Guillaume Depardieu, Jeanne Balibar, and Michel Piccoli star in director Jacques Rivette's adaptation of the Balzac novella The Duchesse de Langeais, which tells the tale of a Parisian socialite who is romantically pursued by a Napoleonic war hero. The story begins as grieving French general Armand de Montriveau (Depardieu) arrives at a Majorcan church to speak with French nun Antionette le Langeais (Balibar). General de Montriveau believes le Langeais to be a woman he once loved dearly, but eventually lost. As the pair is reunited under the watchful eyes of the presiding priest and mother superior, their romantic past gradually comes into focus. It was five years ago that bored socialite Antoinette first became enamored with the wounded soldier whose rousing tales of adventure offered exciting contrast to her highly refined lifestyle. Though she was married at the time, the coquettish cosmopolitan quickly fell under the spell of the commanding military man -- who vowed that very night that Antoinette would be his lover. As their romance grows more complicated, the passionate pair finds it increasingly difficult to deny the powerful connection that binds them.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis