Last Station, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1/2

Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, James McAvory. Drama/Biopic. Written & directed by Michael Hoffman.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After almost fifty ears of marriage, the Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), Leo Tolstoy's (Christopher Plummer) devoted wife, muse and secretary - she's copied out War and Peace six hand! - suddenly finds her entire world turned upside down. †In the name of his newly created religion, the great Russian novelist has renounced his noble title, his property and even his family in favor of poverty, vegetarianism and even celibacy. †After she's born him thirteen children!

When Sofya then discovers that Tolstoy's trusted disciple, Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) - whom she despises - may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, she is consumed by righteous outrage. †This is the last straw. †Using every bit of cunning, every trick of seduction in her considerable arsenal, she fights fiercely for what she believes is rightfully hers. †The more extreme her behavior becomes, however, the more easily Chertkov is able to persuade Tolstoy of the damage she will do to his glorious legacy.,p>Into this mix wanders Tolstoy's worshipful new assistant, the young, gullible Valentin (James McAvory). †In no time, he becomes a pawn, first of the scheming Chertkov and then of the wounded, vengeful Sofya as each plots to undermine the other's gains. †Complicating Valentin's life even further is the overwhelming passion he feels for the beautiful, spirited Masha (Kerry Condon), a free thinking adherent of Tolstoy's new religion whose unconventional attitudes about sex and love both compel and confuse him. †Infatuated with Tolstoy's notions of ideal love, but mystified by the Tolstoys' rich and turbulent marriage, Valentin is ill equipped to deal with the complications of love in the real world.

A tale of two romances, one beginning, one near its end, The Last Station is a complex, funny, rich and emotional story about the difficulty of living with love and the impossibility of living without it.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It is rated R for its serious subject matter and two sexual situations, one that becomes somewhat graphic, and for the depiction of a near suicide, but what a pleasure to see a film for grownups, a drama without any car chases. Itís also a think piece, where we can examine the illusions of those caught up in a cult, a warning for us all that we not make gods of our religious leaders (especially those we listen to on radio). Once we sense that denominational rules are taking the forefront and Christís compassion is relegated to the rear pew, itís time to search for another church.

DVD Alternative: C.S. Lewisí Through The Shadowlands. Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom star as C.S. Lewis and an American woman who begin a relationship through letters, then fall in love. While Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger do a great job with their interpretation, this 1985 British version is a superb character study. Ask your Christian bookstore if they carry it, or go to

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures Classics

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: One crude sexual remark

Obscene Language: I caught none

Profanity: None

Violence: In frustration, a woman fires off a pistol at a picture of her enemy; a distraught wife attempts suicide; an elderly man passes away.

Sex: Two brief sexual situations, one fairly graphic.

Nudity: Brief female nudity.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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