14 items from 2013
A Late Quartet, 2013.
Directed by Yaron Zilberman.
Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust.
The beauty of A Late Quartet is in its ability to allow the audience to gain an insight into the professionalism of a Fugue String Quartet, a world-famous ensemble who have been playing together for many years. We see the complexities between their music and in turn, their lives, when cracks appear and repressed feelings are released.
The film doesn’t assume its audience knows anything about classic music nor do we have to to appreciate the skill and talent of the characters and their work. Unlike some films where the world of the characters is explained in great detail so we, assumedly, do not become disengaged, this film »
- Flickering Myth
Fine performances enliven a moving drama about a group of classical musicians whose uneasy harmony is put at risk by illness
Musical groups, coming together, working harmoniously, splitting up, reuniting, provide one of the great metaphors for human activity. In the cinema we encounter them in such different forms as the real-life bandleaders Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey feuding and going their different ways in The Fabulous Dorseys; Bing Crosby's inner-city priest reforming delinquents as a choir in Going My Way; Fellini's allegorical Orchestra Rehearsal presenting Italy as a musical rabble that can only function when submitting to a firm conductor; or Dustin Hoffman's recent Quartet, which sees elderly singers burying old differences to recreate their celebrated quartet from Rigoletto.
A Late Quartet, written and directed by the American documentarian Yaron Silberman, is a major contribution to this continuing cycle. A subtle, intelligent picture with a suitably resonant title, »
- Philip French
A Late Quartet, 2013.
Directed by Yaron Zilberman.
The cellist in a string quartet is diagnosed with Parkinson's as they prepare for their final tour.
The film's title, A Late Quartet, relates to the string compositions Beethoven produced near the end of his life, during his flurry of output once his hearing began to deteriorate (cheers Wikipedia). It's a name with double meaning.
Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), the cellist in a classical string quartet (there's the first meaning), starts to add a bit too much vibrato to rehearsals. His fingers are a little slower and shakier than last year. The upcoming season is the quartet's 25th together. It's a big deal. They're tremendously successful. They had a documentary special made about them (which is wonderfully diegetic) and appear on a number of classical music magazine front covers. »
- Chris Villeneuve
This drama about a string quartet in chaos after their cellist develops Parkinson's is a great grownup surprise
A Late Quartet is one of the week's most unexpected pleasures. What could have been a TV movie is actually a heartfelt, intelligent, unassumingly well-constructed picture about a musician who has been diagnosed in the early stages of Parkinson's. Admittedly, there are moments when it looks a bit middlebrow, a little soap opera-ish, and it inevitably suffers in comparison with Michael Haneke's Amour, which it calls to mind in one scene. But there's also a forthright unsentimentality driving the drama.
Christopher Walken gives a gentle and atypical performance as Peter, a much-loved and admired cellist, the emotional linchpin of the Fugue Quartet, which has been together for 25 years. He is older and wiser than the others: first violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir), and the second violinist Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Juliette »
- Peter Bradshaw
You can’t stop, even if you screw up, even if -- when -- your instrument goes out of tune. There’s the long and complex piece of his music that Beethoven instructs you play like that, but it applies to life, too. If A Late Quartet lays on the metaphor a little too thickly, all is preforgiven, even before you realize that’s what’s happening, by the sheer joy of getting to watch Christopher Walken (Seven Psychopaths), Catherine Keener (The Croods), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Moneyball) rattle around one another, pissing everybody off and trying to keep things together even when it seems like everything between them is irrevocably broken. They’re members of a renowned New York City string quartet, also including leader Mark Ivanir (Big Miracle), that is forced down from the high of their 25th anniversary together by the news that Walken’s cellist is retiring -- has to retire, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Director: Yaron Zilberman.
Running Time: 105 minutes.
Synopsis: The members of a distinguished string quartet battle to stay together when faced with creative differences, dangerous sexual desire and death.
Zilberman’s first non-documentary feature length film is a triumph overall, although it does contain a few mildly disappointing weaknesses. Granted, life in general has its way of showing you what will happen, but usually you have to look carefully for signs, whereas A Late Quartet often clubs you in the face with its intentions. This leads to some of the set pieces and inciting incidents being less shocking or resonating than they might have been.
Additionally, it is painfully clear the actors are not playing their instruments on a couple of occasions. This would be understandable if you really had to know your instrumental finger work, but when »
- Martin Daniel McDonagh
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Extra-marital affairs, jealousy, betrayal, resentment – all set in the world of classical music. A Late Quartet has relationships and emotional punch ups as tumultuous as the Beethoven the four-piece quartet perform. The frenetic pace of Beethoven is certainly represented in the film but so too is the heart-rendering beauty and tenderness.
The plot is limited but packed with character and emotion. ‘The Fugue’ is a four piece string quartet comprised of cellist Peter (Christopher Walken), violist Juliette and first and second violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir) and Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffmen). The group are approaching their 25th anniversary but are faced with difficult and potentially devastating decisions when Peter announces he must leave the group after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The rest of the group must decide whether to continue or go their separate ways while dealing with pent up feelings of resentment, longing and jealousy. »
- Gearoid Gillett
Christopher Walken gives a sedate turn as the leading member of a world-renowned string quartet who is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. This sounds like the set-up for a distinctly high-brow drama - all weeping violins and quiet suffering - but behind the scenes, the power struggles are as screechingly loud, lowd own and dirty as any you'd find in a late-night soap opera.
Thank goodness for an eminent ensemble that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman on second violin and Catherine Keener on viola, as Robert and Juliette, whose long marriage creaks under the strain when cellist Peter (Walken) announces his retirement. The dynamic of the Fugue Quartet suddenly shifts and founding member Daniel (Mark Ivanir) steps up to lead them into an uncertain future.
Daniel seems the natural leader »
The minute you hear Christopher Walken intoning the opening stanzas of Burnt Norton – one of Ts Eliot's own late quartets – you sense that A Late Quartet plans to mine every last meaning from the words in its title. "Late" like the autumnal, musical Eliot of Four Quartets; like the demanding, crepuscular Beethoven quartet the film's characters rehearse for their silver-anniversary performance (String Quartet No 14 in C sharp minor – menacingly referred to as "Op 131"); and "late" in the connected senses of former or dead, which this quarrelsome foursome soon might be if they fail to recover their harmony. The number four gets a fair old workout as well: four players, four solos, four movements, four rehearsals, Four Quartets. All the film lacks, quartet-wise, is »
- John Patterson
Featuring a terrific leading cast in Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ivanir, the film was well received across the Atlantic back in the autumn/fall last year. And now its UK release is certainly something to look forward to in a few weeks’ time.
Ahead of the release, the UK quad poster has debuted online, along with the UK trailer variant, reminding us what we’ve got to look forward to here.
The Fugue Quartet have performed together for over 25 years, attracting worldwide acclaim. However, when one member admits that time may have finally caught up with them, the quartet are faced with an uncertain future. Yaron Zilberman’s thoughtful drama explores the complexity of the quartet’s lives behind their stage personas, »
- Kenji Lloyd
New Indie DVD of the Month: Don’t let the cast of Oscar winners (and nominees) and its posh setting in the world of classical music fool you: A Late Quartet (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) gets pretty soapy, but always in the best, most interesting way. Legendary cellist Christopher Walken faces retirement due to illness, and his imminent departure ripples through the other members of his string quartet (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir), bringing long-suppressed rivalries and passions to the surface. The A-list cast (which also includes Imogen Poots) keeps things restrained and witty, and the result is a crisp and engaging, if never particularly deep, drama. Also out this month: Hoffman’s extraordinary, Oscar-nominated turn in Paul...
- Alonso Duralde
Exclusive: After making his narrative feature directing debut on A Late Quartet, Yaron Zilberman has signed with UTA, marking his first agency representation. Zilberman helmed the drama that stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Imogen Poots, about a Gotham-based string quartet that confronts long-simmering tensions in preparing for its 25th anniversary season. That film is distributed domestically by eOne. Zilberman previously directed the documentary Watermarks, about the champion women swimmers of the Jewish sports club Hakoah, Vienna, which was banned by the Nazis in the late 1930s. That docu was released by Kino International and was seen on HBO. UTA will look to help Zilberman capitalize on the momentum of A Late Quartet. The filmmakers is still repped by attorney Iddo I. Arad. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Yaron Zilberman.s A Late Quartet explores illness and music, with an all-star cast that includes Academy Award winners Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, as well as the always-lovely Catherin Keener and Mark Ivanir. The film will hit Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, and today Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is sharing an exclusive Blu-ray bonus clip with fans. The clip is from a longer feature available with the Blu-ray set called .Discord and Harmony.. The segment looks into the origins of coming up with the idea for the film, as well as exploring a man with a disease who lives and works in an unusual setting. During the short segment, Seymour Hoffman describes A Late Quartet as a film .where the drama is life,. and that seems like the perfect descriptor for the movie, even with its oddball premise. Speaking of its oddball premise, if you didn.t pick »
Fox Home Entertainment has provided us with an exclusive featurette from A Late Quartet, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD February 5. Christopher Walken stars as the cellist of a string quartet who may be forced into early retirement, which strikes an odd chord with the rest of his fellow musicians (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ivanir). Take a look at this behind-the-scenes featurette where director Yaron Zilberman discusses the deeper themes of this drama, along with actress Imogen Poots.
A Late Quartet Blu-ray Exclusive: "Discord and Harmony Featurette"
Academy Award Winners Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman strike all the right chords with Academy Award Nominee Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir in this powerful story that blends raw emotion with fiery passion to form an unforgettable cinematic masterpiece. After 25 years together, the members of a world-renowned string quartet learn that their beloved cellist (Walken) may soon be forced to retire. »
14 items from 2013
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