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)
Sotheby's David Redden appears as the auctioneer in the film's auction scene. See more »
Daniel discusses with Alexandra how the smallest difference in horse hair can change the timbre of the violin and he pronounces it as tim-ber instead of the correct pronunciation as tam-ber. 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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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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