- Nick Flynn (Paul Dano) is a young writer in the midst of trying to define himself. Though he misses his late mother, his father, Jonathan (Robert De Niro) has been out of his life for 18 years. However, when Jonathan is in danger of losing his job and apartment, he reaches out to Nick. Overwhelmed, Nick nonetheless prepares to welcome his father back into his life, but Jonathan quickly disappears again. When Nick later finds the man at a homeless shelter, he has a big decision to make.