Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who oversteps her bounds in a mission to help one of her students. Lisa Spinelli (Gyllenhaal) is a dedicated teacher with a love of poetry who joins an evening class and shares her own compositions with the group and teacher (Gael García Bernal). When she discovers her five-year-old student Jimmy Roy (Parker Sevak) is prone to occasional outbursts of dazzling linguistic virtuosity, she is eager to nurture his burgeoning gift. Yet to Lisa’s frustration, none of the other adults in Jimmy’s life seem to care about his talents. Becoming fixated on the need to cultivate and archive the boy’s creative output, Lisa takes it upon herself to bring Jimmy’s words to the world. Out of this noble impulse, something far darker and obsessional develops.