One afternoon in San Francisco, Adaline Bowman purchases fake IDs at an apartment before returning home to feed her dog. She then goes to work and opens a box of film reels, which highlight historical events and times. A voiceover ties together the film reels explaining the story of Adaline's life so far. She was born on New Years Day 1908, then later married and gave birth to a daughter, only to become a widow after her husband died in a tragic accident in 1937. Ten months later, Adaline crashed her car when she swerved into a ravine during a snowstorm and died in the freezing lake nearby, but a lightning strike suddenly revived her. From that moment on, Adaline has stayed physically 29 years old.