It’s based on Jay Parini’s 1990 biographical novel about famed Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.
The film focuses on the point in Tolstoy’s (Christopher Plummer) life when he decides to renounce all of his wealth in the name of his new religion. His wife, Sofya (Helen Mirren), finds out that her husband’s disciple Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) might have tricked Tolstoy into altering his will and leaving the Russian people all of his assets rather than his family. Sofya grows incredibly angry and desperate to get what’s rightfully hers, but her rage only makes her husband more vulnerable to Chertov’s power of persuasion. In the middle of the battle is Tolstoy’s young assistant, Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy), who acts as a pawn for both sides.
Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy
Helen Mirren as Sofya Tolstoy, Leo's wife
James McAvoy as Valentin Bulgakov, a naive private secretary sent by Chertkov to work for Tolstoy
Paul Giamatti as Tolstoy's trusted follower Vladimir Chertkov
Anne-Marie Duff as Leo and Sofya's daughter Sasha
Kerry Condon as Masha
* Helen Mirren won the Best Actress award at the 2009 Rome International Film Festival for her performance.
Date of release: U.S. - January 15, U.K. - Feb.19
Sony's official site
Pics found here
>>Interview with Helen Mirren and James McAvoy
>>Interview with director Michael Hoffman
More film clips here