Esteban (Jeremy Irons) falls in love with the daughter of a rich family, Rosa Del Valle (Teri Polo). To earn enough money to be able to marry her, he works in the gold mines. However, right before they were to get married, Rosa dies of poisoning. Esteban buys a ranch and spends his days making it flourish. As an estate owner, he exploits his day laborers, as was customary in those days, which incites revolutionary ideas among the men. His sister Ferula (Glenn Close) acts as his housekeeper on the ranch. At the funeral of his mother, Esteban meets Rosa's younger sister Clara (Meryl Streep), who is now grown into a woman and has psychic abilities. Clara took a vow of silence at Rosa's death, but when she meets Esteban, whom she had a crush on ever since childhood, she starts speaking again. They marry, and Esteban takes her to the ranch, where their daughter, Blanca (Winona Ryder) is born. Blanca grows up and falls for one of the day laborers on her father's farm, Pedro (Antonio Banderas), who is a revolutionary. Against her father's wishes, he would have liked to marry her off to a count out of financial reasons, they have a relationship and she becomes pregnant with his child. Esteban puts a reward on his head. Blanca and her mother move away from the ranch, back to the city, to get away from the angered Esteban. Blanca gives birth to her daughter. Esteban becomes a politician. Eventually, Esteban visits Clara and Blanca and they get over their differences, although Clara refuses to speak to him directly. When the revolutionary party wins the elections, Pedro can see Blanca and his daughter. But when there is a coup by the conservatives, both Blanca's and Pedro's lives are in danger because of their connections with the revolutionary party. They use Esteban's political connections to get to safety. The movie ends with Estebans death, when the spirit of Clara appears before him as he is taking a nap.
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Best part of story, including ending:
The family history entwined in the history of the country of Chile.
Best scene in story:
The dreaminess of the foretellings by the spirits throughout, after which the book and movie are named. Like it all had to be like that.
Opinion about the main character:
He is an old fashioned guy, as there were millions like him, back in the day.