The Last Station

  • 15
  • Michael Hoffman (2009)
  • Ger / Rus / UK
  • 107 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

This true-story drama about Leo Tolstoy's final days boasts a fascinating premise and a fine cast, but ends up delivering less than the sum of its parts. Christopher Plummer looks great as the Russian writer, complete with peasant's garb and flowing, white beard. The sparks fly between him and Helen Mirren as Countess Sofya Tolstoy as they argue violently over the posthumous rights to his works. He's been convinced (by Paul Giamatti's scheming acolyte) to leave them to the people; she wants them for the family, full stop. Their scenes have the energy of a Russian Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but are diluted by the recurring focus on James McAvoy's character. McAvoy may deliver another fine performance as secretary Valentin Bulgakov, but the role still doesn't manage to generate a great deal of interest. And while Michael Hoffman's direction is acceptable, it ultimately fails to pull the package together and lacks the inspiration his stars and his subject clearly have in spades.

Plot Summary

Biographical drama starring Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. The great writer Leo Tolstoy is in the twilight of his life, but his final days are destined to be far from peaceful. Urged by his scheming disciple Vladimir Chertkov to sign a new will that leaves the rights of his work to the Russian people rather than to his family, Tolstoy becomes increasingly estranged from his wife, Sofya.

Cast and crew


Sofya Tolstoy
Helen Mirren
Leo Tolstoy
Christopher Plummer
Valentin Bulgakov
James McAvoy
Vladimir Chertkov
Paul Giamatti
Sasha Tolstoy
Anne-Marie Duff
Kerry Condon
John Sessions
Patrick Kennedy
Tomas Spencer


Michael Hoffman

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Swearing, sex scenes, nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 19 Feb 2010
Certificate 15
Optimum Releasing