In 1910 Russia, Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy), the newly appointed private secretary to the great Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), arrives at the writer’s estate — the battleground for a very public war.
Tolstoy’s devoted disciple, Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), intends to persuade the writer to sign over the rights to his works to the Russian people.
Tolstoy’s wife, Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), vehemently disagrees, determined that the considerable fortune belongs to her family. As the tug of war over Tolstoy’s legacy becomes increasingly heated, Valentin experiences the pangs of love with devoted Tolstoy acolyte, Masha (Kerry Condon).
Based on the novel by Jan Parini, ‘The Last Station’ is a handsome costume drama with a fleeting sex scene to set pulses racing against the backdrop of the final year of Tolstoy’s life.
Michael Hoffman’s film hinges on the verbal sparring between Plummer’s world-weary artist, replete with impressive beard, and Mirren’s embittered spouse, who creates more drama than her husband could ever commit to the page.
Star Rating: 3/5.