A publisher, Lewis Venable, travels from New York to Venice, seeking to buy the 19th-century love letters of the late poet Jeffrey Ashton to a woman named Juliana Bordereau. He learns from a living poet, Charles Russell, that Juliana is still alive at 105.
Without announcing his intentions, Lewis assumes a false identity. He takes lodging at Juliana's and meets her great-niece Tina, a pianist.
In time, he discovers that Juliana is in dire need of money.
Time Out calls it "remarkably effective. DVD Talk says, "Martin Gabel's Henry James-adaptation The Lost Moment may be the actor's only directorial effort, but it's a fairly strong one all the same" and concludes by describing it as "a claustrophobic film that lays on the atmosphere and the emotion". TCM has information.