A young girl unwittingly thrust into the media spotlight by her glamour-obsessed mother struggles with her burgeoning sexuality and her growing disdain for being exploited in the name of art. Growing up, Violetta (Anamaria Vartolomei) was never very close to her idiosyncratic mother Hanna (Isabelle Huppert). When Hanna would disappear for long stretches, Violetta spend most of her childhood being raised by her devoutly religious great-grandmother (Georgetta Leahu). The, one day, Hanna returns home to her daughter dressed up like a 1940s-era movie star. Transfixed by her mother's radiance, the young girl savors the opportunity to dress up in elaborate period garb when Hanna asks her to pose for a series of photographs. Later, some of the more sexually suggestive snapshots from the session earn Hanna high praise in the art world, reaping some unexpected consequences for Violetta when she attempts to return to school. Before long, the emotionally fragile girl has begun to grow resentful of all the attention, and when Hanna attempts to push Violetta into participating in an erotic photo session with a glam-rocker (Jethro Cave) during a trip to England, that resentment turns into outright anger, prompting a fierce battle of wills between mother and daughter.