Maurice Pialat's character study eschews traditional plot development in its examination of the power of sex and passion to overturn class restrictions and social conventions. Isabelle Huppert is Nelly, a middle-class Parisian housewife, married to possessive husband Andre (Guy Marchand). When she meets street thug Loulou (Gerard Depardieu), her middle-class respectability is thrown out the window and she leaves Andre for Loulou. Loulou, who has no job and resorts to robbery to survive, is more than willing to live off Nelly's money. But Andre won't give her up and, in the mind-set of a middle-class bourgeois, tries to convince her to return.
by Paul Brenner synopsis