German filmmaker Tom Tykwer helmed this feature, which was adapted from a screenplay co-authored by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. Philippa (Cate Blanchett) is a British schoolteacher living in Italy, whose husband fell victim to a drug overdose, as have several of her students. Marco Vendice (Stefano Santospago) is a powerful local drug dealer who sold the dope which killed Philippa's husband, as well as a number of neighborhood teens. Disgusted with the inability of the police to bring Vendice to justice, Philippa takes the law into her own hands, planting a bomb which is intended to kill the dealer. However, Philippa's plan goes awry, and instead the bomb kills four innocent bystanders. Philippa is arrested and brought before the police for questioning, not knowing that the interrogating officer in charge of the case, Pini (Mattia Sbragia), is one of Vendice's secret business associates. More comfortable with English than Italian, Philippa requests a translator, and multilingual officer Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi) is brought in to serve as interpreter. Filippo finds himself falling in love with Philippa, and with his help she's able to escape and go into hiding; however, despite her deep regrets about the loss of four lives in the bombing, she is still bound and determined to see Vendice dead.
by Mark Deming synopsis