Paris, winter 1789. Since the young actor Talma composed the play Charles IX, a frontal attack on the Church and its royal ally, the troupe of the Comédie Française has been in turmoil. It is split between the revolutionaries and the other company partners, who refuse to act on stage with Talma.
These playwrights and actors, used to making the headlines themselves, are soon overtaken by events and under pressure from audiences who have been become more tyrannical than the deposed king - a public which briefly exercises unbounded power, before they too fall victim to the Terror.
The artists, who had come to believe that freedom was possible, are forced to cast aside their illusions. With his theatre group, his mentor David and his allies Mirabeau and then Danton, Talma continues to push boldness to its limits. Married to a rich and influential artist and nurtured on Shakespeare, he is the iconic tragic actor of a tragic era.