Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon and James McAvoy
Directed by Michael Hoffman

Valentin, an idealistic young student, leaves Moscow to work for Leo Tolstoy and his wife, Sofya. When he arrives, Valentin meets Masha, a beautiful young teacher and suddenly all his vows of celibacy are forgotten!

Sofya and Tolstoy are increasingly at odds. Chertkov (Tolstoy’s devoted disciple) urges Tolstoy to sign a new will and leave his estate ‘to the people’ while Sofya battles his every move. Sixteen years younger than Leo, Sofya, bore him 13 children and is determined to preserve his enormous wealth for her children’s future.

Valentin tries not to take sides but inevitably gets caught up in the struggle. Chertkov is outraged by Valentin’s apparent lack of cooperation and spitefully fires Masha.

Tolstoy, in his final days, makes a run for peace. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny railway station at Astapovo, he stops while hundreds camp outside awaiting hourly reports. Sofya asks Valentin to help her travel to the station to be with her husband.

Tolstoy often claimed that marriage was the best thing that had ever happened to him. After his death, Sofya remarked, "I lived with him for forty-eight years, but I never really learned what kind of man he was."

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