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A Late Quartet 2012

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(62) IMDb 7.1/10
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Music-based drama directed by Yaron Zilberman in which a world-renowned string quartet from New York must come to grips with the thought of losing one of their members. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Peter (Christopher Walken), the eldest of the group, expresses his wish to leave. As his departure threatens the future of the quartet, so does the breakdown of Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Juliette (Catherine Keener)'s marriage. Tensions increase further when Robert becomes dissatisfied with his position as second violinist, while first violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir) becomes involved with Alexandra (Imogen Poots), Robert and Juliette's much younger daughter.

Starring:
Christopher Walken, Liraz Charhi
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring Christopher Walken, Liraz Charhi, Wallace Shawn, Madhur Jaffrey, Catherine Keener, Megan Mcquillan, Marty Krzywonos, Imogen Poots, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir
Director Yaron Zilberman
Genres Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA SALES
Rental release 29 July 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring Christopher Walken, Liraz Charhi, Wallace Shawn, Madhur Jaffrey, Catherine Keener, Megan Mcquillan, Marty Krzywonos, Imogen Poots, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir
Director Yaron Zilberman
Genres Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA SALES
Rental release 29 July 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 April 2013
Format: DVD
The "Fugue" String Quartet have played together for a quarter of a century, so it is a shock when the founder member, cellist Peter, announces that he has early-stage Parkinson's disease so will need to retire. Reacting with a mixture of denial and doubts as to whether they can continue without him, or wish to do so, the bombshell releases negative forces in the rest of the group - long-suppressed rivalry, jealousies and resentment surface abruptly.

With beautiful filming of Central Park in the snow and the interior of spacious old brownstone apartments, the main characters all put in convincing and moving performances, not least in their ability to appear to play string instruments, although I have no idea how a skilled musician would view this. The scenes are based on the rehearsal of Beethoven's last String Quartet, Opus 131, a fitting background to the theme of the film. It seems to convey very convincingly the joys and sacrifices of life in a close-knit quartet in which one must sink one's individuality to achieve the benefits of collaboration and the chance to perform far more, at a more satisfying level, than might be the case as a soloist - a point I had not considered.

Although it may appeal mainly to older viewers who are close to experiencing the effects of ageing and intimations of mortality themselves, there is also a good deal of humour with some tense moments, as normally highly disciplined musicians act out of character and indulge themselves with potentially disastrous consequences.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Zelazek on 3 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
A high quality film with high quality actors about high quality music. I found this intelligent film riveting. I was interested in all the characters. Watching the film was itself almost like listening to a piece of music: A new theme is introduced in a disturbing minor chord which has all sorts of repercussions on long-established quiet and settled motifs.

All the actors are great. Walken is superb and utterly believable in his role. And Philip Seymour Hoffman - never has the pain of playing second fiddle been so wonderfully expressed. This man in my view is the greatest film actor in the world at the moment.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SH_ VINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD
Brilliant script, beautiful music, superb acting. Time just evaporated for me watching this film, which I would rate the best I have seen since Lost in Translation. It's definitely for people with a brain, and a heart... not for action and sfx fans who like escapist pap. Not a moment passes without some profoundly problematic emotional consequence of life itself being expressed, often silently, just by tiny facial expressions and gestures... that's how brilliant the acting is.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Wil Andersen on 6 April 2013
Format: DVD
...Christopher Walken absolutely holds this film together. It is the core of the film and is quite wonderful. I have always liked him as an actor but this is exceptional - particularly since on the surface he does so little. Masterly acting.

I found the whole film both enjoyable and very moving - yes, a few quibbles here and there (some of the emotional drama was a bit over the top) but minor. Only Imogen Poots was - for me - a little off centre given the role she ended up playing - but the rest of the cast is very, very well realised.

The surprise to me was Mark Ivanir who I didn't know - although the face was familiar. He performs with such intensity that it burns off the screen. He has a long record but I simply have missed most of his performances.

And the setting is great. Manhattan in winter - not the usual spring and summer scenes. Here is cold and snowy. Central Park has never looked better. Clever contrasting of the warm, carefully lit interiors with the snowy exteriors. And many scenes are set in New York institutions like the Frick, Time Warner Centre, The Metropolitan Museum and I thought it was the East Village but my wife thought it was the West. Who cares. It was lovely to be reminded of it.

I really enjoyed it. The audience was spellbound and everyone sat through the lengthy end credit sequence without moving listening to the...MUSIC. And there was applause at the end - which simply doesn't often happen in our Oxford cinema full of OAPs like me. And there was discreet use of handkerchiefs as well. Go see it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD
This is an unusual and enjoyable film about the breakup - possibly - of a twenty-five years intense professional and personal relationship, that of the four members of a string quartet who have met virtually daily throughout that time in the course of their work ; more - the second violinist (Philip Seymouir Hoffman) and violist (Katherine Keener) are married and have a daughter, herself an outstandingly promising violinist. Preparations are made for the 25th anniversary concert, but the 'cellist (Christopher Walken), aware of slight signs of failing powers, is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which means that sooner or later - almost certainly sooner - he will be unable to perform. Unexpected tensions are uncovered when he makes his announceement, which is devastating for all of them. He was 30 years older than they, with an established career when he approached them as students to join him in the Fugue Quartet, and he has been their father fugure and mentor from the start, though he is now primus inter pares. More than anything he hopes that the Quartet will continue, with a new cellist, but to his great distress deep, serious divisions which have nothing to do with his illness appear. What will happen? They all owe it to him to continue if possible, but it seems that the relationship has been strained beyond breaking point.

However, the final concert of the established quartet, with the 'cellist, does take place, and it forms a charming and convincing ending to the film. Has the damage been healed? We cannot tell, though we hope it has.

This film is well made, with excellent performances from the four main players, Walken, Hoffman, Keener and Mark Ivanir.
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