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Sony Pictures Classics Makes First and ‘Last’ Post Telluride Pick-Up

Sony Pictures Classics have picked up North America and Latin American rights to Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti.

With potential actress noms in An Education and Broken Embraces, and Best Foreign Picture nods for The White Ribbon and A Prophet, if I were SPC, I’d pick one or two ponies for Oscar contention and not try to clog the ballot box. Sony Pictures Classics have picked up North America and Latin American rights to Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti. That news was mentioned a couple of days back on the blogsphere. The pic, a Telluride selection, will be released this December – probably pushing some of the film’s perfs.

Based on Jay Parini’s novel, this is set in the last tumultuous years of Leo Tolstoy’s (Plummer) life, the historical biopic centers on the battle for his soul waged by his wife, Sofya Andreyevna (Mirren) and his leading disciple, Vladimir Cherkov (Giamatti). Torn between his professed codtrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children, and a life of hedonism, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny rail station at Astapovo, he believes that he is dying alone, while over one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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