Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his time with drink versus the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto - a painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. The two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish.
Jack hatches a plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn.