Box art for The Last Station

The Last Station

drama


Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren (Best Actress, The Queen, 2006) and Christopher Plummer star in this compelling look at the final days of literary icon Leo Tolstoy.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    71%
  • Audience Score
    67%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5

Mature Tolstoy biopic recounts his conflicted last days.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this period drama recounting Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy's last months, while powerful and well acted, isn't too likely to appeal to kids. It has moments of both intense squabbling and gentle loving between the writer and his wife. Many of their fights are loud and painfully honest (though not venomous), and younger teens may find them disturbing. There's also a sex scene with partial nudity (a woman's breasts) and a little swearing (though "bitch" is about as strong as it gets).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what the movie is trying to say about marriage. Whatmakes the romances in this film similar to or different to other Hollywood pairings?
  • Does Leo and Sofya's relationship seem realistic? How much of the movie do you think is based on fact, and what parts might the filmmakers have had to fill in? Why might filmmakers sometimes alter the truth for a movie?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    71%
    reviews counted: 3
    see all The Last Station reviews
  • Audience

    67%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: This handsome, well-tuned adaptation of Jay Parini's Tolstoy biography avoids being a dour subtitled slog by its strong casting, layered contrasts of love and duty, and admirable air of enthusiasm.

- Ben McEachen, Sunday Times (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: The movie has its evocative moments, but it's so rigged on the side of anti-intellectualism that you'd never guess that Tolstoy's late work inspired Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

- David Edelstein, New York Magazine, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rotten: Despite its literary pedigree, this stagy production mixes ribaldry and campy overacting.

- Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, Friday, January 22, 2010

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Boring account of people fighting over the rights to Leo Tolstoy's literary legacy during his final year. On the one side we have his wife, Sofya, who feels they should be bequeathed to his family. On the other, we're given Vladimir Chertkova, a staunch disciple of the author's beliefs, who wants them as the property of the Russian people. Somewhere in the middle is Valentin Bulgakov, a naive private secretary. What should have been a fascinating subject, namely a biography of Leo Tolstoy, instead becomes a tedious discussion of how the copyrights of his novels should be entrusted. Although none of the characters are particularly interesting, director Michael Hoffman has unwisely made Valentin the focus of his film. Regrettably his spiritual awakening at Tolstoy's vast country estate, is the real subject of this bland coming of age drama.

- hobster1, Friday, February 5, 2010

3 stars

This didn't set my world on fire, but I guess it was a solid enough drama. The last days of Tolstoy, with Christopher Plummer as the good man himself, and Helen Mirren outstanding as the too-in-love wife who has to live with her saintly novelist' husband's socialism in action, and the frustration, I expect the rest of us would have too if we saw our stuff being given away. .

- lesleyanorton, Tuesday, August 24, 2010

3 stars

The performances are very good, and director Michael Hoffman lends his film with a beautiful visual quality. It's an interesting enough story, but I felt that maybe it tried to touch on too many sub-plots at once. I also felt no emotional connection to the material, which inevitably detracted from my enjoyment a bit. Still, it's more thoughtful and patiently paced than the majority of films released these days... and that alone deserves mentioning.

- michaelcorleone, Friday, May 14, 2010