He burned with ambition. He lusted for life. He lived for passion. This is the sprawling saga of Honoré de Balzac (Gérard Depardieu), a man who created a great literary oeuvre from the dramas and adventures of his own life - a life that he shaped into one spectacular and unforgettable blaze of passion. At the heart of the story are the women in Balzac's life. Although gruff, unsophisticated, and far from handsome, Balzac exerts an irresistible fascination on women.