Monday, September 29, 2014
THE LAST STATION
The Last Train Station is a great film starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and James McAvoy. This impeccable cast gets 2 Academy Award nominations in 2009. It is a sweet comedy-drama about the final days of the Russian novelist Tolstoy. The film focuses on the last few months of the writer Leo Tolstoy and his family disputes. The film is set in early 20th century Russia, before the harsh realities of the Russian Revolution occurred in 1917 and thereafter (Tolstoy died in 1910). It was a time in history when Socialism was still an untried idealized conceptual form of government, and Tolstoy in his final years became more "radical" in his political, religious, and social philosophies. It raises 2 universal questions: 1) What do you do when the love of your life is in conflict with your highest priority ideals? And how does your treatment or mistreatment of the people closest to you, who have loved and cared for you the most, reflect on the quality of your ideals? In the final months of Tolstoy's life, he abandoned his wife of 48 years to gain silence. Before Sophya and Leo married, Sophya knew of his many sexual escapades he shared with her in his diaries. She knew he had fathered a child with one of the servant girls in his household. Nevertheless, she loved him and married him, giving him 13 children, 5 of whom died in childhood. The movie implies the question: At what point does your life become more than a solitary pursuit? After how many years of good treatment and co-dependence with those close to you does your life necessarily and deservedly become considerate of more than just your own priorities? Where should your deference be? BIPOIC and riveting truth about LEO TOLSTOY a Christian man who struggles with his wife as he wishes to decline his wealth and help the needy. Nineteenth-century paparazzi lurk outside of Tolstoy's estate, hoping to snatch a picture of the rumored strife between the world-famous writer (Plummer), who's launched an anti materialist movement, and his aristocratic wife. Also lurking is Tolstoy's aide, Chertkov who despises Sophya and pushes to change Tolstoy's will to prevent the wife from inheriting the royalties from Tolstoy's books. Into this nest of conflict comes a young secretary, Valentin (McVoy) who idolizes Tolstoy and strives to live by the principles of abstinence and vegetarianism… only to find his purity tested by sensual temptations and an unexpected sympathy for Sophya. Moments of sly comedy keep The Last Station from becoming overly literary. The movie as a whole lacks the emotional punch it reaches for, but every scene is a polished jewel, expertly and passionately crafted by the actors this classic is rich with social detail. Mirren, of course, is superb, with a wonderful portrayal of a woman who can't help turning her genuine passions into a performance that repels her husband. The film "The Last Station" focuses on the last few months of the novelist and writer Leo Tolstoy's family and social life. Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy, Helen Mirren as his wife Sophya, James McAvoy as Tolstoy's new personal secretary Valentin, Kerry Condon as Valentin's charming and aggressive love interest, and Paul Giamatti as the leader of a group of "Tolstoyans" who wish to widely promote Tolstoy's ideals.