This is a first-class romantic, suspensful and humane movie. The Germans have occupied Paris and there are informers everywhere. Marion Steiner (Catherine Deneuve), a famous actress, has taken over the management of the theater her husband, Lucas Steiner, an equally famous director, has left. Steiner is a Jew and disappeared shortly after the Germans took over. For the next production Marion Steiner hires a young actor, Bernard Granger (Gerard Depardieu), who loves women and who gradually comes to love Marion.
There are secrets everywhere. Lucas Steiner is hiding and living in the basement of the theater, protected by his wife. He directs the new play through notes to his wife and discussions in the late evening when she visits him. Granger is an member of the resistance who could bring disaster to the theater if he is caught. Marion Steiner is devoted to her husband, but feelings for Granger slowly begin to appear, and are not unnoticed by her husband. All the while life in Paris under the Nazis goes on, the play is prepared and rehearsed, Jewish members of the company are protected or caught or flee. An odious, collaborating journalist and theater reviewer uses his contacts and influence to try to arrange a relationship with Marion. Eventually Bernard leaves the theater for active fighting.
This is something of a romantic movie of choices. At the end of the movie, the Germans are fleeing Paris. Bernard has returned and a new play starring Marion and Bernard is a great success. Lucas is spotted by the audience at the rear of a box and they stand to applaud him. Bernard and Marion bring him to the stage to join them in receiving the ovation for the play. Then Marion moves between the two men, holds their hands, and the three of them stand smiling while the applause roars on. And that's the end. This is, in my view, a very satisfying movie of theater life, of the occupation, and of three people who manage to find their way.