Alice is a single mother and a genetics expert working for a company that develops new plant species. She has developed an extraordinary, bright red flower. In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, this flower also possesses amazing therapeutic properties—if kept at ideal temperature, provided with appropriate nutrients and regularly talked to, it is capable of making its owner happy. Alice breaks an internal rule of the company, taking one of the seedlings home as a gift to her teenage son Joe. They name the plant "Little Joe". As the flower grows, however, the mother begins to suspect that her creation might not be as innocent as its name would suggest.
According to its director Jessica Hausner (Lourdes), the film is meant to be "a parable about the secrets we carry within ourselves". The lead actress received the Best Actress Award at Cannes.