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The Last Station (2009)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 13,251 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 76 user | 181 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
Dushan
...
Sergeyenko
...
...
...
Andrey
Christian Gaul ...
Ivan
Wolfgang Häntsch ...
Priest
...
Reporter
Anastasia Tolstoy ...
Mourning Girl
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Storyline

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 IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

russian | countess | wealth | writing | love | See more »

Taglines:

Intoxicating. Infuriating. Impossible. Love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La última estación  »

Box Office

Budget:

€13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£135,368 (UK) (19 February 2010)

Gross:

$6,615,578 (USA) (11 June 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not the first time Helen Mirren has played a Russian - she also did so in 2010 (1984) and White Nights (1985). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film one of the characters refers to "flashbulbs," when there was no such thing in 1910 and in fact later in the film photographers are shown using trays of flash powder. See more »

Quotes

Sofya Tolstaya: I'm your little bird, you know the sounds I make.
Leo Tolstoy: And that was some sort of love call, I suppose?
Sofya Tolstaya: Brought you back to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to Samantha - Atticus - Phoebe - Olivia Jade - Joseph - Jasper Rosa - Richard - Cathy - Ben - Leo See more »


Soundtracks

Gente, gente, all'armi, all'armi
from "Le nozze di Figaro"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Mariano Stabile (as Stabile), Ezio Pinza (as Pinza), Aulikki Rautawaara (as Rautawaara), Esther Rethy (as Rethy), Jarmila Novotna (as Novotna), Virgilio Lazzari (as Lazzari), Angelica Cravcenko (as Cravcenko), Chor der Wiener Staatsoper (as Chorus of the Vienna State Opera)/Wiener Philharmoniker (as Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Bruno Walter
Licensed Courtesy of Istituto Discografico Italiano.
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Operatic
17 February 2010 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Your works are the birthright of the Russian people." Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) in The Last Station

Like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Leo Tolstoy drifted at the end of his life into spiritualism but of a more naturalistic kind, which disavowed materialism, espoused celibacy, and talked about the simple power of love. Michael Hoffman's The Last Station chronicles in historical drama fashion Tolstoy's (Christopher Plummer) struggle with his wife, Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), over his desire to bequeath his works to the Russian people and thus, as she thought, deny her and her family rightful inheritance.

The film has an operatic tone due in large part to Mirren's occasional histrionics as she argues with Tolstoy and faces off Chertkov, Tolstoy's close friend and a force for the Tolstoyan movement, which espoused the writer's philosophy of austere life, feeling at times like a stripped down transcendentalism popular in 19th century America. The first half of the film has some electric moments because of Sofya's dramatics and her attempt to win over Tolstoy's new personal secretary, Valentin Bolgokov (James McAvoy). When the film turns to the business of Tolstoy dying, matters become slowly boring with overwrought lamentation and a slow up of the frenetic family dissonance of the first part.

The Last Station is a study in life's ironies: Tolstoy has been far from a celibate in life and therefore not a good Tolstoyan. Bolgokov is annoyingly enthusiastic about his new position and the tenets of the movement, except when he makes love to his new girlfriend, Masha (Kerry Condon) and even then he is such a prig as to be even more annoying than the histrionic Sofya. Recently innocent Richard narrated the story in Me and Orson Welles, and famously, Nick in The Great Gatsby. All three share in varying degrees intimacy with a famous person, with Bolgokov the least impressive.

Tolstoy does eventually die, Sofya gets the copyright, and I got an hour of splendid family invective along with my thoughts about the great writer of War and Peace and Anna Karenina reduced to annoying bickering about inheritance. Yet I enjoyed those thoughts about a sublime writer as a flawed human being whose final philosophy was about love and peace. Love he had in abundance; peace did not arrive.


18 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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