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46 Reviews
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strings attached
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...
Published 16 months ago by Antenna

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11 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sporadically well played, sometimes out of tune
This quite likeable if hardly original film, about the fiddling and feuding of the fictitious Fugue Quartet, is something of a curate`s egg, never quite sure of its mood from one scene to another, with some fine playing one minute, then a piece of badly directed dissonance the next.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (second violin) is superb as usual, and is the one constant in...
Published 16 months ago by GlynLuke


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest!, 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Superb casting,direction, acting, story line and photography. One of the best films last 2 years.
Now viewed twice and will be showing in our Village Cinema October Show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best film of 2013, 14 Sep 2013
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
"A Late Quartet" is a fantastic,captivating film featuring some superb acting , great characterisation as well as an engrossing storyline. The film follows the fortunes of an ageing ,world renowned ,New York based string quartet as it verges on self implosion after a series of dramatic events. Firstly the cellist is diagnosed with an illness that may force his retirement, secondly two of the quartet are married and an extra marital liaison causes a deep rift between them , thirdly the second violinist wants to share the first violinist role and finally the first violinist embarks on a torrid love affair with the child of the married couple. It's a bit like an upmarket version of a soap opera at times ! As I said , the acting is phenomenal and if , like myself , you're a big fan of classical music you will enjoy both the music as well as taking a look behind the scenes of the New York music world and life in a top string quartet. This is the best film that I have seen so far in 2013. Really enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Having seen this film at the cinema I bought it as a present for two family members, hoping to borrow it later so I can watch it again. It covers a range of emotions, all linked to the background of a wonderful soundtrack. Performances are superb and I must pick out Philip Seymour Hoffman's as a highlight, more poignant by his recent death. The film contains great music, relationships, illness, some great scenery, and with humour too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thoughtful and very well made, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (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. All have been well coached in the simulation of string playing, and though they are clearly not the players whom we hear (it's the Brentano String Quartet, and they are first-rate), they are convincing enough for us to suspend our disbelief. Imogen Potts, who plays the promising daughter, is not as good at that but is otherwise excellent in a rather difficult role. There is a gentle, elegaic tone about the whole film, but with an appropriate undercurrent of disquiet. New York is beautifully filmed and there are memorable scenes in, for example, Central Park, Sothebys and an art gallery (presumably the Metropolitan). The musical background is (mostly) Beethoven's Quartet Op. 131,among the greatest and most mysterious of all string quartets, and it is hauntingly used in the film.

I was not quite convinced by the tensions that develop, on which I cannot be specific without giving too much away, for two reasons : it seemed strange that there should not have been signs of these prior to the 'cellist's announcement, and there was an element of melodrama in the way they played out. Not five stars from me, then, but four, but it is a good film, an unusual one, and well worth seeing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For music lovers, 5 Dec 2013
By 
Alice (Guildford, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
A beautifully acted film about the repercussions when the leading member of a string quartet finds that he has a version of Parkinson's disease and cannot play. I loved it and found it very moving if a predictable plot but my husband found it overwrought - so take your pick!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At first I though I'd hate it., 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
After giving it a chance I ended up liking it.

I couldn't understand why it should be sold as a set, but now I can see why offered it as a package deal.

Give it a go, I think you, like me will be pleasantly surprised.

ted turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LATE QUARTET, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
A VERY MOVING FILM AND OF ESPECIAL INTEREST TO MY HUSBAND WHO IS A LOVER OF THE BEETHOVEN STRING QUARTETS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, bitterstweet film, 2 Sep 2013
By 
Kirk McElhearn (Near Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
A string quartet, considered by some to be the optimal ensemble in classical music, is a delicate balancing act. Four people work together, closely, for years, rehearsing, traveling and performing. Some of the best string quartets last for decades, but undoubtedly at the price of many compromises. Unlike an orchestra, where there are a large number of musicians and a leader - the conductor - the string quartet's size makes the interpersonal relations much more intense.

In this poignant film, we see the Fugue Quartet after 25 years of performing together reach a moment of crisis. The cellist, played by Christopher Walken, has a health problem and decides to retire. This brings up a number of conflicts among the four musicians, who are closely knit in many ways. Second violin (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is married to viola (Catherine Keener), there is conflict between first violin (Mark Ivanir) and second violin, and there are a number of subtle links among the musicians, and the daughter of second violin and viola.

The title of this movie is a play on words. It's about a "late" - deceased - quartet, or more precisely one on the brink of death, but it's also about one of Beethoven's late quartets, the op. 131 quartet, which serves as a leitmotif throughout the film. The choice of the name of the quartet, the Fugue Quartet, is also apt: the story itself proceeds like a fugue, with the various threads of love and conflict among the group are subtly woven together until a finale which ties together many threads in a brilliant resolution. This is a very moving film, though it requires a bit of patience as the different "voices" of the fugue are exposed then developed, before the story harmonizes. But it's well worth sticking with if as the relationships among these characters become more clear.

The acting is excellent, and the direction subtle and understated. Christopher Walken shows extreme restraint throughout, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener are excellent as the married couple living and working together. Mark Ivanir, an actor I was not familiar with, plays an inflexible musician, who learns, in the end, that he, too, needs to give a bit to allow the ensemble to continue.

A beautiful film, with a subtle story, that is memorable and moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Music of Life!, 1 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. A. J. Richards "yourbiteall" (Weston Super Mare) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
A Late Quartet is one of those movies classified under the heading 'Hidden Gems'. Walken gives a poignant, and most brilliant performance for some time as a member of a string quartet who finds out some shocking news and then it explores how he and the rest of his musical 'family' deal with these events, leading up to one last concert.
A Late Quartet, although dipping its toe into the New York music scene, is more about the passing of time and friendships being put to the test and is a touching human drama that is one of the best of its ilk. It will probably be the sort of story that will grow on me the more i repeat view it.
If it does have a crack it is in the pacing, one minute feeling too sentimental and lapsing into syrupy melodrama to then stumbling into Romantic-comedy territory. However these are brief fortunately and the films performances and tight , purposeful script(along with some dry, frank humour at times) always shines through right up to the beautiful and delicately focused finale. Most movie goers will appreciate it even if classical music isn't their thing though for its chosen demographic it will certainly affect and charm very profoundly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Move, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Wonderful movie with some of our best modern day actors. Very moving and believeable. Some lovely perfromances especially from Seymour Hoffman
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A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012]
A Late Quartet [DVD] [2012] by Yaron Zilberman (DVD - 2013)
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