In a small provincial town, disaffected teen Thomas (Giraudi), still reeling from his parents' divorce, meets a gruff, penniless stranger while picking a sprig of oleander in the countryside. The man, Martin (Stanczak), turns out to be an escaped convict, and demands money. Soon, he turns up at the riverside nightclub managed by Thomas's mother, Lilli (Deneuve), who falls hard for the fugitive.
Téchiné's elegantly complex crime drama, beautifully shot in the French provinces by Pascal Marti, is a fine showcase for Deneuve, always great at playing characters with an intriguing, hidden aspect. Her scenes with Danielle Darrieux, as Thomas's live-in gran, are as affecting and convincing as her more tumultuous interactions with Martin and Maurice (Victor Lanoux), the estranged husband who wants her back. Murder and sexual frisson are on the agenda, but the film's subtle look at broken-family power dynamics is just as edgy.