Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren play Russian author Leo Tolstoy and his scrap-happy bride, the Countess Sophia Andreyevna. The focus, however, is on wide-eyed fanboy Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy), who gets hired as Tolstoy's secretary and ends up pressed into domestic spying duty by opposing forces. On one side is the countess, who wants to retain her aging husband's publishing royalties for the family. On the other side is Tolstoy's best friend and literary executor Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), a smarmy opportunist who has turned Tolstoy into the reluctant leader of a (semi-)religious cult. The film plays out more like a drawing room farce than a costumed biopic, but the cast is a delight. 112 minutes R.