Emerging filmmaker Malgoska Szumowska draws on her own life experiences to craft this semi-autobiographical drama concerning a woman who is suddenly prompted to re-evaluate her sense of self when her whole world begins to collapse.
Julia is a successful photographer with a loving husband and a beautiful home, though over the course of just one year her good fortune gradually begins to take a turn for the worse. Shortly after Julia's dog dies, her mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer and her career hits the skids.
The bad news seems to be snowballing, though with her husband overseas, her sister engaged in an affair with a priest, and her father becoming increasingly needy, the beleaguered woman has no one to turn to.
Now forced into a new kind of adulthood due to the close proximity of sickness and death, Julia gradually begins to accept the things that she cannot change in life by finding laughter in the most unusual places, and entering into an unexpected affair.
Over time, Julia learns to find courage in the chaos, and accept the inevitable pain as just another part of life.