Tragi-comedy from the margins of contemporary Irish life. Regarded by his neighbors as a harmless misfit, eliciting idle kindness, benign tolerance and occasional abuse, Josie has spent all his adult life as the caretaker of a crumbling petrol station on the outskirts of a small town in the mid-west of Ireland. He is limited, lonely, yet relentlessly optimistic and, in his own peculiar way, happy. But then over the course of a summer, Josie's world shifts. A teenager, David, comes to work with him. David likes him. They open up to each other and suddenly the lonely adult is drinking cans down at the railway tracks with the local kids. He is awakened to needs in himself that have never been met. And Carmel, from the local shop, who has always been kind to him, stirs feelings within him that he struggles to name. And then one thoughtless moment unravels the threads of faltering friendship. Events spiral. Josie's life is changed, forever.
A tragicomedy set in the world of gas stations in rural Ireland, where over-diligent employee of the garage searches for intimacy during the course of a life-changing summer.
- Josie (Pat Shortt) has lived his whole lonely life in a small Irish village, working in a garage for a former classmate, Mr. Gallagher (John Keogh). Gallagher, it is said, is waiting for the right offer from developers so he can sell. One day rolls into another for Josie with nothing but his menial job and a few pints in the local pub to entertain him. His drinking buddies in the pub, especially Breffni (Don Wycherley), mock him and his ways.
Josie seems oddly happy with his banal existence, however his working day in the garage is altered when his boss hires his girlfriend's son, David (Conor Ryan) to help Josie. Josie is content to talk to someone different and happy not to be labelled like he has been by the rest of the town. Soon, he joins David and other local teenagers down by the railway tracks drinking beer and he gets the courage to dance with a local shopkeeper called Carmel (Ann-Marie Duff). However Carmel appears to hurt Josie when she explains, explicitly, that she has no physical attraction towards him. As the friendship between Josie and David progresses, Josie shows David (who is 15 years old) a pornographic film which Josie received from a trucker who frequents the petrol station. Later on in the film, Josie is taken to the local Garda (police) station and informed that there has been a complaint made against him by David's mother who has found out that Josie has supplied David with alcohol and shown him inappropriate material. Josie is instructed to stay away from the town and especially to avoid contact with David or David's family. Josie stresses that it was all just a bit of "craic" and "pure innocent", but also feels disgraced and ashamed of himself. Josie's stress can be seen when he arrives home from the Garda station and pauses from his dinner to sigh, obviously agitated and confused. The film ends in slight ambiguity as we see Josie rise early in the morning and walk down to the local lake. There, he sits for a while, after which he removes his shoes, socks and cap and wades into the water. The final shot of Josie shows a rear shot of Josie progressing into the water, arms outstretched. The final clip of the film is of a horse walking towards the screen along the railway tracks. This is the same horse which Josie fed apples to earlier in the film. Just as the horse was locked in the field, so too was Josie locked into his own little world. It is assumed that Josie set the horse free and then set himself free by committing suicide in the lake.