Amazon Holiday

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Last Station

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Based on a novel that's based on a the true story of Leo Tolstoy's (Christopher Plummer) tempestuous love-hate relationship with his wife (Helen Mirren), as their values and life philosophies changed with age.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti, Kerry Condon, Anne-Marie Duff, John Sessions, Patrick Kennedy

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! Mature audiences will feel very mature while watching this complex depiction of what happens to mature love as time matures.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Well it is funny that they want you to believe that James McAvoy is a virgin... or even that he ever has been one.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I felt angry at the ways in which Tolstoy and his groupies were dismissing the perfectly logical complaints and concerns of his wife, to the point where she started to think that she was the crazy one... But I'll tell you something very personal, I have a sore spot for that sort of moronic group mentality, where everyone is too cowardly to speak up for the one outspoken person who's making sense.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Everything about this film reminds me of the movies that have recently been nominated for or swept the Academy Awards. Strangely, it's coming out now, in January, which makes it ineligible for 2009, and will make it forgotten by 2010. Somebody's gonna get fired for this one.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Helen Mirren tops herself once again, with a character that feels like nothing I've ever seen her do. Her chemistry with Christopher Plummer is magical. And James McAvoy... he seems like he's not even acting, and yet, in every scene he makes you feel like the movie is only about him.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: According to the Q & A, the director's biggest challenge was making the clean and orderly Germany look like a messy and chaotic Russia. I also learned that the most memorable directing moment I had noticed was James McAvoy's idea.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: It is filled with dramatic, contradictory emotions, through which it manages to convey how love can hold you together and pull you apart at the same time.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Another interesting tid-bit from the Q & A, was that the Russian composer wrote the entire score based solely on reading the script. The director rejected it on principle, but after several months, several composers, and several other score attempts, he asked to hear the music that had been written before a single frame of the movie had been shot... And it was perfect.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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Anonymous said...

To qualify for the Oscars, a movie must be shown in theaters for one week (in 2009) in the US.

The Last Station had one week qualifying runs in NY and LA in early December. So it will qualify for Oscar contention, particularly Helen Mirren for Best Actress and Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor.

Now if only it will start showing around the country, because it is very enjoyable. It will make you laugh and cry while entertaining the adult in you.

Monique Elisabeth said...

I didn't hear about the LA/NY run, and I live in LA... Maybe it was while I was out of town. But I'm glad to hear that they didn't totally mess up. Thanks!

Cristine said...

Great review, thank you for it.
Isn't James amazing? He's such a natural actor, that I'm afraid he'll never be fully recognized. Like you said, he makes acting seems easy, when obviously it is not. I can only imagine how much he dedicates himself to his roles.
And yet, no nominations for him and nominations for the actors around him, whom he helps immensely with his talent. It's not fair... :(

Monique Elisabeth said...

Hi Cristine,
I'm glad to meet a fellow James fan. I think as he gets older and has a bigger pedigree behind him, he will start to get nominated every year. In this film, I think he suffers from not having the "gravitas" that actors like Plummer and Mirren carry, so the voters have ignored him. It'll only take one win for him to be recognized every time though, so don't worry.

Cristine said...

I hope so, Monique...he really deserves it! :)

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goodreadwatch said...

Thanks for this review. I'm going to check it out thanks to your green light!