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The Countess Sofya, wife and muse to Leo Tolstoy, uses every trick of seduction on her husband's loyal disciple, whom she believes was the person responsible for Tolstoy signing a new will that leaves his work and property to the Russian people. Written by
During the meal outside, when Sofya Tolstoy stops the gramophone from playing Tolstoy's speech, she plays an excerpt from Act IV of Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro'. The excerpt, which causes Tolstoy to remark "that's better" and cease walking away, is where the Countess forgives the Count for his various misdemeanors during the course of the opera. See more »
After Tolstoy signs the letter, Bulgakov is seen with the buttons on the right side of his collar instead of the left. It appears the film has been flipped. See more »
Love and be loved. That's the only reality there is in the world.
He said that?
Yes, Tolstoy said it, but l'm saying it.
See more »
This was an excellent historical film based on the relationship between Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife, Sofya (Helen Mirren), during Tolstoy's final years. The film also explores Tolstoy's relationship with his Assistant, Valentin (James McAvoy) and his cabal of acolytes, lead by Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti). The main tension comes between Vladimir, who wants Tolstoy to bequeath his copyrights to "The Russian People" and Sofya, who naturally would like the copyrights reserved for herself and family.
Mirren earned an Oscar nomination for Lead Actress and Plummer received one for Supporting Actor. I believe both were well earned. I liked the performance from the entire cast, particularly McAvoy as the adoring Assistant to Tolstoy. The screenplay was excellent and the Director, Michael Hoffman, did an outstanding job bringing pre-Communist Russia to life. The time period is 1910 and the cinematography beautifully captured the era. During the closing credits, actual film of Tolstoy and his Wife was run, underscoring what a great job the Director did in filming this.
A great movie and well worth seeing or renting.
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