Today I saw a movie that I have been waiting for in vain for months. It was The Last Station, about the last days of Tolstoi. We had to go quite a long way, a circuitous route recommended by Google Maps, to Laguna Niguel, and once we get there, I saw there were lots of easier ways to reach it.
The movie was terrific, and the performance by Helen Mirran, who played Sofia Andreevna Tolstaya, Lev Tolstoi's wife, deserved the nomination it received for best performance. I liked the movie very much, and it gave some context to an experience I had in my youth, in which I met Countess Tolstaya, Leo Tolstoi's youngest child, at Nyack NY, at the farm where she had just taken in thousands of Asians expelled by Idi Amin in 1972. I don't remember what year it was or whether I went from Rutgers University, where I spent my first two years of college, or from Hollins, where I spent the rest of my undergraduate and one year of graduate school. Marly would remember that, because she was in Russian classes with me at Hollins. Surely, if I went from Hollins, she went too.