A Late Quartet 2012

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(49) 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

A Late Quartet

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

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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 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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20 of 20 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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Wil Andersen TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SH_ VINE VOICE on 24 Sep 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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Q. Lawrence on 7 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a life long chamber musician this was insightful and great fun. Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting lifts it to tremendous levels. Imogen Poots is the other real plus factor. The faking is not excruciating - but not great. Christopher Walken is the least adept. For outstanding faking, look at Melanie Laurent in The Concert - great film.

There are some great apercus about the art of string quartet playing. The comments on what the various instruments bring to the ensemble is insightful. The Brentano's interpretation of Op 131 deserve longer illustration. Very enjoyable.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 April 2013
Format: DVD
A Late Quartet is a highly civilised film, one that charts the inner lives of four musicians in a somewhat telescopic but basically convincing way. It unfolds all the tensions and dramas that may well exist between people of passionate temperament even if these things do not necessarily come to the surface as much as here, or so much at the same time. It also convinces you that they really are musicians, and uses Beethoven's Quartet op. 131 in a way that is a summation of their aspirations and also plays up certain aspects of the plot towards the end in a way that is cohesive and ambiguous. In fact the ending is beautifully poised ... It also suggests very well the psychological undercurrents that work in a particular way in the music as well, and give an ensemble its unique quality. We hear this in performances in real life, but don't generally get to see the private face of these things as we do here. The actors are all excellent, Philip Seymour Hoffman being quite moving and offset very well by the other two smaller instruments that box him in on either side. In personal terms he goes through a kind of crisis with both of them ... Catherine Keener makes a beautiful and enigmatic viola-player, all in half-tones as befits the general tenor of the film. (She also recalls the fact that the viola-player of the Takacs Quartet - possibly the finest in the world - is also a woman in an otherwise male ensemble, who also sits on the outside right of the group.) The central figure in a way is cellist Christopher Walken, who makes a deep impression just sitting listening to a recording of his late wife singing, or telling a group of students about his meetings with Pablo Casals; these moments have something magical.Read more ›
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