Oscars Challenge 2010: The Last Station

last_stationTHE LAST STATION

Up For:
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

This film deserves the story that preceded it.

A friend of mine and I decided to see this film at a 9:55pm showing on a Tuesday night. Upon purchasing our tickets and getting concessions, we walked to the numbered theater that it was playing. Upon arriving, we had to take a moment to stare blankly at the poster that was placed above the door of the entrance to the seating auditorium. Even the poster looked dull. With a name like The Last Station, and the time period, and the idea that the film revolved around a train, we were not excited…at all.

In the theater, we sat by ourselves for the previews and the first minutes of the film until a male (who looked as though he had stumbled into the wrong theater) sat down a few rows in front of us and continued on the journey of the film with us (eventually dropping an object that made the sound of shattering glass…. probably alcohol).

The Last Station, turns out, has hardly anything to do with a train. Instead, the film revolves around the hectic, yet passive life of the writer of War & Peace, Tolstoy, played by Christopher Plummer, who definitely earns his nomination (in comparison to his anti-climatic performance in Imaginarium of Doctor Parnannuss or his voice as Charles Muntz in Up). Helen Miren plays his eccentric wife, that is paranoid that Tolstoy’s loyal advisor, Paul Giomatti, is trying to steal everything Tolstoy has earned from his writing by making his copyrights public domain for easier access to a wider audience.

In the fray of all of this, James McAvoy (widely known from his role in Wanted) enters to become Tolstoy’s young secretary, learning more than he bargained for from a sexual Tolsoyan, Masha, played by gorgeous Kerry Condon.

The Last Station will take you through the full spectrum of emotion, making you laugh with its comedic timing and pace, while making you cry to the eventual demise of its main character (its historically accurate, so I’m not spoiling anything). It will make you distrust everyone, yet feel for each side of the argument.

Obviously, this film deserves the nominations it received and would not surprise me if it took the gold.

In the end, my friend and I left the film grateful for having experienced a film we would never have seen in a million years had we had a choice, and both agreed that our biggest challenge now would be persuading others to view the film so that they may experience the beauty that was this film.

(6 FILMS TO GO)

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