On her 18th birthday, India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska)—a girl with a strong acuteness of the senses—has her life turned upside down after her loving father Richard (Dermot Mulroney) dies in a horrific car accident. She is left with her unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). At Richard's funeral, Evelyn and India are introduced to Richard's charming and charismatic brother Charlie (Matthew Goode), who has spent his life traveling the world. India, who didn't know Charlie existed, is perturbed by his presence. He announces that he is staying indefinitely to help support India and Evelyn, much to Evelyn's delight and India's chagrin.