05 March 2010

The Last Station (Michael Hoffman, 2009)

I'm coming valiantly close to being caught up with what I've been watching. I saw this earlier in the week and I haven't really thought of much to say about it. It was interesting to learn a little bit about the sort of Tolstoy cult that I had seen hinted at before but about which I don't know very much. The trouble is it came across as kind of flat and superficial. I mean, there must have been real issues here but the film shows it as a sort of dry soap opera. I'm having trouble coming to the point I mean. In any event, I felt like the acting was off as well. Christopher Plummer hams it up like a sort of parody of a grand actor. Paul Giamatti is loathsome and cartoonish and typically irritating. With the exception of Helen Mirren the female characters seem similarly one dimensional. James McAvoy is charming and serves as a pleasant anchor to the piece but his character doesn't feel fleshed out enough. Helen Mirren is generally a pleasure to watch and is most of what makes this uneven movie at all worth watching. The cinematography seemed a little off as well. I can't profess to know enough about photography to speak of it intelligently but it seemed like whatever they were trying to do they only managed to do halfway. C/C-

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