Review: The Last Station

When I was leaving the theater, a woman muttered "Well that was very British". I laughed, she said it like it was a bad thing. I think the Brit actors in this film were powerful and engaging. I'll never know why she said something like that.

'The Last Station' is about a Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) He's at the point where people are more fascinated with him then they are his writing. His friend Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) pressures him to change his will to leave out his wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) after their 40+ years of marriage. He isn't healthy, and they've been at odds with each other for quite some time. Tolstoy hires a secretary Valentin (James McAvoy) to basically learn all of Sofya's crazy ways so that they can use them against her.

I wasn't to aware of the "Tolstoya movement" so to speak, and I thought this film was going to be more about that. It's not. I expected it to be an intense character study of Tolstoy, but it's not. It doesn't hurt the film, although it drags a bit towards the end the cast is astounding. Plummer and Mirren earned Oscar noms for their performances, and now I see why. James McAvoy has always been one of my favorite underdogs (And I hate calling him an underdog because he's above all that in my opinion) He was a standout, like he normally is. At first I thought I was upset because the film wasn't what I thought It would be, but I enjoyed the performances of the entire cast so much I can hardly be angry about it.

Recommended: Yes (Just don't expect a detailed Tolstoy story)

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "If I had a wife like you, I would've gone to America" -Vladmir (Paul Giamatti)


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