Thursday, March 11, 2010
MUST-SEE: (Michael Hoffman) What a surprise this film is! If you're a loyal reader, you know period pieces are my passion. But I assure you, that bias plays no part in my love of this story. My only regret is I failed to read the book first. The Last Station is the tale of Leo Tolstoy and his family and following at the end of his life. Amidst the Tolstoyian Movement, it was an era of love relating all people, religions and beliefs. It was about ridding your spirit (and life) of excess, going back to the basics and living happily without material distraction or influence. It preaches numerous things, but the success of this piece is that it humbles itself. To the very end, its unclear what parts of his doctrine Tolstoy himself actually takes literally.... in the end suggesting that the way the greater population understood them was in fact, incorrect. As a man of simplicity, but filled with love, he acted, thought and persevered with only that as motivation. And, it was contagious. Modest and warm, he earned a friend with each meeting. Christopher Plummer translates this warmth easily. And don't expect to watch this movie without a smile. The chemistry between him and Helen Mirren is electric, believable. Second to that, James McAvoy and Kerry Condon are an instant romance - innocent and undeniable, their relationship the future of what Leo meant his Tolstoyian love to teach. Love story lovers, period piece fanatics and literary minds--don't miss this one!