to know who Lloyd really is. I was with him every step of the way, even when the going got tough. It’s subtle and really superb work, one to be etched in the hearts of anyone who sees it.