Monday, March 22, 2010

The Last Station

Photo of Countess Tolstoy peering in the window of the train station where her husband lies dying. A picture I find particularly poignant.

I don't often go to the theater to see movies. Pretty rarely. But I was intrigued by this rendition of the last year of Tolstoy's life. I am no expert on Count Tolstoy, but I think he is an interesting man, and of course, one of the greatest authors of all time. It was an enjoyable film in many respects, lush scenery, gorgeous costumes, outstanding acting performances by some theatrical heavy weights. Unfortunately, there was a lot about it that was aggravating. I love it when I find a reviewer who agrees with my assessment of things. :)

"The Last Station falls between two stools: neither cerebral enough to unpack Tolstoy’s legacy, nor involving enough to satisfy frock-opera fans. But taken as an acting showcase, Michael Hoffman’s film does deliver some treats."

Yep, what he said. It seemed to me they were trying to take a very complicated subject and market it to the masses, which is strange because it was playing at the local "art house" theater and no other in the area. Not to mention it was a vignette from a very long and involved life (lives).....probably the most dramatic one, but nonetheless, unless you know the history of these two folks it makes it very difficult to understand and appreciate the "forces that be" which brought them to this point. Therefore almost none of which was depicted in the movie was very moving or even understandable....except on a very basic level. ( And even knowing some of the story myself I felt a certain level of confusion or frustration at the fact that so much of it was glossed over, although I appreciate the cinematic difficulty there :)

So, there you have it. A bit of a disappointment. In retrospect I would have saved this one for the Netflix que. But it was a nice date with my oldest son, so not a bad way to spend an evening in the least! :)

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Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.