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Last Station, The (Russischer Sommer, Ein)

Last Station, The
James McAvoy, Kerry Condon, Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti (photo © Egoli Tossell Film Halle/The Little Film Company)

“Writer-director Michael Hoffman adapts Jay Parini’s novel into a thrilling comic-dramatic account of Leo Tolstoy’s final months. This Tolstoy, played with quiet authority by Christopher Plummer, has renounced writing fiction, built a school to educate peasants, and leads a movement whose guiding principles are abolishing private property, pacifism, and sexual chastity. His new secretary (the charming James McAvoy) becomes the comic man-in-the-middle between two formidable opponents scheming for control of his manuscripts and money. Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), a rigid true believer, wants to spread Tolstoyan doctrines around the world, a would-be Paul to the Master’s Jesus. And Sofya (Helen Mirren), Tolstoy’s wife of 48 years and the mother of his 13 children, proved her dedication by copying War and Peace six times... by hand! Mirren’s hairpin turns between comedy and tragic humiliation make their marital squabbles into riveting cinema.” (Larry Gross, Telluride)


Michael Hoffman grew up in Idaho/USA. In 1979, he went to study at Oxford University, where he discovered the young Hugh Grant and shot his debut film with him, Privileged (1982). Hoffman then attracted great attention in the US with Promised Land (1987). In 1991, he shot the big-budget comedy Soapdish. In 1995 he returned to British material with Restoration. A selection of his other films includes: Restless Native (1985), Some Girls 1988), One Fine Day 1996), A Midsummer Night\'s Dream (1999), The Emperor\'s Club (2002), The Great New Wonderful (2005), Twelve and Holding (2005), Out of the Blue: A Film About Life and Football (2007), and The Last Station (2009).
Genre History, Drama, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2009
Director Michael Hoffman
Screenplay Michael Hoffman
Cinematography Sebastian Edschmid
Patricia Rommel
Patrizia von Brandenstein
Cast John Sessions, Kerry Condon, Anne-Marie Duff, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Patrick Kennedy
Producers Jens Meurer, Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling
Co-Producers Ewa Karlström, Andreas Ulmke-Smeaton
Production Company Egoli Tossell Film/Halle, in co-production with SamFilm, in cooperation with The Production Center of Andrei Konchalovsky/Moscow
Length 112 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions German
Original Version
 English
Subtitled Version German
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Telluride 2009, Rome 2009 (In Competition), AFI FEST Los Angeles 2009, Istanbul 2010 (In Competition)
Awards Silver Marc'Aurelio Jury Award Rome 2009
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures

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