Aidan Quinn plays Tom Guthrie, a small-town Colorado schoolteacher whose wife, suffering severe depression, has left him. Tom must care for their two young sons, who strike up an unlikely friendship with the town’s elderly spinster, Iva Stearns. Rachel Griffiths plays Maggie Jonas, a fellow teacher of Tom’s. She, too, is emotionally vulnerable. She has long been caring for her ailing father and has been divorced for many years.
When a student at Tom and Maggie’s high school, 17-year-old Victoria Roubideaux, becomes pregnant by an aggressively irresponsible boy, and is thrown out of her home by her overwhelmed single mother, it affects Tom, Maggie, and others in ways both subtle and dramatic. Maggie proposes that Victoria go to live with two crusty old bachelors, the McPheron brothers, who have a ranch nearby. At first, Victoria and the brothers keep a wary distance. Ultimately, they embrace her as a member of their own family — but not before their capacity to forgive is sorely tested.
“Plainsong” is a touching story about how people you would least likely suspect can help you at the time you need it most. Tom just had his wife leave him and his two boys. If that’s not enough, he has to deal with a delinquent student assaulting him and then being forced to pass the kid. His boys, feeling weighted by their mother, look for attention in the form of an old lady and two brothers who live all by themselves. Meanwhile, Victoria is saddled with a baby sired by a boy who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. She gets help from a teacher at school, who is also Tom’s love interest. Everyone comes together with two old brothers who live all alone when they all find a way to help everyone else and put their own problems aside.