Oscar (Fiennes) is a priest who gambles discreetly and donates his winnings to help the poor. Lucinda (Blanchett) is an Australian business woman who boldly defies society's rules. When they meet over an innocent game of cards, their lives are changed forever.
Fiennes character is pretty unbelievable and not one to be identified with easily. He is a very neurotic priest raised by a fervent and oppressive father. He is intelligent but extremely pathetic. He is led into gambling and becomes addicted. The moral of the film is with regard to gambling addiction and religious morality. He meets another addict who is not religious to further the morality issues. Fiennes character is so tremulous and feeble that it is difficult to get involved with his issues. There are several story /plot points, particularly towards the end, which are so unlikely and unbelievably scripted that there is a great temptation to abandon the film. Fiennes does seem to be over-acting in many scenes but maybe it is just an extreme character is portraying. Either way not easy going.