I wasn't really sure what I would think about the film. Biopics in foreign countries about historical figures can sometimes be slow, choppy, unmoving, or flat out boring. Just because someone was important doesn't mean there story is interesting, dramatic, touching, or somewhere in between.
On of the things that I think works for The Last Station is that in concentrates more on telling a story than creating an historically impressive biopic. If you've seen the film there are some very unique title cards that play close to the beginning of the film that in a Star Wars like fashion throws the viewers into the action instead of focusing on "back story."
This makes for an interesting Valentine's film because while it plays on themes of love, it certainly is not you're "romantic" drama. Instead, it probably speaks a lot to the longevity of love.
My wife & I have not been married 48 years like Leo & Sofya Tolstoy, but already it's pretty clear to me that as marriages continue we change. My wife & I are changing in different ways, and I've seen change occur in the lives of other married couples.
As my wife changes, I am tasked with the responsibility and pleasure of learning about my changing wife and renewing my love towards her. The responsibility (and hopefully pleasure) rest again on her shoulders as well.
Without a continued devotion to spending time together, learning about eachother, and renewing our love for one another I know we would diverge, perhaps like we see the Tolstoy's do in their lives.
And I think that responsibility belongs to both parties of the relationship. I think it would be interesting to have a group of people watch this film and discuss whether Sofya or Leo Tolstoy is responsible for the changes in their relationship. I imagine literary historians, romantics, males and females, would all have a varying degree of blame. But it probably rest on both of their shoulders.
In this film, both characters (portrayed by Helen Mirren & Christopher Plummer) are both intriguing characters and seem like remarkable people, but together their final days lacked a spark one imagines existed previously.
Just some thoughts on love and The Last Station, hope if you have some one you love you're taking the chance to relearn who they are and how to love them.