Hélène, a distracted pill-popping anesthetist, almost runs down Gilles one evening on a Biarritz street. She is still numb from the drowning death earlier that year of her lover, a visionary architect. Gilles presses for a relationship, then backs away, deciding she could never love someone of lower class and limited prospects. But she does fall in love with him and gradually her depression eases. As she heals, he becomes obsessed with her lover's talents and his own limitations, behaving bizarrely and pushing her away. How these conflicts play out becomes the movie's story.