Filmmakers are often praised for being ”good with actors,” but how does that skill work? In the case of Tim Kirkman, who wrote and directed Loggerheads, a touching and savory Southern ensemble drama, it means that he gets his actors to find colorful shades of experience in dialogue even as they reveal, at the same time, a mysterious private side — the dream they won’t say aloud. It also means that Kirkman is shrewd enough to coax a wistful performance out of pretty boy Kip Pardue (I’m not joking). He plays a young gay drifter who heads to North Carolina to study loggerhead turtles, but really to reconcile with his adoptive parents — a stern minister (Chris Sarandon) and his loyally prim wife, played by Tess Harper as a woman who hides sadness even from herself. Pardue creates something fresh: a free-spirited Christian traditionalist who embraces the tradition that rejected him. Michael Kelly, as the gentle motel owner who learns Pardue’s secret, and Bonnie Hunt, as a middle-class wreck looking for the child she gave up, complete the film’s moving mosaic of connections found and lost.