Cabaret singer Vera (Keira Knightley) reunites with her teenage love, the charismatic poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), only to find him married to Caitlin (Sienna Miller). Despite their rivalry, the two women become friends.
Vera marries admirer William Killick (Cillian Murphy), but still feels a deep ravenous love for Dylan. To make matters worse, Dylan fancies a bit of Vera in return. When William gets posted off to war, the pregnant Vera struggles to contain her emotions, and risks betraying Caitlin. William returns home and finds out about his wife's indiscretions. He becomes violently angry, attacks Dylan, and Vera is left to choose between the men in her life.
The script is written by Knightley's real-life mother, Sharman Macdonald, who initially had her daughter in mind for the role of Caitlin. Knightley does all of her own singing in the film.
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