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June 22, 2010


DVD of the Week – The Last Station (2009)


Regular readers will have noticed that the DVD of the Week feature has taken a few weeks off this month and last. This was mostly due to my going on vacation to places where I had no internet access or cell phone signal (Europe; rural Ohio). It also reflects the paucity of suitable new releases to write about, defined as movies I’ve seen, would recommend, and haven’t already reviewed. This week continues that trend, but since I’m back in the land of wireless I figured I’d take a chance on recommending a movie I haven’t seen.

The Last Station is set in Russia in 1910. It examines the last months of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and the conflicts swirling around him. Sofya, Tolstoy’s wife (Helen Mirren) of four decades, is at the center of the storm as she clashes with Tolstoy’s disciples in the socialist sect he inspired. The film co-stars James McAvoy and Kerry Condon as a young couple who are a counterpoint to the Tolstoys. Director Michael Hoffman also wrote the screenplay, which was adapted from a novel by Jay Parini. The film received a great deal of critical praise and awards-season attention, particularly for the performances by Mirren and Plummer.

The Last Station is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The notable special features are the commentary tracks, one by Plummer and Mirren and another by Hoffman. Other features are outtakes, deleted scenes, and “A Tribute to Christopher Plummer.”

Other new releases this week: Green Zone, Remember Me, She’s Out of My League

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Doc
    Jun 22 2010

    The Last Station evokes many other Russian-themed films: it’s long, slow, and very atmospheric. Above all it hearkens back to the golden era before World War One when Socialist thinkers still believed that they could convert the world without resorting to violence and coercion. The actors are great, and you’ll find yourself wishing they had been provided a better vehicle for their talents.

  2. Helen
    Jun 23 2010

    Thanks for the comment! A review by someone who has actually seen the film is extra appreciated in this context. :)