La lectrice, wonderfully played by Miou-Miou, is Constance, a girl who likes reading to her boyfriend in bed. One night she begins a novel by Raymond Jean called La Lectrice, whose leading character, Marie also likes reading... The camera follows Constance /Marie between the covers as she has social intercourse with four people who are disabled in some way: a boy in a wheelchair, a little girl whose mother is too busy to look after her, a bedridden war widow, an impotent company director. The texts chosen are appropriate (L'Amant, Alice, War and Peace, Les Fleurs du Mal). It becomes clear that each client is after attention of a different kind, but as soon as Marie plays along, a minor disaster ensues; only when she has to read the mucky Marquis to a geriatric judge does she begin to have doubts. This elegantly erotic and erudite games-playing has something for everyone: voyeurs will delight in the nudity, poseurs will prefer the many and various striking of attitudes, and penseurs will ponder on the way language is both a lexical and a sexual minefield. Set, too, against the beautiful wintry background of Arles as it contrasts with the colour-coded cast and the soundtrack of Beethoven sonatas.