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.
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This film marked a turning point in Téchiné’s career, anchoring his work from then on in a more realistic universe from the previous romantic one. For the first time Téchiné let his actors improvise, a practice he has continued ever since, adjusting his scripts to accommodate the new material. “From Hotel des Amériques onwards my films are no longer genre films,” he said. “My inspiration is no longer drawn from the cinema”. This film also started a long productive collaboration with Catherine Deneuve. "There are some directors who are more feminine than others, like Téchiné, like Truffaut. They are an exceptional gift to actresses," Deneuve said about their collaboration.
Source : Wikipedia.