March 4, 2010

Michael Hoffman

Marcia Franklin talks with Idaho filmmaker Michael Hoffman, whose latest movie, The Last Station, has been nominated for two Academy Awards. The Oscars air on Sunday, March 7th on ABC.

Based on a novel by Jay Parini of the same name, The Last Station chronicles the final year in the life of Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy, who was locked in a battle with his wife Sophia about the rights to his works. Tolstoy is surrounded by acolytes who want him to leave the copyrights to his major novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina to the Russian people, while Sophia wants the Tolstoy family to keep the rights.

Hoffman, who wrote and directed the script, shuttled for years between Boise and Germany, where the film was financed and made. He talks with Franklin about why he was attracted to the story, the process of making the film, and what it was like to direct Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, who play the Tolstoys. Both are nominated for Academy Awards.

This is the third Dialogue conversation Franklin and Hoffman have had about his works since 1999. Links to those earlier programs are below.