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Movie of the Month > March 2011- The Last Station (2009)

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message 1: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Since I'm kind of thrown in this month and I kid you not, I can't find my list of movies that I was going to shift through. My pick is The Last Station. I hope you all enjoy and I look forward to discussing the film with you.

Please don't comment until the appropriate time. Thanks!


message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore Samantha wrote: "Since I'm kind of thrown in this month and I kid you not, I can't find my list of movies that I was going to shift through. My pick is The Last Station. I hope you all enjoy and I look forward to d..."

Please forgive me! LOL!!


message 3: by Davina, The Modster (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
Er ... Sam, do you intend to have this discussion or have you scrapped it?


message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore Hey everyone! I was going to watch it on Netflix tonight, but the website isn't working at this time. I'll keep trying.


message 5: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments OMG! Am I getting the whip cracked by my moddy? LOL. I do apologize guys but life has become stressful and I haven't been around lately. So yes we are having this discussion. I'm watching the movie today! Sooooo sorry. I'll post some discussion questions later.


message 6: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Did everyone else watch it? *hides head in shame if you have*


message 7: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Sorry guys! Let's get on with the program :)

Who do you believe was right Chertkov or Sofya?

Not only was there a triangle effect between Tolstoy, Sofya and the disciples, there was this weird dynamic between Chertkov and Sofya. At certain parts of the film, I questioned who was right. Who knew what was best? I still don't know who was right!

What was Chertkov really out to gain? Was he truly a principled disciple?

I definitely don't believe that he was out for financial gain but more of fame and to lead the followers after Tolstoy died. I believe James McAvoy's character realized that towards the end of the film.

Which character stood out in your eyes?

Probably Sofya. Mostly due to Helen Mirren’s stellar acting abilities. I always enjoy watching her on film. In the beginning of the film, she was a bit of a drama queen. Well, I should say, that she was a drama queen for the ENTIRE film. LOL. However, I didn’t believe her motives were entirely selfish. At the core, I believe, that this was a woman just fighting for her family and she truly did love her husband. Despite the obvious deterioration of her marriage (I didn’t believe it got like that overnight), there was something worth fighting for. I believe they mentioned she was married for 40 + years to the man.

If you could change anything about this film, what would it be and why?

The authenticity of the film. Somehow I wasn't convinced that the story was taking place in Russia. It almost felt British.

Was James McAvoy’s character convincing? Did you relate to him?

Oddly enough, I didn't find his character that strong or appealing. He was a weak follower in my opinion and he was a bit confused at times. I wanted a more convincing scene from him. His comedic (I'm assuming it was) sneezing outburst fell short and I was not moved by him.

What was your favorite scene in the movie?

I don't know if I had a favorite scene in the movie but I will say that I enjoyed the scenes with Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. Really good. Oh, and my favorite line was when she said, "We may be older, maybe we're old, but I'm still your little chicken. And you're still my big cock." I hope I got that right but it was something to that extent.

Did you enjoy the film? Please explain what you did/didn’t enjoy. (this helps me for future picks)

Overall, I did enjoy the film but I didn't love it. Somewhere along the way, it fell short. If it wasn't for the two stellar performances (Mirren & Plummer) I would have found it mediocre.

What I didn't like about the film is that the storylines were muddled. The plot or should I say motivations of the characters are unresolved and after a while seemed pointless. I expected this story to be tightened.

I also wished that there was more historical mentions of what actually took place at that time or what was going to take place (Revolution).


message 8: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Oh, and to answer anyone's question on why I picked this film, I will say that initially I thought that it would have reflected historical themes that was taking place at the time and more of Tolstoyan movement. Which I thought would have stimulated more discussion.


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore Who do you believe was right Chertkov or Sofya?

I don't necessarily think that either party was wrong, I just feel that they each had different points of view, which could be considered the right way of thinking depending on the audience. Am I making any sense?

What was Chertkov really out to gain? Was he truly a principled disciple?

I think he was misguided followers that perhaps started out with good intentions, but that the temptation of fame got the better of him.

Which character stood out in your eyes?

Well, we definitely are in agreement so far!!! The character of Sofya stood out for me too. I felt like Sofya was being judged unfairly throughout the movie. I mean, after 40+ years, I think her feelings were completely normal. Who isn't concerned about the future of their family?! I also think that even though their marriage was falling about, there was love there, and she definitely had a right to express herself.

If you could change anything about this film, what would it be and why?

I was so blown away by Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer that there really was anything I thought about changing. But I see what you mean about it feeling British as opposed to Russian.

Was James McAvoy’s character convincing? Did you relate to him?

I really like James McAvoy, but I felt his character was just "eh" for me, just lukewarm; do you know what I mean? For me, it wasn't that his performance was poor, I just didn't feel much for his character. I almost wish that another lesser known actor played Valentin. Then, I think I would've had a different reaction to his character.

What was your favorite scene in the movie?

I swear I'm not being Samantha's parrot! I didn't really have a favorite scene either. I keep trying think of one, and I really just can't. For the most part, I found the entire movie enjoyable- no one scene more than the other.

Did you enjoy the film? Please explain what you did/didn’t enjoy. (this helps me for future picks)

I really enjoyed it. Lately, I've watched nothing but "B" horror and sci-fi movies, so it was refreshing. I'll admit, when I read about the film, I thought "oh no!" But I was surprised by how much I did enjoy it. Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren are awesome together. Also, I really need to step outside of my comfort zone when it comes to films and reading material. Great choice Samantha! It'll be hard to follow up for next month.......


message 10: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Wasn't Sofya so dramatic. I loved when she "fell" into the lake and as soon as she opened her eyes, she ordered them to find her husband. Later on, when he was at the station, and they refused to let her in, she was like "Did you tell him that I almost drown?" Her theatrics was so funny.

Michelle, I'm glad that you did enjoy the film. I'm sure you'll pick something good. You got a few more days to let us know.


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Gilmore Sofya was the queen of drama. I just loved the fact that there was 40 years between them, and after all the drama, they were still in love. I don't know that I've seen many Helen Mirren films, but I'm definitely going to be looking for more of them.


message 12: by Davina, The Modster (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
I'm not able to post my comments on this film at the moment. If it's okay with Sam I'll do it at a later time. Apologies.


message 13: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments You're the Modster, Davina. So if you don't want to close the thread until you post, you are free to do so.


message 14: by Davina, The Modster (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
It's not up to me to close the discussion. It's your month so it's up to you. I just can't write a coherent analysis of the film right now due to a variety of reasons. I'm out of state and not in my own house being one of them. Also the use of power as the moderator is required only when there's gross disregard for the rules as stated on the group. Aside from such occurrences, I'm just a regular member just like everybody else.


message 15: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Davina, post your comments whenever you want. I'm not stopping the discussion.


message 16: by Davina, The Modster (last edited Apr 29, 2011 06:22PM) (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
Ok, guys, I sincerely apologise for being a month late to this discussion. I did watch the film at the end of March, but I was travelling for work at the time and I saw it in my hotel room while preparing for a meeting I had the following day. So definitely not the ideal setting to concentrate and try to glean meaning from the film. Furthermore, I feel asleep toward the end, at the point where they reached the station, and didn't wake up until morning at which point I had to leave the hotel.

Once again apologies to you Samantha and to you too Michelle. Now without further ado here are my answers to the questions:

Who do you believe was right Chertkov or Sofya?

Neither. For me, I felt like they both were more invested in having a pissing match with each other rather than seek a way to find compromise.

What was Chertkov really out to gain? Was he truly a principled disciple?

I think Jerkoff (sorry I just had to write that! :) really believed in his cause, but I also think he relished the adoration of Tolstoy's followers and wanted that for himself.

Which character stood out in your eyes?

Sofya.

If you could change anything about this film, what would it be and why?

Valentin's love interest. I don't favour the actress and I didn't like her character either. Too cliche. I'd cut her out completely or cast a different actress. I agree that McAvoy's Valentin should have been played by a lesser known actor. I'd've probably cast an actual Russian actor in the role to lend the film a bit more authenticity.

Was James McAvoy’s character convincing? Did you relate to him?

He wasn't outstanding for me, no.

What was your favorite scene in the movie?

Rather than the scene itself I liked the line about the chicken and the cock. My favourite scene was when Sofya threw herself in the river. Very melodramatic and brilliantly played by Mirren.

Did you enjoy the film? Please explain what you did/didn’t enjoy.

I didn't. The story about Tolstoy and his legacy didn't interest me, and the film itself did little to engage me in spite of this. Like I said before I watched this while preparing for a meeting in my hotel room. I've multi-tasked while watching films before (its rare that I can actually sit down and focus all my attention on just watching a film), and there have been times I become so engrossed I forget what I'm doing. This wasn't one of those times. I fell asleep toward the end and it took a month for me to make the time to see the rest of it. I just wasn't eager to get back to it.

Having said this, I hope my lack of enjoyment for the film will bear no influence on future picks of whosoever is leading the discussion. It's a matter of taste and preference. It doesn't mean that it was a bad choice. The point of the MoM is not to pick something that we know everybody likes, otherwise that doesn't make for good and interesting discussion. Pick whatever film you like irrespective of how you think others may feel about it.


message 17: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 867 comments Ok...now that you ripped it apart Davina, can you please closed the thread.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


message 18: by Davina, The Modster (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
What? I haven't "ripped" anything a part. Just giving my honest personal opinion. I didn't mean to cause any offense...


message 19: by Samantha (last edited Apr 29, 2011 06:45PM) (new)

Samantha | 867 comments LOL! Davina, relax. I know you didn't. I was teasing b/c I felt you put a disclaimer at the bottom of your post when you stated you didn't like the choice of MOM for March.

Ok...so my humor didn't come across good via internet. LOL.

But honestly, you can close this thread since I know the discussion is basically over.

ETA: Oh, but it does help for my future picks :)


message 20: by Davina, The Modster (new)

Davina D. | 693 comments Mod
Oh ok, good! LOL Your post came across a little defensive, so I wasn't sure. I guess I interpreted it wrong. Sorry! :)


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