Despite its somewhat romanticized handling of teenage and marital problems and a willing use of stock characters, Tumbleweeds manages to stand out from the crowd as an inspiring and real story of an immature mother and her precocious preteen daughter who drift across the American south looking for romance and stability, respectively. The key, besides writer/director Gavin O'Connor's deep care for his characters, is the remarkable performances from the two leads, and particularly British Janet McTeer as the mother. She looks and sounds as though she has never set foot outside of the confederate states, and on top of that is as fresh and idiosyncratic as any one film character I've seen in a while. Her interplay with young Kimberly J. Brown as the daughter is also fine, and it's through that Tumbleweeds produces the warmth which glosses over the film's more unremarkable characteristics, such as O'Connor's own character or the fairly predictable plotline.