It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life, dreaming of greater things.
But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and as she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different, he is clearly no’ right.
But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride.