A Late Quartet

"Good"

A Late Quartet Review


While this film has some bracingly strong observations on the nature of long-term professional and personal relationships, it also feels somewhat theatrical in the way its story develops. It's as if everything happens for an important reason, as ordained by the screenwriters. Fortunately, these terrific actors bring out riveting layers of meaning in their characters.

The title refers to the Fugue String Quartet, which has been at the peak of the classical music scene for 25 years. But their fragile balance is shaken when cellist Peter (Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson's. Second violinist Robert (Hoffman) starts wondering if maybe he should be playing first chair, but he's feeling unsupported by his wife Juliette (Keener), who plays viola. Meanwhile, first violinist Daniel (Ivanir) wants to keep things as they are, although his lessons with Robert and Juliette's prodigy daughter Alex (Poots) are taking an unexpected turn into something steamy. Can the quartet's bond survive all of this?

All four actors underplay their roles perfectly, letting us see the internal workings of their relationships through their own private ambitions. Hoffman, Keener and Ivanir have especially dark edges to play with in every scene, even if their long-repressed issues make the film sometimes feel soapy. Walken is simply wonderful in a rare non-kooky role as a man facing a very difficult future with humour and emotion. On the other hand, Poots kind of gets lost in the shuffle, never really making much of her thinly written role.

Filmmaker Zilberman keeps the focus personal, which makes this four-way relational crisis fascinating to watch, especially as long-buried resentments gurgle to the surface and demand attention for the first time in a quarter-century. Although it's a bit hard to believe that these four musical geniuses would have suppressed their frustrations for so long. And we never really believe that these actors are playing the instruments either (by contrast, real musician Nina Lee's brief appearance as Peter's replacement shows how it's really done). But even with these nagging contrivances, it's a watchable, intriguing drama.

Rich Cline



A Late Quartet

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd November 2012

Box Office USA: $1.6M

Distributed by: Entertainment One

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 84 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Yaron Zilberman

Producer: Vanessa Coifman, David Faigenblum, Emanuel Michael, Tamar Sela, Mandy Tagger, Yaron Zilberman

Starring: as Robert, as Peter Mitchell, as Alexandra Gelbart, as Juliette Gelbart, as Gideon Rosen, as Daniel Lerner, as Dr. Nadir, as Pilar, Megan McQuillan as Brenda, Pamela Quinn as Parkinson's Class Instructor, Brooklyn Parkinson Group as Parkinson's Class Participants, Cristian Puig as Flamenco Guitarist, Rebeca Tomas as Flamenco Dancer

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.