Perhaps it’s fitting that the death of Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest novelists of all time, is itself such a moving story. The Last Station (available on DVD 6/22), an incredibly moving film quietly released last year, captures this narrative with passion and tenderness.
Though set during the last months of Tolstoy’s life, this film is really a romance—two, in fact. The enduring love between Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife, Sophia (Helen Mirren), mirrors the budding romance between Valentin, Tolstoy’s new assistant, and a young woman. But as Valentin (James McAvoy) embarks on new love, he witnesses the crumbling of Tolstoy’s own when his overzealous disciples (led by Paul Giamatti) encroach upon the family and threaten to split the author and his wife. Besides its outstanding acting—Mirren and Plummer are breathtaking together, and Giamatti is once again the perfect bombast—this film offers a finely orchestrated portrait of love at its very beginning and very end.
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.