Music is Mathieu’s (Jules Benchetrit) secret. It’s something he doesn’t dare discuss with the gang he hangs out with in the projects, where he’s from. But when one of their petty burglaries almost lands him behind bars, the National Music Conservatory’s director, Pierre Geithner (Lambert Wilson), gets him out in exchange for community service.
But Pierre has something else in mind. Having detected in Mathieu the potential to become a great pianist, he signs him up to the national piano competition. As Mathieu enters a new world, whose codes and etiquette he doesn’t know, he is taught by the uncompromising “Countess” (Kristin Scott Thomas) and meets Anna, with whom he falls in love. To succeed at this competition, which will determine all their destinies, Mathieu, Pierre and the Countess will have to learn how to transcend their prejudices.