The film, based on the book The Last Station, is about the life of famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer). Mirren plays his wife Sofya. The much in demand James McAvoy plays Valentin Bulgakov, Tolstoy’s secretary. Mirren and Plummer were replacements for Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins. Paul Giamatti also co-stars. The film is being directed by Michael Hoffman, whose biggest hit to date was the Pfeiffer/Clooney romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996). But since this is a period bio will we see it in this years Oscar race? Hoffman’s only Oscar film previously was the 17th century drama Restoration (1995) which won for costume design & art direction.
Helen Mirren has another big year ahead of her with three films coming our way. The other biggies are an A list ensemble crime thriller (State of Play) and one true story about a brothel in Nevada (Love Ranch) directed by her husband Taylor Hackford (Ray).