The Last Station
On the one hand, this is an old-fashioned costume drama complete with stiff collars and an impressive amount of facial furniture. Station tells the story of Leo Tolstoy, the Russian author of War & Peace whose philosophy of passive resistance inspired Gandhi and Martin Luther King. On the other, Station is a tale of skullduggery and dirty tricks, as Tolstoy’s wife spars with the followers hoping to profit from the dying writer’s final testament. Sporting a beard that resembles Niagara Falls, Christopher Plummer is splendid as the noble Russian who enjoyed playing dress-up as a peasant, while Helen Mirren nearly acts her corset off as Mrs. T. Both were nominated for Oscars. James McAvoy watches the old pros from the sidelines and takes notes. The twinkly Atonement star strikes some memorable sparks of his own off a comely Tolstoy disciple, played by real-life wife Anne-Marie Duff.
Extras: Plummer and Mirren appear on the commentary track with writer-director Michael Hoffman (Soapdish). Outtakes and a documentary on Plummer’s career, a wild ride from The Sound of Music to the present.
– By C. Bottomley
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