An Italian high school student becomes infatuated with a woman he sees outside his class window. Her fiancée is in jail for being involved in a radical movement, and she spends much time in court providing moral support. At first she resists the student's advances, but eventually begins an affair with him. Their situation is condemned by her family and his father, who is the woman's psychologist.
During World War I, the star-crossed affair of an underage French student with a woman engaged to a soldier.
Nobles try desperately to cling to the crumbling aristocracy in the days following World War I. The Count (Jean-Claude Brialy) and his Countess Mahe (Sylvia Fennec) delight in throwing lavish costume balls. The couple develops a friendship with a young boy who delights in the parties thrown by the noble couple. Love soon blooms between the Countess and the boy as she searches for something more than a string of endless parties and social affairs. The masquerades are an attempt to freeze time and hold on to the nostalgia of a bygone era. For fear of losing her, the Count allows the Countess to continue her love affair.