Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent and Jack Huston star in this drama adapted from the novel by Pascal Mercier. Swiss professor Raimund Gregorius (Irons) saves a young woman from jumping off a bridge and committing suicide. She leaves before he gets the chance to talk to her but in her haste forgets her coat and a book - a memoir written by Amadeu do Prado (Huston) - inside which is a train ticket to Lisbon. Hoping it will lead him to the woman, Raimund boards the train to Lisbon and goes on a search to discover more about the author's life, which is seen in flashbacks. He learns of Amadeu's time as a resistance fighter during the Salazar dictatorship and his relationship with his friends and the woman he loved, Estefânia (Laurent). Along the way Raimund meets and befriends an optician, Mariana (Martina Gedeck), and comes to some realisations about his own life.