It is Paris, 1894. In a moment of impulse that she will never regret, Lisette Decourt flees her home and family on the eve of marriage to a man who has betrayed her. She attaches herself to a travelling 'lanternist', Daniel Shaw, whose 'Magic Lantern' show is a phenomenally popular precursor of silent movies. Lisette is fascinated by Daniel's art and - though adamant that she will never fall in love again - is irresistibly attracted to the magnetic Englishman.Though Fate intervenes to separate them, Lisette cannot forget Daniel. She builds a new life for herself as an independent, self-sufficient career woman, yet she remains fascinated by the vibrant new film-making industry whose French proponents are the famous Lumiere Brothers. When a chance encounter reunites Lisette with Daniel, by now a successful film-maker himself, he realizes that she has the magic, elusive quality that will make her a star.