A film about fictions, their fascination, and the processes by which they are created. A young screenwriter visits a famous novelist, seeking background for a script based on the scandalous love story she published twenty years before. As they talk, two romances are rhymed: one, from the novel as remembered by her and imagined by him, is strange, exalted, melodramatic (played by Gassman and Ardant); the other is shy, tender, hesitant as the two writers (Fabian, Carrière) warm to their collaboration. Meanwhile, conjured out of the network of memories, cross references, musical and visual analogies, an entirely different story gradually emerges. Working through subtle Jamesian nuance, it's not an easy film but an immensely rewarding one.
Cast and crew