Aloft opens in a desolate desert of ice and snow where caravans of pilgrims, traveling in big rigs and camper vans, converge at the end of the world as if it’s the promised land. One of those desperate souls is Jennifer Connelly, cinema’s contemporary face of the female and almost holy capacity for sacrificing, suffering, and enduring. This seeker has two young sons: Gully, dying from a fatal (and pointedly unnamed) condition, is a sweet kid who adores his big brother; and budding falconer Ivan, resenting being dragged along on his mother’s obdurate odyssey to find a faith healer. She doesn’t believe; she just doesn’t have any better options at this point.
Years later, she’s become a guru healer in her own right, an Earth mother in the Arctic Circle who hasn’t seen Ivan in two decades. Meanwhile the estranged Ivan has grown into Cillian Murphy, he of the gentle blue-eyed countenance that suggests both fragile soul and budding serial killer.