George Gattling is a man out of place in the world and out of placein his own skin. He lives with his divorced sister Precious, and her 20 year-old autistic son, Fred. He's also the unwitting case study of a "life-gone-wrong" for Betty, a young psychology student who works at his shop. George seeks salvation in hawks. He dreams of capturing and training the noble birds of prey, a passion he shares with Fred. After several years of failed attempts, George and Fred capture the most magnificent bird they have ever seen - the red-tailed hawk. That night, George experiences a tragedy greater than he's ever known. Grief stricken, George sees in the hawk his only hope of survival - but his obsession with taming the bird may cost him what ever he has left.