Recently widowed and retired geologist Guan Zhiguo eagerly anticipates the annual summer visit of his four children, but one after another, they call to cancel. He decides to step outside his Beijing courtyard to check up on his brood.
First Guan tries to look up his photographer son Hao, who hasn't called in a while. When he arrives at Hao's atelier in Tianjin, he finds it long deserted. Next stop is Hanzhou, where eldest daughter Qing is a successful commercial director & is married to a successful surgeon, but her absentee behavior towards their son suggests Guan's own parenting style. Guan then moves on to Shanghai to see his son Quan, but is appalled to find he's left his day job and apartment to launch a startup with other hipsters. Guan arrives in Macau to visit his youngest daughter, Chu, whom he and his wife groomed to be a ballerina since childhood, but is evasive about both her dance career and her suggestive relationship with a bosom friend. As Guan's relationships with his children appear to unfortunately divulge much of their true nature, a secret the siblings are withholding may unveil the honesty and compassion that's been missing from Guan and his children.