Willem Dafoe stars as American writer T.S. Eliot in this biographical romantic drama. The story dramatises Eliot's passionate and tempestuous relationship with his first wife Vivienne Haigh-Wood (Miranda Richardson). After a brief courtship, the pair marry in 1915 but their initial happiness is short-lived and Viv eventually takes to harassing her husband. As a result of her various health issues and apparent mental instability, Tom commits Viv to a mental institution where she stays for ten years without ever seeing her famous husband again.