After a classical string quartet's 25 years of success, Peter, the cellist and oldest member, decides that he must retire when he learns he has Parkinson's Disease. For the others, that announcement proves a catalyst for letting their hidden resentments come to the surface while the married members' daughter has disruptive desires of her own. All this threatens to tear the group apart even as they are famous for playing Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14, opus 131, a piece that is played non-stop no matter how life interferes. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Peter Mitchell tells his class an anecdote about the two times he met cello legend Pablo Casals; this anecdote is a true incident that happened to another legendary cellist, the late Gregor Piatigorsky. This anecdote is paraphrased from Piatigorsky's autobiography, "Cellist". See more »
While the quartet is assembling to practice in the beginning of the movie, Daniel is asked to give a first violinist a listen, Daniel says he will. He looks to Juliette, who agrees that's a good idea. She is shown with her bow at waist height, but in the next shot she is holding it in front of her face. See more »
Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future, and time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present, all time is unredeemable. Or say that the end precedes the beginning, and the end and the beginning were always there before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now.
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Marietta's Song from Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City)
Written by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performed by Anne Sofie von Otter
Bengt Forsberg - Piano, Kjell Lysell and Ulf Forsberg - Violins
Mats Lidström - Cello, Nils-Erik Sparf - Viola
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon See more »
Excellent performances in a worthwhile little tale about the human condition.
A string quartet playing together for 25 years is faced with the difficult choice of replacing their cello player due to him suffering from the early stages of Parkinson's disease. The predicament ignites a cascade of crises in which all the old wounds of the past seemed to be ripped open and where some new ones emerge.
The film is a masterclass in the craftsmanship of acting and casting, and succeeds in making a modest story to truly come alive. Seymour Hoffman once again shows his amazing talent as an actor and the other leads never fail to keep up. But it is Christopher Walken who really steals the show in the role of the ailing cello player with a stunningly perfect delivery that puts many performances currently considered for Oscars and what not, to shame.
The current rating for this film is probably the result of the thinness of the story and perhaps the silliness that occasionally accompanies it. Nonetheless, The film is certainly worthwhile despite the obvious little flaws in the story.
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