Helen Mirren talks ‘The Last Station’

Posted by · 8:54 am · November 2nd, 2009

Helen MirrenAfter I saw Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station” at Telluride, it became quickly apparent that, should the film get a domestic release, actress Helen Mirren would find herself in the thick of the Oscar hunt for Best Actress.  She gives, to my mind, the performance of the film.  And now that Sony Classics has picked it up and begun to build a campaign, well…nothing is “truth” until everyone agrees, I guess.

Mirren will be representing the established guard in the face of formidable competition from younger, upstart performers such as Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan.  It should make the race quite interesting, because as much as the media probably wants to frame it as Meryl vs. Carey all the way, there are lots of variables.  And plenty of potential line-ups (especially with contenders like Marion Cotillard on the way and others like Brenda Blethyn and Sandra Bullock jumping into the race as we speak).

Anyway, in the pages of London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mirren has gone on the record with writer John Hiscock about the role of Sofya Tolstoy, Countess wife to world-renowned author Leo Tolstoy.

Says the actress:

This is one of the great women’s roles in film. Sofya is a wonderfully tempestuous and passionate person…I read about Sofya and read her diaries to a certain extent but in the end I was making the film that Michael wrote and based on the book by Jay Parini. Those were really my inspirations rather than the real person; I felt I had to interpret their work rather than try to recreate Sofya perfectly. The film is all about love—young love and old love. It shows the practicalities and disasters that love can involve. The characters were so wonderful, it was an absolute gift.

There is also discussion of Michael Tolkin’s efforts to bring Parini’s novel to the screen, Mirren’s return to the London stage in a production of “Phaedra” and plenty more.  Check it all out at the Daily Telegraph.  And in case you missed my recent in-depth look at the lead actress category, be sure to catch up.




→ 8 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

8 responses so far

  • 1 11-02-2009 at 9:18 am

    Jim T said...

    Kris, two questions-objections.

    1)You say “the performance of the film”. You mean Oscar-wise right? Because you’ve said that the great performance of the film belongs to McAvoy.

    2) You say: “It should make the race quite interesting, because as much as the media probably wants to frame it as Meryl vs. Carey all the way, there are lots of variables.”
    I agree that Mirren will make the race moe interesting but only the nominations race. Not the win. I think the Meryl-Carey(-Gabby) is still unhurt when it comes to winning. We’re still waiting for Ronan but I don’t see Mirren winning by any means. Still, I’m not sure that’s what you meant.

  • 2 11-02-2009 at 9:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think Mirren being in the race gives another perspective and hue to the field, and anything that diminishes the woefully locked-in “it’s Meryl vs. Carey” argument indeed makes the race more intriguing. I don’t think Mirren will win, but I do think we’d be talking more seriously about that if she hadn’t won two years ago. But that, in and of itself, is not a reason to dismiss the possibility.

    As for the performance of the film, I guess you could say I mean Oscar-wise, but mostly I’m talking about what people will remember.

  • 3 11-02-2009 at 10:13 am

    tdr said...

    “…especially with contenders like Marion Cotillard on the way and others like Brenda Blethyn and Sandra Bullock jumping into the race as we speak”
    Sandra Bullock? For what? Have I missed something?

  • 4 11-02-2009 at 10:33 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “The Blind Side.” It might be a long shot, but she’s stirring the pot a bit.

  • 5 11-02-2009 at 10:49 am

    tdr said...

    Hadn’t heard about it, gotta read it up.
    BTW, Kris, just listened to the Oscar Talk this week. Good stuff.
    And a question, probably more appropriate for the OFF THE CARPET post, but I am wondering what’s the word out there on TOM HARDY’s perf in BRONSON. Is there any chance for a nomination. Is there a campaign for him? Anything at all would be appreciated.

  • 6 11-02-2009 at 11:10 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Unfortunately, no one seems to be talking about it. I would wager not enough people have seen it. A shame.

  • 7 11-02-2009 at 2:05 pm

    Aaron said...

    What has happened to Penelope Cruz in Broken Embraces? She is very, very good in it, and she will have extra buzz with Nine opening up around the same time. Is she not seen as a possibility anymore?

  • 8 11-03-2009 at 9:06 am

    The Other James D. said...

    A lot of people simply disagree, Aaron. Besides, she just won, so a double nomination would seem overly indulgent.

    Brenda Blethyn? Is London River is getting a last-minute distribution or more-than-likely to enter the fray next year instead?