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The Last Station (2009)

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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.

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 Tomas Spencer ... Andrey
Christian Gaul Christian Gaul ... Ivan
Wolfgang Häntsch Wolfgang Häntsch ... Priest
David Masterson ... Reporter
Anastasia Tolstoy 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

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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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Russia

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La última estación See more »

Filming Locations:

Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€217,381 (Germany), 31 January 2010, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$94,093, 17 January 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,616,974, 20 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Michael Hoffman's biggest challenges was to turn clean and orderly Germany into messy and chaotic Russia. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Valentin: Love and be loved. That's the only reality there is in the world.
Masha: He said that?
Valentin: Yes, Tolstoy said it, but l'm saying it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Un bel dì vedremo
from "Madama Butterfly"
Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Miriam Gauci (Soprano), Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu (as CSR Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Alexander Rahbari
Licensed courtesy of Naxos Rights International Ltd.
Libretto by Luigi Illica (uncredited) and Giuseppe Giacosa (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This Station is all Clear...
3 December 2009 | by ClaytonDavisSee all my reviews

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.

***½/****


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