And that's it for any kind of plot here, except for maybe the subplot about Karen's burgeoning friendship with another man. But that's pretty much all you need in Michael Winterbottom's supremely naturalistic exploration of the hardships of the families of those behind bars in England where at least everybody seems very polite.
Not for everyone.
Filming over five years really does bring out the subtle changes, especially in the child actors, adding to the naturalism of it all. Shirley Henderson is fantastic in carrying the emotional weight.
Most viewers will no doubt find the film's lack of drama infuriating but the performances, (particularly Henderson's), and Winterbottom's subtle direction make it interesting up to a point. Ultimately however it's a much more successful experiment than it is a piece of story-telling. Michael Nyman's score, though a tad too dramatic for the proceedings it accompanies, is quite beautiful.