A delightful film with brilliant performances from Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren as Count Tolstoy and the Countess, and from James McAvoy and Kerry Condon as the future playwright Valentin Bulgakov and Masha.  Masha chopping wood is everything a man could want a woman to be (or so my husband said).  It’s a film about Tolstoy’s last years, about his struggle with private property, but ultimately, as he says, about that which matters more than anything.  It is about love.  And marriage.  And how nobody outside a relationship can really understand what is created within that bond that grows up between two people and informs and infuses their lives for better or worse.

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