I thought the acting was good and the story was compelling but the direction was glaringly off-key. I don't think it's about untethering oneself, I think it's about how some people can make the best of the life decisions they make and others just feel like they're trapped in a killing jar. The film has a few pitch problems, so to speak, but Kate Winslet's performance is exquisite and her character is compelling. I think Michael Shannon's performance is a little overrated, but I'm happy for the man.
11/9/12: It's funny looking back at this entry because of what I'm not talking about here, which is how much I sometimes identify with these characters. I feel like I should watch this again some time.