Adapted from a novel by Jay Parini, this lively costume drama chronicles the last days of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), presented here as a knock-down, drag-out battle between his longtime personal secretary, Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), who wants Tolstoy to make good on his political beliefs by leaving his copyrights to the Russian people, and Tolstoy's wife of 48 years, Sofya (Helen Mirren), who isn't having any of that. If you come to this expecting the philosophical depth and psychological detail of Tolstoy's work you're sure to be disappointed, but as an actors' romp it's delectable, with Giamatti at his priggish, icy best and Mirren scorching the earth as she denounces the men's rigid ideals of chastity and asceticism. Michael Hoffman directed; with James McAvoy, Kerry Condon, and Anne-Marie Duff.
Director: Michael Hoffman
Producer: Chris Curling, Jens Meurer, Bonnie Arnold, Andrei Konchalovsky, Phil Robertson, Judy Tossell and Robbie Little
Cast: Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, John Sessions and Patrick Kennedy