Thomas Edison holds over 1,000 patents, including those for the light bulb and the phonograph, but he is broke. To the rescue rides the "world's banker," J. P. Morgan, with his offer of almost unlimited cash for the two men to join forces to illuminate America and revolutionize in the way the world does business. Captivated by Morgan's glittering vision, Edison accepts, only to find the two men embroiled in the War of the Currents, pitting their Direct Current electrical system against the Alternating Current system promoted by George Westinghouse and Edison's former assistant, Nikola Tesla. Ever more enmeshed in Morgan’s personal life, Edison becomes infatuated by a world of privilege and power, where duty, desire, faith, and immorality are thrown into conflict, ultimately threatening his own spiritual and creative survival. As a result, Edison descends from his status as the godlike inventor of electric light to that of someone complicit in the invention of the electric chair. Brilliance brings to life the birth of the modern era, providing an indelible portrait of the times in which we now live.