In Tim Kirkman's thoughtful "Loggerheads," a young drifter, Mark (Kip Pardue), with an interest in saving loggerhead turtles arrives in one of their sanctuaries, Kure Beach, N.C., in the summer of 1999. He attracts the attention of George (Michael Kelly), the kindly proprietor of a motel who gives him shelter. Both men happen to be gay, but George is a self-possessed guy who does not expect sex in return for a free room, and a friendship develops.
The following year, in Eden, N.C., Elizabeth (Tess Harper), the wife of fundamentalist minister Robert (Chris Sarandon), bakes a pie as a welcoming gift to her new neighbors, but when she sees a small boy with two men she wrongly assumes are a gay couple, she decides not to give it to them. Yet there is a deep restlessness and uncertainty in Elizabeth, who in spite of adhering to her husband's calm absolutism, cannot stop thinking for herself, as painful as it is for her.
In 2001, Grace (Bonnie Hunt), an attractive blond in her 40s, has returned to her hometown, Asheville, N.C., after many years to take an airline job and to live with her widowed mother, Sheridan (Michael Learned). Pressured by her mother, Grace gave up for adoption the baby she bore out of wedlock at age 17. Now she wants to locate the child but is blocked by North Carolina adoption privacy laws.