After almost fifty years of marriage, the Countess Sofya (Academy Award nominee Helen Mirren), Leo Tolstoy’s devoted wife, passionate lover, muse, and secretary suddenly finds her entire world turned upside down. In the name of his newly created religion, the great Russian novelist (Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer) has renounced his noble title, his property and even his family in favor of poverty, vegetarianism, and celibacy. When Sofya then discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, she is consumed by righteous outrage. Into this minefield wanders Tolstoy’s worshipful new assistant, the young, gullible Valentin (James McAvoy). In no time, he becomes a pawn, first of the scheming Chertkov and then of the wounded, vengeful Sofya as each plots to undermine the other’s gains.