A predictable narrative is given rich contours in Little Woods, from writer-director Nia DaCosta. Tessa Thompson and Lily James play sisters by adoption who are trying to scrape by amidst the oil fields of North Dakota. On probation for selling oxycontin to the equally desperate men at work in the fields, Thompson’s Ollie has a plan to start a new life in Spokane. But when her sister Deb, already a single mother, becomes pregnant, Ollie is tempted to make one last score to help her out. The story mostly goes where you’d expect, but DaCosta shows an eye for visual details that speak volumes: laundry drying in the frigid North Dakota air; sinks stuffed with dirty dishes. The movie also quietly considers huge issues—addiction, the cost of healthcare, abortion—not as the subjects of thesis statements, but as everyday realities for the characters. Bringing these characters to life is an excellent cast. James, a Brit, ably sells distinctly American lines like, “Money’s money’s money if you ain’t got it.” Thompson, meanwhile, offers another refreshing depiction of uniquely female strength. Bonus points for James Badge Dale’s Ian, a mess of a man and the father of Deb’s child. “I can do better,” he pleads when he learns she’s pregnant again. To which she simply, mournfully replies, “You can’t.” That’s the sort of clear, tough vision Little Woods also offers.