Six months after losing his beloved wife Sonja (Engvoll) to cancer, 59-year old Ove Lindahl (Lassgård) wants to end it all and join her in the afterlife. His various attempts to do so, however, are constantly thwarted by the inconvenience of his neighbours and flashbacks to his younger, happier days.
Orphaned at an early age, Philip (Claflin) was raised solely by his cousin, Ambrose. When Ambrose dies abroad on the eve of Philip’s 25th birthday, Philip - after a series of letters sent to him by his cousin prior to death - is convinced Ambrose’s mysterious wife Rachel (Weisz) is to blame. When she shows up at his Cornwall home, his rage quickly turns to obsession as he becomes infatuated with her. But what is she really after?
Given a 1930’s Korean make-over from its loose source material Victorian Britain setting, The Handmaiden follows young orphaned pickpocket Sookee (Tae-ri) who is enlisted by a con-artist posing as a Count (Jung-woo) to help him bring down wealthy Japanese heiress Hideko (Min-hee). As romance begins to blossom however, who’s really conning whom?