Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Last Station

This is a fine film about the last days of Leo Tolstoy, who I must admit I wasn't all that familiar with, beyond knowing that he wrote some of the classics of the late 19th/early 20th century.

It tells the story of the conflict between Tolstoy's long time wife, played by Helen Mirren (my original imaginary British celebrity girlfriend), and some of the men who wanted to make sure Tolstoy's literary proceeds after his death went to the Russian people. It shows Tolstoy's uncomfortableness with his wealth and his wife's battle to hang on to what she can of it.

I liked two thirds of this film and the reason I did was a Irish actress named Kerry Condon. When she was in the story the film moved fine and it was a joy to behold, when she wasn't in it, the narrative dragged. Plummer, Mirren, and McAvoy are all good and Condon is luminous. Paul Giamatti is okay in this film but I found him to be a bit miscast. I thought he was a bit too 'modern' in his mannerisms and his actions. Maybe I'm just getting tired of seeing him smolder in films like this, I'm not sure.

Overall, I recommend the film and I especially liked the outtakes, which are rare to see on a DVD of an 'important' film such as this one. See this one if only for Ms. Condon and Helen Mirren's performances.

1 comment:

dguzman said...

Nice choice for your imaginary British celebrity girlfriend! Mine's Diana Rigg.