Magnetic Island North Queensland
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July 28th 2010
The Last Station on Saturday August 7

An excellent film about the last years of the great Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, is to be screened on Saturday week, August 7, by the Magnetic Island Film Society at the All Seasons Hotel on Mandalay Ave in Nelly Bay.

ABC Radio National's Movietime reviewer, Julie Rigg, wrote: "The Last Station takes what turns out to be the well documented, diarised, and photographed facts of Tolstoy's death and the years just before, and makes intriguing drama of them. It's essentially a triangle: the tussle between the aged Tolstoy, his wife Sophia -- who had born him 13 children and transcribed his literary works many times -- and his wily, fanatical disciple Vladimir Chertkov over access to Tolstoy himself and to the legacy: in particular copyright of the works. ...

"Tolstoy by then was very much a Great Man, and he was surrounded by dedicated followers: Tolstoyans, as they fashioned themselves, who tried to live out his complicated dictums on religion, the state, sex, marriage, and goodness. ... Through all this wanders Leo Tolstoy himself: distancing himself from both his acolytes, and his family; keeping them at bay with cunning, and with irony, while around him people scribble constantly, noting the great man's every word.

"Helen Mirren gives a scorching performance as Sophia: aggrieved, charming, seductive, furious, painted by the acolytes as hysterical, but also at times a woman with her own dignity. She knows her husband, and she knows how to lure him...until, finally, he flees. The wives of great men have a thankless role usually. The men become great by exploiting them. Sophia was fighting hard for her just share and, who knows, she may have lived with some dignified independence. She deserved much better than she got, from both Tolstoy and the Tolstoyans. As for the circumstances of his death, the last days, they were so extraordinary you must see this film, if only because what it shows you was, substantially, true.

Movie details:
Director: Michael Hoffman

Cast: James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, Helen Mirren, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, Patrick Kennedy, John Sessions, Nenad Lucic, Tomas Spencer

Script: Michael Hoffman (novel by Jay Parini)

Running time: 112

Language: English

Classification: M

MI Film Society Screening details:
Screening at the Endeavour Room 'all seasons' Hotel, 61 Mandalay Ave Nelly Bay Refreshments at Macarthurs Restaurant & Bar.
Screening 8 pm First Saturday of the Month
Please be early so we may start PROMPTLY at 8.00 pm
Admission: Adults $10.00 Conc. $8.00
Members Free
Annual membership $50.00 Conc.
$40.00 Annual membership includes admission for one calendar year (10/11 screenings) & discount to the Film Festival. Half-yearly also available.

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