When aspiring rock star Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) finally agrees to sign divorce papers with his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva), he discovers he is about to forfeit all custody of his six-year-old daughter, Ellen. Even though he’s never been in his daughter’s life before, Joby suddenly realizes he’s not ready to give up his right to fatherhood. When his good-natured lawyer (Jon Heder) is unable to make headway in reversing the decision, Joby arranges a visit with his daughter – but learns that perhaps it is too late for reconciliation.
The third feature written and directed by So Yong Kim (TREELESS MOUNTAIN, IN BETWEEN DAYS), FOR ELLEN stems from the filmmaker’s desire to understand her own father and an imagined confrontation if he ever returned to her. Using the stark beauty and vast farmlands of an American winter as its backdrop, the film charts Joby’s emotional journey as he realizes what he has lost – and what, if anything, can still be saved.