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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

November 30, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”

(Thanksgiving gravy update: It was awe-inspiring. I followed these instructions religiously, with my ten-year-old niece providing able assistance. Rave reviews. Highly recommended. End of gravy-related digression. Hope you all had a lovely meal.)
So, everyone is asking me about “The Last Station,” and by everyone I mean all the members of my book group, because we love Helen Mirren. Doesn’t everyone? Anyway, “The Last Station” is based on a novel by Jay Parini, about the later years of Leo and Sofya Tolstoy, and is directed by Michael Hoffman (probably best known for the 1991 Kevin Kline/Sally field comedy for “Soapdish,” which is supposedly being turned into a Broadway musical, but I digress. Again.). Mirren plays Sofya, Christopher Plummer is Leo, Paul Giamatti is Chertkov, a Tolstoy disciple who tries to convinces the author to bequeath his novels to the Russian people rather than his family, and James McAvoy a young assistant to Tolstoy, torn between Chertkov and the vengeful Sofia. This sounds, sight unseen, like good stuff, particularly since Mirren can be glimpsed smashing crockery in the trailer.

Though “The Last Station” is Oscar-eligible for 2009 (it’ll get a brief release in NY/LA in late December), we in Seattle won’t see it until February 12. But I’m looking forward to it. You? What else are you anxious to see, as the movie year draws to a close?

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