Leading a blissful, romantic existence with her husband Reza (Mosaffa) in modern-day Tehran, newlywed Leila (Hatami) is devastated when she learns that she is infertile. Despite Reza's insistence that he does not want kids unless he can have them with her, a distraught Leila finally acquiesces to his family's request that he be allowed to take a second wife.
A devastating story of how tradition befouls the marriage of a contemporary Persian newlywed couple, "Leila" openly critiques the old-fashioned notion that continuing a family line is more important than the sanctity of love. Hatami offers a wrenching performance as a woman caught between her own desire for happiness and what she perceives, through the manipulation of her husband's mother (Jamileh Sheikhi), to be Reza's secret inner wish. Sad but wise, "Leila" is one of the finest entries in Iran's recent cinema devoted to examining the plight of women.