One summer at a lakeside Russian estate, friends and family gather for a weekend in the countryside. While everyone is caught up in passionately loving someone who loves somebody else, a tragicomedy unfolds about art, fame, human folly, and the eternal desire to live a purposeful life. Aristocratic actress Irina (Annette Bening) pays summer visits to her brother Sorin (Brian Dennehy) and her son Konstantin (Billy Howle). On one occasion, her lover, the successful novelist Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll), accompanies her. When Nina (Saoirse Ronan), a free and innocent girl who lives on a neighbouring estate, falls in love with Boris, he basks in her adulation, while Irina is shunned by Konstantin, who loves Nina. Meanwhile, Masha (Elisabeth Moss) fights a battle with her own unrequited love.