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The Last Station (2009) Poster

Trivia

Anthony Quinn originally bought the rights to the novel with the author Jay Parini writing the screenplay.
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Marks the first joint venture of real-life spouses James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff on a feature film.
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There still is a real Tolstoy family, who live in Yasnaya Polyana in Russia. This film was made with their support and they like the film, although they were surprised that one could laugh about Lev. (If you look closely, you can catch Anastasia Tolstoya, an Oxford graduate, in a short scene at the end of the film.)
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In reality, Countess Sofya bore Tolstoy 13 children and copied out six drafts of his novel "War and Peace" - by hand.
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Helen Mirren actually is descended from Russian aristocracy. Her great-great-grandmother was a countess.
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When Sofya comes to The Last Station she remarks that Lev is sleeping with the devil, referring to Chertkov. The name Chert actually means "devil" in Russian.
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Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer replaced Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins, who were originally scheduled to play the roles of Sofya and Leo Tolstoy.
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Helen Mirren and Anne-Marie Duff, who play mother and daughter in the film, have both portrayed Queen Elizabeth I (Mirren in Elizabeth I (2005) and Duff in The Virgin Queen (2005)).
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James McAvoy was cast on the strength of his performance in The Last King of Scotland (2006). McAvoy agreed to do the film immediately after reading the screenplay.
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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.
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Christopher Plummer claims to have thought up much of the dialogue and action in the bedroom scene between Leo and Sofya.
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The station at the small German town of Pretzsch stood in for the Russian station of the title at Astapovo. This meant closing the Pretzsch station for two weeks and decorating it with Russian props and signs.
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One of Michael Hoffman's biggest challenges was to turn clean and orderly Germany into messy and chaotic Russia.
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Not the first time Helen Mirren has played a Russian - she also did so in 2010 (1984) and White Nights (1985).
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Composer Sergei Yevtushenko wrote the entire score after reading the script and before filming had started. Michael Hoffman rejected it on principle but after several months, several composers and other attempts to score the film, he realized that Yevtushenko's score was perfect for the film.
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Michael Hoffman read all of Chekhov's plays before beginning his screenplay to help him capture the mood.
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Michael Hoffman was traveling in Italy by train when he bought a copy of the novel to read on the journey.
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Christopher Plummer was 80 during the filming, just 2 years younger than Tolstoy was in the period depicted in the film. The director Michael Hoffman really liked the fact that Christopher Plummer could play his own age.
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Nearly 2 years elapsed between the film's theatrical and DVD release in France.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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