I put this in my NWI queue because of Brandon's review. Fortunately enough time passed that I forgot what it was about, so I was pleasantly surprised when a fairly typical story about a man who falls in love with a prostitute turned into something completely different. It's difficult to talk about the plot without giving away spoilers that really make the film what it is.
Suffice to say that it starts out as one movie, and then about 45 minutes in, something unexpected happens that changes completely the course of the film. I will agree with Brandon that the scene in which something unexpected happens is done in a completely unremarkable and utterly heartbreaking way. It gives me chills to think of her hand sliding on top of his for just a moment, then sliding back down again, and all the while he is unaware until after the moment passes.
Our protagonist goes back to his grandfather's farm after the botched bank robbery, not knowing that his grandfather's neighbor happens to be the police officer that is effectively responsible for botching it. Before too long, the robbery itself becomes incidental, and you find yourself less often wondering what happened to the money as you get involved in the characters' circumstances.
I don't actually think of this as a hopeful film. Alex gives up revenge of one sort, not necessarily because he forgives, but because it almost seems pointless to do so. Who would feed the cows? Besides this, he has enacted revenge of a completely different sort, as it seems evident that his child is resting in the womb of another man's wife. Which revenge is worse, really?
There is one relationship that does get some redemption--Alex and his grandfather soften towards each other to the point of developing a grudging respect for one another. There's a good chance that if the law doesn't catch up with him, Alex will be taking over his grandfather's farm, and living out his penance by chopping wood and taking care of livestock until they have to carry him out.