Pierre (Daniel Auteuil), a commercial artist, and Anne (Isabelle Huppert), have been married for several years. They have a two-year-old son. Pierre realizes something is awry in his relationship with his wife when she pulls her hand away from his affectionate touch at a movie theatre. Anne seems distant even when they are out with their best friends, Victor (Jerome Deschamps) and Claire (Karin Viard). Then after a party Anne tells her husband that she's in love with another man. Instead of reacting with rage, Pierre stifles his emotions and tries to hold the relationship together. But her discontent and his discomfort erode the final ties that bind them together.

La Separation is based on the best-selling novel by Dan Franck. It provides an intimate and detailed anatomy of the dynamics of uncoupling. Director Christian Vincent focuses on the unraveling of all the little threads that hold a marriage together such as affection, loyalty, trust, kindness, and caring. This French film is thoughtful and well acted.