It is 1951. New York poet Elizabeth Bishop is looking for new inspiration for her work. She travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit Mary, a college friend. The shy Elizabeth is overwhelmed by Brazilian sensuality. She is the antithesis to Mary’s dashing partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Although frosty at first, the architect soon makes a play for Elizabeth and, when her scheduled departure is unexpectedly delayed, the poet finally succumbs to Lota’s advances. Mary is jealous, but unconventional Lota is determined to have both women at all costs. Their ménage à trois is thrown off balance when Lota starts work on her biggest project to date, designing Parque do Flamengo in Rio. Elizabeth accepts an academic teaching post in the USA and the women drift apart. Lota, at all other times brimming with self-confidence, is inconsolable. Fuelled by destructive bouts of alcohol consumption, this eternal triangle plays out against the backdrop of the military coup of 1964. Bishop’s moving poems are at the core of a film which lushly illustrates a crucial phase in the life of this influential Pulitzer prize-winning poet.