A wealthy and respected Cuban coffee merchant, Luis Antonio Vargas (Banderas), in the early 1900's decides to get married to Julia Russell (Jolie), a woman he's never met from the States. Encountering her on the docks, Luis is surprised to find she's not the plain women he had expected from their past discourse.
Married the day they met, the two soon fall into a passionate and erotic relationship. But the closer Luis becomes to Julia, the more enigmatic she becomes.
The plot thickens when an American private investigator (Jane) suddenly approaches Luis on behalf of Julia's concerned sister back in Delaware.