In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After her parents die, she's apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling. The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and . . . at the wax museum, heads are what they do.