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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 »
When Sofya is looking into Leo Tolstoy's diary it is written in modern Russian orthography which was not used at that time. See more »
Look at me! This is who I am, *this* is what you married. We may be older, maybe we're old, but I'm still your little chicken. And you're still my big cock.
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If you took a Leo Tolstoy class in college or read one of his works during your time at the library and wanted to know a bit more about the man, don't really look to The Last Station. Does that make it a poor film? Not by a long shot.
The film follows the story of Leo (Christopher Plummer) and Sofya Tolstoy (Helen Mirren), married couple for 43 years, and the battle that raged between them at the end of Leo's life. As Leo's health is ailing, his long time friend Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) urges Leo to write a new will, renouncing his material possessions, leaving his wife and family with nothing. All of this is in order to have Leo's movement of peace to go to the majority. Chertkov sends a young follower of the Tolstoyan movement, Valentin Bulgakov, to investigate and inscribe all of Sofya's exaggerated and histrionic antics to work against her campaign.
Firstly, the film is A-typical period piece with all the correct elements of that type of film. Art Direction by Mark Rosinski and Heike Wolf, stunning costume design by Monika Jacobs, and a score to die for by Sergei Yevtushenko is pitch perfect and exalted brilliance. Nothing is wrong with this film technically.
An extraordinary narrative beautifully adapted by the director Michael Hoffman is one of the crowning achievements of his career. Dedicating his all for the sake of the art form, Hoffman writes and directs the screen with meticulousness and accuracy. Playing that extra special detail to smooth out an rough edges paid off for Hoffman immensely.
The cast presented in The Last Station is stellar and one of the best cast ensembles of the 2009. James McAvoy, proving once again, that you don't just lay down the words of your acting, you let the spirit fight its way through your soul and remain a tangible entity for your audience to engage. McAvoy proves he's one of Hollywood's most outstanding talents. Helen Mirren, riding the see-saw with her viewers, never declares any type of emotion until the bitter end. Mirren shows no apparent ambiance of mood or expression. She sizzles through the film, igniting every scene on fire along the way. Christopher Plummer as the lovable Leo is amiable, captivating, and entrancing. Plummer, a talent long overdue for Oscar recognition is enticing. Paul Giamatti, in a more villainous role we haven't seen of him before, is always dependable and alluring. Anne-Marie Duff and Kerry Condon are both enthralling in their roles respectively.
The Last Station is a definite contender for a Best Picture nomination. It's a delightful film full of heart, love, and heartbreak. The temptation of the films aura will lure you in and surely leave you in tears.
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