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

Director:

Michael Hoffman

Writers:

Michael Hoffman (screenplay), Jay Parini (based on the novel by)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helen Mirren ... Sofya
Christopher Plummer ... Tolstoy
Paul Giamatti ... Chertkov
James McAvoy ... Valentin
John Sessions ... Dushan
Patrick Kennedy ... Sergeyenko
Kerry Condon ... Masha
Anne-Marie Duff ... Sasha
Tomas Spencer ... Andrey
Christian Gaul Christian Gaul ... Ivan
Wolfgang Häntsch Wolfgang Häntsch ... Priest
David Masterson David Masterson ... Reporter
Anastasia Tolstoy Anastasia Tolstoy ... Mourning Girl
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Storyline

The Countess Sofya Andreevna Tolstoy (Dame Helen Mirren), wife and muse to Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), 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

Taglines:

Intoxicating. Infuriating. Impossible. Love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Plummer previously appeared in Dolores Claiborne (1995), which was directed by Helen Mirren's husband, Taylor Hackford. See more »

Goofs

When Sofya is talking to Vladimir about the new will, the right side of her face varies from being in and out of a shadow between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sofya Tolstaya: [running in with a letter] Leovochka? Kashnikov wants to buy the rights to your work after your death.
Leo Tolstoy: Then I shall try and die as soon as is convenient.
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Crazy Credits

Anthony Quinn is thanked in the end credits. Quinn was the first to purchase rights to Jay Parini novel. 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

 
A very enjoyable movie
3 March 2010 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

There is nothing to fault in this movie, really, and pretty much everything to praise.

The script is very good. The characters are fleshed out and developed in complexity as the movie goes along. You continue to learn more about them, see more facets of their character.

And they are realized by first-rate performances. There is not a weak one in the batch.

The direction is also very fine. There is not really much of a plot here; it's more of a character study. Still, the director keeps things moving along, never veering into the sentimental or the cute. You grow to like these characters a lot, but there is no attempt to yank your emotions.

My only very slight reservation about this movie is just a personal preference. I went into it knowing virtually nothing about Tolstoy's life or the movement that was developed out of his later writings. I would have appreciated a little dialogue somewhere explaining more about that. I realize, however, that that is not the norm in modern movies, and I certainly had no problems following what was going on without it. Viewers such as myself will just have to go read a book about Tolstoy for that additional information, which is certainly not a bad thing.

This is not a film for the ages, a Citizen Kane or a Rules of the Game, a Potemkin or such. Still, it is a very well-crafted movie, one that I could easily watch again with no diminished pleasure. One that, as well, I can recommend to anyone who enjoys good acting and watching interesting characters being developed by and through it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Russia

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Station See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,723, 17 January 2010

Gross USA:

$6,617,867

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,554,320
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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