Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) comes from a small village in the South of France, at a time when her dream of true love is considered scandalous, and even a sign of insanity. Her parents decide to marry her to José, an honest and loving Spanish farm worker who they think will make a respectable woman of her. Despite José’s devotion to her, Gabrielle vows that she will never love José and lives like a prisoner bound by the constraints of conventional post-World War II society. That is, until the day she is sent away to the Alps to heal her kidney stones. There she meets André Sauvage (Louis Garrel), a dashing injured veteran of the Indochinese War, who rekindles the passion buried inside her. She promises they will run away together, and André seems to share her desire.
Will anyone dare rob her of her right to follow her dreams?
“Like a Madame Bovary updated to the 20th century, Gabrielle (Cotillard) is a romantic country girl from a well-off family, and she is consumed with sexual desire. In this romantic character study by Nicole Garcia, Cotillard’s performance is luminous throughout, enriching the willful heroine with the depth of a single obsession.”
The Hollywood Reporter