Anton Chekhov’s novella “My Life” reads like the first half of Leo Tolstoy’s life. A socially rebellious youth from a wealthy family who rejects the privileges of his class, denounces his education and sets out to make a life for himself amongst the working people. THE LAST STATION, however, is concerned only with the great man’s final days, more concerned, perhaps, than the great man himself. The film, like the ardent young Tolstoyans who hang on his every word, seeks to preserve his legacy even when Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) isn’t so sure what that is. Like Christians who follow the Bible to the letter, he is disappointed, it seems, or perhaps bewildered that his friends and believers obey ideals he once advocated for like abstinence, for example, when he himself doesn’t hesitate to make love to his wife.
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