‘Last Station’ to Sony Classics?

Posted by · 2:41 pm · September 29th, 2009

(from left) Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer in The Last StationObviously the only thing Pete Hammond can mean when he writes the following:

Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti are going to try to shake up the awards season. Look for their new film, “The Last Station” — written and directed by Michael Hoffman and based on the final months in the life of Leo Tolstoy, which premiered sans distribution at the Telluride Film Festival on Sept. 4 — to be released by the specialty division of a major studio (with a slew of other art house contenders already this year including three more Best Actress possibilities) and opened in December in order to qualify for the Academy Awards.

…is that Sony Pictures Classics is moving in for the kill here.  No other specialty division has a “slew” of titles, let alone a “slew of other art house contenders,” so it’s probably a safe assumption that Michael Barker and Tom Bernard made the leap.

And it fits.  Bernard was curious what people thought of the film in Telluride, and he told me, “We might buy it,” at the time.  That’s obviously neither here nor there, but I got the vibe — and I certainly wasn’t alone here — that Sony Classics would make a nice home for the film.

I wasn’t a massive admirer of “The Last Station,” though the film was something of a darling at Telluride (where it had its world premiere).  It was certainly enjoyable and has some potential as an awards player, but it’s small.  And I wasn’t entirely sold on Christopher Plummer’s lead actor prospects (though certainly, if the film is picked up, Helen Mirren is a lead actress threat and a half).  James McAvoy is quite good in his usual leading supporting spot.

Then again, I’ve also been saying that Sony Classics could use a Best Actor contender, and with “Get Low” looking like a 2010 race, there is room for Plummer.  Maybe yet…

Again, this is all idle speculation since Hammond is playing coy but really, what else could it be?  We’ll address things further once an official announcement drops.




→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 9-29-2009 at 2:55 pm

    John said...

    Could ‘Last Station’ be the ‘Doubt’ of this year with Best Actor, Actress, & Supp. Actor noms, but no BP noms??

    Here’s hoping Plummer and McAvoy can get their deserved first noms!!!

  • 2 9-29-2009 at 3:26 pm

    Loyal said...

    With 10 BP nominees, there are no Doubts this year.

  • 3 9-29-2009 at 3:28 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    For some reason, I start nodding off when I even read about this film.

  • 4 9-29-2009 at 3:32 pm

    JAB said...

    um…why would they push back Get Low and pick up another film for this year?

  • 5 9-29-2009 at 3:44 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    id agree loyal

  • 6 9-29-2009 at 4:04 pm

    markus said...

    Hammond should keep his mouth shut unless an official annoucement has been made. This is purely hearsay and could even be a pickup to open in 2010. Who knows until Sony make it official..

  • 7 9-29-2009 at 4:54 pm

    Jim T said...

    Damn! I wanted to see Mirren get another nomination but lead? Difficult. Now that I think about it, it wouldn’t be easy for supporting either. Bad Nine, bad. :p

    I am not excited about the film but I’d like to see it.

  • 8 9-29-2009 at 6:38 pm

    Aaron said...

    So Kris, you think Helen Mirren could have a shot at a best actress nomination if released this year? I thought her role was more supporting…

  • 9 9-29-2009 at 6:49 pm

    John said...

    Yeah, you see her (after winning recently) having a nom chance against Streep/Mulligan/Cornish/Ronan/Cotillard/Swinton/Bening/Sidibe, etc. ???

  • 10 9-29-2009 at 7:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yep. Without question, actually.

  • 11 9-29-2009 at 9:29 pm

    Silencio said...

    Yeah, her recent win shouldn’t exclude her from a nom at least. Winning is another story, but if she’s head and shoulders above the competition, don’t rule her out. It didn’t stop Hilary Swank.

  • 12 9-29-2009 at 10:47 pm

    jess said...

    I saw a poster of this film which seemed to indicate that Mirren was the lead of the film, alongside Plummer.

    She is well-liked, and it’s not uncommon to be nominated so soon after winning.

    The Best Actress lacks big names, there’s no room for all these newbies. Mirren will be nominated, lead or supporting.

  • 13 9-29-2009 at 11:48 pm

    Bastian said...

    I know people who worked on LAST STATION, and they told me that the only lead role was that of McAvoy…

    To those who saw the film: Was his stake cut to “his usual leading supporting spot”?

  • 14 9-30-2009 at 5:56 am

    John said...

    Anyone think McAvoy has any chance of a nom in supporting with a storng push (what with 4 or so of the noms practically sewn up)?

  • 15 9-30-2009 at 6:32 am

    Hero said...

    Frankly, I’m not holding my breath for a McAvoy nom for the simple reason that he’s given nomination-worthy performances in the past and been overlooked anyway.

  • 16 9-30-2009 at 8:56 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Bastian: It’s a clear case of being relegated to supporting despite being the true “lead” of the piece. Same thing happened with McAvoy in “Last King.”

    But when it comes to awards, it’s obvious what a studio would do here. Plummer lead, Mirren lead, McAvoy supporting.

  • 17 9-30-2009 at 11:22 am

    markus said...

    I wonder why two prediction sites (Hollywood Elsewhere & Film Experience) list Mirren’s
    performance in Last Station as supporting. If
    nothing else, this seems to indicate possible
    category confustion for Mirren if indeed this
    film secures distribution…

  • 18 9-30-2009 at 12:10 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s only confusion because neither Nat nor Jeff has seen the film.

  • 19 9-30-2009 at 12:38 pm

    markus said...

    If Mirren does secure a Best Actress nod it would be unlikely she would win just 3 years after a previous win. Swank did it but it was 5 years between wins. The academy rarely rewards in such close horizons (exceptions being Tom Hanks & Spencer Tracy)…

  • 20 9-30-2009 at 1:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No one is talking about her for a win. No one should really be talking about ANYONE for a win, but the agreed upon assumption is it’s still Mulligan vs. Streep. Mirren in the mix doesn’t change that, I just think she’d be a strong case for a nod.

  • 21 9-30-2009 at 1:58 pm

    markus said...

    Kris, I agree…