When Valerie (Sheila McCarthy) returns home from prison years after killing her neighbour in an apparent drunk driving accident, she wants nothing more than to move on — until the deceased’s son shows up at her door and it becomes clear that the past is not easily forgotten.
After years in prison for a drunk driving accident causing death, former convict Valerie Walker (Sheila McCarthy) returns home. She is greeted by her daughters, Eleanor (Katie Boland) and Zoe (Grace Glowicki), and the three hit a burger joint before returning to their suburban home. The community keeps to itself and Valerie plans on moving on without revisiting any of the events she has had years to ponder.
But the deceased man's son Mark (Noah Reid) soon shows up at Valerie's door. He comes for closure, but makes his suspicions about Valerie's motives crystal clear as he does his intention to dig until he hits the core. Exasperated, Valerie needs to keep at bay past witnesses, an inquisitive therapist, and a creeping Mark, all while protecting her daughters.
The acerbic wit of the script by directors Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley is astonishing. Tonally, Cardinals' razor-sharp dark humour permeates through a genuinely gripping psychological thriller.
McCarthy's towering performance is at the centre of it all, as her character navigates the palpable malaise that her return has triggered while testing whether what goes around always comes around.