This is quite a challenging film to watch since the director, Anne Émond, uses time shifting extensively to show us Nelly first as a young girl and then at various stages of her life. At times it can be puzzling as to exactly where we are in the chronology. One can also ask the question, "Who was Nelly Arcan?". We see her as many different personae.
Furthermore, there is the problem of deciding what is reality and what exists in her imagination. Her first novel relied on her life as a sex worker, but she is coy over what is based on her actual experiences. She suggests that she returned to prostitution to help develop story lines for her later books. When a client thinks he recognises her, she says she's not a writer, but a damn good whore.
One feels that the director has been extremely conscientious in her compassionate portrayal of Nelly. This was a woman who appeared to be very comfortable with her life in sex but unable to come to terms with what her readers actually thought about her as a person.
In the end it was all too much for her.