The 20th century is just around the corner. In winter, St. Petersburg transforms into a fairy tale-like wonderland where frozen rivers and canals serve as the iced-over roads and bustle with skaters and markets. The city is home to 18-year-old Matvey who works as an ice-skating delivery boy at a local bakery. The son of a poor lamplighter, his only treasure is a pair of silver-plated skates he inherited from his father. When he is unjustly fired he joins a gang of pickpockets who work the canals, led by the revolutionary-minded Alex. Meanwhile, a high-ranking official's daughter Alisa feels like a prisoner in her father's mansion. She dreams of studying science which goes against her father's conservative views on a woman's role in society. One day their paths cross.