Weekend Pass: James McAvoy jumps off at The Last Station

The January box office used to offer films that would not fare as well at other times of the year.  However, moviegoers have proven that they will come out anytime for the right movie. This coming Monday brings Martin Luther King Jr. Day,  the first holiday weekend of 2010.  Last year during the MLK holiday, the surprise hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop took in close to $40 million at the box office. 



This year, while Denzel Washington [DWASH] is out to save the world in The Book of Eli [BOELI] and Jackie Chan [JCHAN] is battling bad guys in The Spy Next Door [SPYND], there is one little film which stands apart from all the others. 



The Last Station [LSTTN] is a drama from Sony Pictures Classics starring Christopher Plummer [CPLUM], Helen Mirren [HMIRR], James McAvoy [JMCAV] and Paul Giamatti [PGIAM].  Written and directed by Michael Hoffman, the film covers the last days of Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s life.  The aging author of ‘War and Peace’ was at a crossroads as he battled his loyalty to his family vs. being a man of Russia.  Rejecting materialism, Tolstoy was caught between leaving his body of writings to Russia or to his wife and muse Sofya, played by Mirren. 



Giamatti portrays Tolstoy’s trusted advisor Chertkov who hopes the writer will leave his writings to the motherland.  Chertkov is also angling to be the chief executor of Tolstoy’s estate, leaving Sofya quite unhappy.  These are the true events of Tolstoy’s life but Hoffman sets this film up around a fictional character. 



McAvoy plays the fictional Valentin who is appointed by Chertkov to tail Tolstoy and report back to him of the writer’s actions.  Valentin finds himself in an intimate relationship with another of Tolstoy’s followers, Masha.  The passionate and explosive relationship between Tolstoy and Sofya is offset by the youthful awkwardness of Valentin and Masha.  The young lovers are steeped in Tolstoy’s ideas while the writer himself is grappling with his own momentous decision.



The film also chronicles the circus that surrounded the writer’s death who fled his home due to the conflicts but died a few days later.  Russian media camped outside of his compound wanting to know every last detail of his life.  Based on the book by Jay Parini, The Last Station speculates much regarding the author’s final days and may not have mainstream appeal.  However, Plummer’s and Mirren’s performances are garnering quite a buzz. 



The fictional coming-of-age story centering on Valentin utilizes McAvoy’s gift of blending into the background while being the backbone of the story.  For those who enjoyed McAvoy in The Last King of Scotland and the theme of Me and Orson Welles, check out this latest historical drama.     


View more Blog posts »

By HSXniknak on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 @ 05:15 PM        1781 views

Recent Comments

    No recent comments.

Cantor Exchange

@HSXMOVIES on Twitter

Follow HSX on Twitter!

The Bye Bye Man (BYBYM) 1000 25.26 (+2.64)         Chicken Soup for the Soul (CSFTS) 1000 11.97 (+0.19)         Elle (ELLE) 99990 1.57 (+0.02)         High-Rise (HIRIS) 100000 1.46 (+0.07)         The Bounce Back (TBNCB) 100000 3.35 (-0.75)         The Bounce Back (TBNCB) 100000 3.35 (-0.75)         Elle (ELLE) 99990 1.57 (+0.02)         God's Not Dead 2 (GODN2) 200 25.59 (+2.17)         CBS: Angel From Hell (ANGHEL) 20000 10.91 (-0.49)         Untitled Darren Aronofsky (UDARO) 100000 26.96 (+0.65)         Kidnap (KDNAP) 100000 7.53 (-0.13)         Playmobil: Robbers, Thieves & Re (PMOBL) 100000 19.26 (-1.70)         FOX: Second Chance (SECHNC) 3759 10.22 (+0.07)         Elle (ELLE) 99999 1.57 (+0.02)         The Bye Bye Man (BYBYM) 100000 25.26 (+2.64)         Catfight (CATFT) 100000 6.38 (+1.35)         How to be Single (HTBSN) 15000 29.38 (+0.93)         At the Mountains of Madness (MTMAD) 99990 1.33 (+0.03)         The Bye Bye Man (BYBYM) 100000 25.26 (+2.64)         Beauty and the Beast (BTATB) 1000 134.93 (-0.12)         At the Mountains of Madness (MTMAD) 99999 1.33 (+0.03)         Untitled Darren Aronofsky (UDARO) 100000 26.96 (+0.65)         Tye Sheridan (TSHER) 20000 4.13 (+0.08)         How to be Single H$15 Put Fri- M (HTBSN.PU) 20000 1.94 (+0.02)         Julieta (SLNCO) 100000 1.61 (+0.78)         John C. Reilly (JCREI) 20000 55.42 (0.00)         Deadpool (DEADP) 1059 150.75 (+0.14)         Bridget Jones's Baby (BJON3) 1000 20.65 (-0.06)         Captain Fantastic (CFANT) 100000 6.04 (+0.03)         Zoolander No. 2 (ZOOL2) 100000 59.73 (+1.38)         Captain Fantastic (CFANT) 100000 6.04 (+0.03)         Angelina Jolie Pitt (AJOLI) 20000 74.80 (+0.13)         A6: Straight Outta Compton - Ori (A6OSOC) 20000 3.42 (+0.04)         Julieta (SLNCO) 100000 1.61 (+0.78)         Falling Slowly (FSLOW) 99999 0.09 (+0.01)         Shantaram (SHANT) 99999 0.08 (0.00)         A6: Rooney Mara - Carol - Sup. A (A6SRMA) 20000 2.39 (-0.02)         Morris Chestnut (MCHES) 20000 44.82 (+0.13)         Zoolander No. 2 (ZOOL2) 100000 59.73 (+1.38)         Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (MDNWD) 100000 27.93 (-1.19)         Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (MDNWD) 69654 27.93 (-1.19)         Thomas the Tank Engine (TOMAS) 100000 0.21 (-0.02)         Terminator 2 (TERM6) 100000 19.98 (-0.13)         Tougher Than Leather (TLTHR) 100000 0.12 (-0.05)         Fifty Shades of Black (50SOB) 100000 13.69 (+0.09)         Spawn reboot (SPWN2) 100000 0.11 (-0.03)         King of the Kastle (KASTL) 100000 0.14 (0.00)         Kicks (KICKZ) 10277 3.82 (+0.81)         Frank or Francis (FRANK) 100000 0.10 (-0.03)         By Virtue Fall (BVFAL) 100000 0.15 (-0.02)