Late in Red Road, a man and a woman are alone, late at night on the 24th floor of the council flat buildings found on the street that gives the film its name. All you can see from the window is the bruise-yellow glare of the streetlights and the grey of concrete and urban sprawl. You don't see nature, but you hear it -- the high, shrieking barks of the local fox population eking out survival in the hollows between the concrete. It's a keening, sad sound -- the instincts of wild beings constrained by the structure of the modern world -- and it's hard to tell if the foxes are crying out in defiance or in agony. The same could be asked of the man and woman listening.
In Glasgow, Jackie (Kate Dickie) works at the city's central CCTV station -- watching and monitoring the streets of the city and the lives of its citizens. She watches dispassionately; if anything of interest happens, she calls it in to the appropriate city service, dispatching an ambulance or summoning police as needed. It's a data-processing job, and she seems to do it well. But one day one of her many screens shows someone familiar, and that spurs her to a different kind of reaction: not professional, but personal. In time, Jackie's relationship to the man, Clyde (Tony Curran), becomes understood, but it hardly becomes clear.