Set in Oslo today, Phoenix tells the story of Jill. From a young age, he has acted as the adult in her family. She cares for her mentally unstable mother Astrid, as well as for her younger brother, Bo. Astrid’s volatile behaviour has caused the two children to constantly walk a tightrope in order to avoid anything that can trigger their mother’s outbreaks.
Things seem to look up when Astrid lands a job interview and Jill works hard to support her mother and boost her self-esteem. The news that their estranged father, Nils, will be visiting on Jill’s 14th birthday, gives the children with much-needed hope. But when the small family is stricken by a tragedy. In shock, Jill decides to bury the truth.
At first, it seems that Nils’ arrival will solve everything. The whirlwind of excitement Nils creates is the perfect antidote to what Jill has just gone through/experienced. Her dream of a glamorous life together with their father, now becomes a matter of survival for herself and her young brother.