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Michael Hoffman, The Last Station

Writer-director Michael Hoffman's The Last Station covers the last days of Leo Tolstoy and the debate over his legacy between his wife Sofya and the wily Chertkov, who, as a leader of the celibacy-, peace- and vegetarianism-promulgating Tolstoyan Movement, would like his copyrights given to the "people" of Russia, along with his considerable estate. Hoffman cast Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy, Helen Mirren as the volcanic Sofya and Paul Giamatti as Chertkov. It also features James McAvoy as Valentin Bulgakov, who was Tolstoy's assistant in the last year of his life, Cherkov's supposed spy and the audience's eye for the often comic, sometimes tragic goings-on. Hoffman discusses the five years he spent writing, rewriting, seeking funding and casting before finally filming in Germany (29 minutes).


Beyond the Subtitles


Stephen Schaefer hosts candid conversations with actors, filmmakers, producers and movie people near and far. Schaefer has over three decades of writing and talking about movies behind him. He is the author of the Hollywood spoof The Autobiography of Marla Del Marr as told to Stephen Schaefer  and is currently a film critic and entertainment writer for The Boston Herald; and a contributor to USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.