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The Last Station

11:07 Wed 30th Jun 2010 |

The Last Station is a terrific period drama. An extraordinary narrative beautifully adapted by the director Michael Hoffman is one of the crowning achievements of his career. The Last Station is the story of the last year of life of Leo Tolstoy the renowned Russian author.

If you've read War and Peace and Anna Karenina or any other works by Tolstoy, the idea of a film about the Great Russian author's fascinating latter years as he disavowed his earlier writings for deep religious principles and social reform is an intriguing prospect.

Despite the fact that nearly all the situations take place around him between the other protagonists, Tolstoy however rightly retains the strongest position in the film, a fact that can be attributed almost entirely to a convincing performance by Christopher Plummer. He completely inhabits his role and convinces as Tolstoy, putting real character behind the man's revolutionary ascetic, pacifistic ideals. Performances are equally as good elsewhere from Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti and John Sessions.

The film follows the story of Leo 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.

Cinema release 2009

Certificate 15

Available on DVD and Blue Ray

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