Monday, July 5, 2010

Pink Julep at the Cinema: The Last Station

I rented The Last Station starring Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer and I was plesantly surprised by how wonderful and intelligent this film is! The performances are spectacular and the story is one I had not yet heard! What a relief it is to have seen a really great film after watching so many that haven't been up to snuff recently!

Set in Russia during the last days of Leo Tolstoy's life (the author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina), the story centers around a young man (McAvoy) who joins a group of Tolstoyans, living at the Tolstoy home and helping to further the movement. They are kind of cultish, working at laborious tasks and also constantly pushing toward the solidifying of the Tolstoyan movement. Countess Tolstoy is the wife of the famous Russian author (Helen Mirren) and she is upset at where the movement has led her husband and his intent to sign the copyright of his life's work into the public domain, making the works the property of the people of Russia and in effect, signing away any inheritance for her and their 13 children. She fights hard to hold onto the work that she helped him to create and the ideals they stood for together for so long when Tolstoy comes under the influence of his contemporaries who wish to make him into a saint and exploit their power over him in his more feeble older years.

I won't give anything else away, but what I will say is that Helen Mirren does a marvelous job playing a jilted wife who's lost control of her life, marriage, husband and everything she's ever worked for! The Last Station is definitely worth moving to the top of your Netflix queue!

Pink Julep!


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