The beauty parlour of the title offers sanctuary, a window on the world and, perhaps, a somewhat misleading display. Here come women, and men, from various walks, seeking respite and repose, sometimes solace, and a therapeutic lift. Behind the counter, too, the women and girls who work the parlour alternately share and conceal their interior lives - the latter especially in the case of veteran beautician Angèle (Baye), who seems to have resigned from romantic pursuits, negotiating her nocturnal liaisons with business-like dispassion. Plainly, she's ill-disposed for the declaration of helpless love proferred by a perfect stranger, Antoine (LeBihan). A study of relationships in wintertime in the classical French mode, this covers familiar ground to underwhelming effect.