Dedicated New York psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor
) tries to stop a secretive and unusual young patient he inherited, Henry Lethem (Ryan Gosling
), from carrying out a planned suicide on the eve of his 21st birthday. But Henry starts to have a reality-shattering effect on Sam. As Sam is drawn deeper into the web of Henry’s life -- and then into the labyrinth of his subconscious -- at first it simply puts stress on Sam’s relationship with his artist girlfriend and former patient Lila (Naomi Watts
). But soon Sam’s own tightly-held grip on the rational world begins to melt away. Faced with increasingly surreal encounters and a Manhattan transformed into a wildly shifting dreamscape, Sam can no longer figure out what is true and what is happening only in his head, nor where he begins and Henry ends.
So just who is Henry Lethem and why is he fracturing Sam’s reality so profoundly?
As clues and suspense simultaneously build to the story’s climax on the Brooklyn Bridge, Sam must grapple with thought-provoking questions about perception, awareness, forgiveness and final moments of redemption. For it soon becomes clear that what is happening to Sam and Henry is taking place not in this world but in the twilight state between living and dying . . . a place where no one can stay for long.