Movie of the week: The Last Station

By admin
29 March 2010

What’s it about?

In the last two years of his eventful life Russion author Leo Tolstoy decides to bequeath his manuscripts to the Russian people. His wife of 47 years refuses to accept this and a titanic struggle ensues.

Who will enjoy it?

This intense movie with larger-than-life characters and frequent histrionic outbursts is just the thing when you’ve had enough of popcorn entertainment and enjoy coolly composed ­dramas. Helen Mirren, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance, uses every second to bring Sofia and her confrontations with her writer husband to fiery life. If you think the film is as dry as biltong you’d be wrong – it’s a fast-paced, character-driven film and the characters’ internal conflicts and confrontations are intense. It’s food for the soul and celebrates the power of unconditional love.

Wait for DVD?

No. If you and your partner take films seriously make it a special evening. See this dramatic true-life story for the joy of it and enjoy a meal afterwards. It’s a solid, disciplined and effective drama that offers sophisticated, challenging viewing. Definitely not for the popcorn-and-cooldrink brigade. And the Russian landscapes are breathtaking.

Similar films

The Queen, Elizabeth, The Remains of the Day.

Popcorn facts

- Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins were originally cast in the leads.

- Among the extras in the film are descendants of Tolstoy. They loved the movie and had no reservations about it.

Rating: 4/5

Drama. With HELEN MIRREN, CHRIS­TOPHER PLUMMER and JAMES McAVOY. Director: Michael Hoffman.

13NS. Opens 26 March.

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