This Saturday, Rialto Official Selection is playing one of the most delightful, charming and outrageously melodramatic films of 2010, The Last Station, starring Christopher Plummer.........
This Saturday, Rialto Official Selection is playing one of the most delightful, charming and outrageously melodramatic films of 2010, The Last Station, starring Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren.
Michael Hoffman’s adaptation of Jay Parini’s novel is solid, but it’s the performances that lift this story out of the ordinary. Plummer is Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer, philosopher and socialist, and Mirren plays his wife of almost 50 years, Countess Sofya. The film is a fictionalised account of the final year of Tolstoy’s life when Sofya becomes obsessed with the idea Tolstoy has changed his will (at the encouragement of one of his trusted disciples and assistants, Chertkov, played by Paul Giamatti) gifting the rights to his life’s work to the people of Russia rather than his family.
Passionate and devoted (she wrote out his drafts of War and Peace six times by hand, and gave birth to 13 children), Sofya uses ever trick in the book to fight for what she believes her family deserves, and the result is a moving love story full of plate throwing hysterics, history, and wickedly funny lines.
Christopher Plummer received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as Tolstoy. Surprisingly while he has starred in Oscar Best Picture winners such as The Sound of Music and A Beautiful Mind, this is the only Oscar nomination he’s received in his long and distinguished career.
However, there’s a good chance he’ll be nominated again if reaction to his new film Barrymore, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend, is anything to go by. In Barrymore, Plummer reprises his 1996 Tony Award winning role as John Barrymore, struggling to rehearse for a Broadway comeback in Shakespeare’s Richard III. Entertainment journalist Jeff Wells on the Hollywood Elsewhere website says “After seeing Plummer charm and electrify and ham it up and speechify in gloriously boozy Shakespearean fashion in Barrymore…I’m all but convinced he has the Oscar in the bag”.
The film will need to secure an American distributor before that happens of course. In the meantime, don’t miss The Last Station
, Saturday 17th
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