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A Late Quartet [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Imogen Poots, Mark Ivanir
  • Directors: Yaron Zilberman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Widescreen, Colour, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Curzon Film World
  • DVD Release Date: 29 July 2013
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C7Q25B2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,991 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By schumann_bg TOP 50 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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