1810. After the wreck of his ships, a financially-ruined merchant (André Dussollier) exiles himself in the countryside with his six children. Among them is Belle (Léa Seydoux), his youngest daughter, a joyful girl full of grace.
One day, during an arduous journey, the merchant stumbles across the magical domain of the Beast (Vincent Cassel), who sentences him to death for stealing a rose. Feeling responsible for the terrible fate which has befallen her family, Belle decides to sacrifice herself and take her father’s place. At the Beast’s castle, it is not death that awaits Belle, but a strange life in which fantastical moments mingle with gaiety and melancholy. Every night, at dinner, Belle and the Beast sit down together.
They learn about each other, taming one another like two strangers who are total opposites. When she has to repulse his amorous advances, Belle tries to pierce the mysteries of the Beast and his domain. And when night falls, the Beast’s past is revealed to her bit by bit in her dreams. It is a tragic story, which tells her that this solitary and fearsome being was once a majestic prince. Armed with her courage, ignoring every danger, and opening her heart, Belle manages to release the Beast from his curse. And in doing so, she discovers true love.