In 1928, smalltime magician Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) seeks out the successful magician Wei Ling Soo, a.k.a. Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth), in Berlin, Germany. They have been friends since childhood and Howard invites Stanley to travel to the south of France to expose American clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), who has convinced the matriarch of the wealthy Catledge family and her son Brice Catledge (Hamish Linklater) that she is legitimate. Brice has proposed to her to get married. Englishman Stanley is an arrogant, rational, and bitter man, and he leaves his fiancée Olivia (Catherine McCormack) in England and travels to France to visit his Aunt Vanessa (Dame Eileen Atkins) and to meet Sophie and disclose her swindle. When Stanley meets Sophie, he is spellbound by her smile and big eyes. Stanley also learns that Sophie comes from a very poor family and now has the chance to marry a millionaire. He uses Howard to help him to find her trick, but soon he is convinced that Sophie is a real medium, shaking up his principles of rationality and belief. Further, he falls in love with her. He decides to call a press conference to tell the truth about her. But what is the truth?