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A Late Quartet [Blu-ray]
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When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet receives a life changing diagnosis, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance: suppressed emotions, competing egos, and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. As they are about to play their 25th anniversary concert, quite possibly their last, only their intimate bond and the power of music can preserve their legacy. Inspired by and structured around Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor, A LATE QUARTET pays homage to chamber music and the cultural world of New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very mature and well written four hander about the hidden tensions and loves in a well established quartet, which emerge when one member announces his retirement due to the early... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. S. N. Lumb
Philip Seymour-Hoffman is superb here and this film is a reminder of what a great loss he is to the world in general and acting in particular. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Pagett
This inter-generational musically themed story doesn't altogether avoid moments that are more soap-operaish than truly dramatic, but that's not the fault of a fine cast. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stanley Crowe
Production companies often create films as competitive marketing devices, (eg, On the Beach vs Dr Strangelove). Read morePublished 9 months ago by pgm3
Good movie, interesting characters, very well acted. Good night in!Published 12 months ago by Dr. Bill