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The Last Station

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Biography, Drama, Romance

17 million USD

Germany Russia United Kingdom


Michael Hoffman

Initial DVD release
June 22, 2010



The Last Station movie poster

Release date
23 December 2009 (2009-12-23)

Based on
The Last Station  by Jay Parini

Michael Hoffman (screenplay), Jay Parini (based on the novel by)

James McAvoy
(Valentin Bulgakov),
Christopher Plummer
(Leo Tolstoy),
Helen Mirren
(Sofya Tolstoya),
Paul Giamatti
(Vladimir Chertkov),
Anne-Marie Duff
(Sasha Tolstoy),
Kerry Condon

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James mcavoy the last station trailer english

The Last Station is a 2009 English-language German biographical drama film written and directed by Michael Hoffman, and based on Jay Parini's 1990 biographical novel of the same name, which chronicled the final months of Leo Tolstoy's life. The film stars Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy and Helen Mirren as his wife Sofya Tolstaya. The film is about the battle between Sofya and his disciple Vladimir Chertkov for his legacy and the copyright of his works. The film premiered at the 2009 Telluride Film Festival.


The Last Station movie scenes

The last station movie trailer


The Last Station movie scenes

In 1910, the last year of Leo Tolstoy's life, his disciples, led by Vladimir Chertkov, manoeuvre against his wife, Sofya, for control over Tolstoy's works after his death. The main setting is the Tolstoy country estate of Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy and Sofya have had a long, passionate marriage, but his spiritual ideals and asceticism (he is opposed, for example, to private property) are at odds with her more aristocratic and conventionally religious views.

The Last Station movie scenes

Contention focuses on a new will that the "Tolstoians" are attempting to persuade him to sign. It would place all of his copyrights into the public domain, supposedly leaving his family without adequate support. The maneuvering is seen through the eyes of Tolstoy's new secretary, Valentin Bulgakov, who finds himself mediating between the two sides. He also has a love affair with one of the Tolstoians, Masha.

The Last Station wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters7887556p788

Ultimately, Tolstoy signs the new will and travels to an undisclosed location where he can continue his work undisturbed. After his departure, Sofya unsuccessfully attempts suicide. During the journey, Tolstoy falls ill. The film ends with his death near the Astapovo train station where Sofya is allowed by their daughter to see him just moments before his death. The closing credits state that five years after his death the Russian senate reverted the copyrights of Tolstoy's work to Sofya.


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  • Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy
  • Helen Mirren as Sofya, Leo's wife.
  • Paul Giamatti as Vladimir Chertkov, the leader of Tolstoy's devoted disciples.
  • James McAvoy as Valentin Fedorovich Bulgakov, a private secretary.
  • Kerry Condon as Masha, a fictional member of the Tolstoyans.
  • Anne-Marie Duff as Sasha, Leo and Sofia's daughter.
  • Patrick Kennedy as Sergeyenko
  • John Sessions as Dr. Dušan Makovický, a Slovak, Leo's personal doctor.
  • Tomas Spencer as Andrey
  • Christian Gaul as Ivan
  • Production

    Filming took place in the German federal states of Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg (Studio Babelsberg) and Thuringia, the city of Leipzig in Saxony and at historical locations in Russia. The location for Jasnaja Poljana, the residence of the Tolstoy family, was the Schloss Stülpe palace near Luckenwalde in Brandenburg. The station of the small German town of Pretzsch stood in for Astapovo, the "last station" of the title. Still a working rural station, the Pretzsch station was closed for two weeks for filming.

    Release and reception

    Sony Pictures Classics acquired distribution rights and gave the film an awards-qualifying limited release on 23 December 2009, with a wide release on 15 January 2010. It was released in Germany on 28 January 2010.

    The Last Station Are All Utopians Prudes Thoughts on the Film The Last Station

    The film has received generally positive reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 71% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 139 reviews, with an average score of 6.7/10. According to Rotten Tomatoes, "Michael Hoffman's script doesn't quite live up to its famous subject, but this Tolstoy biopic benefits from a spellbinding tour de force performance by Helen Mirren." Critic Philip French praised McAvoy for bringing "the same amiable diffidence he brought to the role of Idi Amin's confidant in The Last King of Scotland". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called Hoffman's direction "accomplished", and the film's centerpiece "the spectacular back and forth between Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren....For those who enjoy actors who can play it up without ever overplaying their hands, "The Last Station" is the destination of choice." On the negative side, one reviewer characterized the film as a "genteel domestic farce" and faulted the director for "pander[ing] to the worst impulses of the cast".


    The Last Station The Last Station Movie Poster 6 of 6 IMP Awards

    Mirren won the Best Actress award at the 2009 Rome International Film Festival for her performance. She was also nominated for Best Actress - Drama at the 67th Golden Globe Awards, as was Plummer for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. Both actors also received nominations for their performances from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Screen Actors Guild.

    Home media

    The Last Station The Last Station 2009 Movie Review British Biopics at Their Most

    The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 22 June 2010. One reviewer criticized the lack of special features on the disc.


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