After a twenty-one year absence Carlotta returns from the void. But her former flame, film director Ismael, has been busy rebuilding his life with Sylvia and is working on his next feature. As Ismael’s trials and tribulations unfurl, so too do those of his film’s protagonist: the idle, funny and reckless diplomat Ivan Dédalus. The character is a nod to the ghost of another of Desplechin’s creations, the brother of Paul Dédalus, three-time hero of My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument, A Christmas Tale and My Golden Days. A film within a film – and then some, Desplechin layers narrative upon narrative and proves that as a director his genius lies in his ability to find light in the darkest of places.