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A Late Quartet (2012)

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Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust.

Director:

Yaron Zilberman

Writers:

Seth Grossman (screenplay), Yaron Zilberman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Keener ... Juliette Gelbart
Christopher Walken ... Peter Mitchell
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Robert Gelbart
Mark Ivanir ... Daniel Lerner
Imogen Poots ... Alexandra Gelbart
Madhur Jaffrey ... Dr. Nadir
Liraz Charhi ... Pilar
Wallace Shawn ... Gideon Rosen
Pamela Quinn Pamela Quinn ... Parkinson's Class Instructor
Brooklyn Parkinson Group Brooklyn Parkinson Group ... Parkinson's Class Participants
Cristian Puig Cristian Puig ... Flamenco Guitarist
Rebeca Tomas Rebeca Tomas ... Flamenco Dancer
Megan McQuillan Megan McQuillan ... Sotheby's Executive
David Redden David Redden ... Auctioneer
Ted Hartley Ted Hartley ... Winning Bidder
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No arrangement is more beautiful...or more complicated.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 2012 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

A búcsúkoncert See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,279, 4 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,561,577, 10 March 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Catherine Keener said about Christopher Walken's role in the film and the way the other actors related to him: "He is the man. He's 'the dad.' And if dad is cool and feeling good today, we all feel good. We truly hated to disappoint him. We were always happy to see him. We wanted his approval. All of those things." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Peter Mitchell: 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Skyfall (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet No.14 in C# minor, Op.131
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Brentano String Quartet
Courtesy of AEON Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Late Quartet--Review
8 January 2013 | by lucasnochezSee all my reviews

As the film opens and the four members of the renown, Manhattan based Fugue string-quartet grace their humble audience and stage, they slowly bow…and the film cuts.

Like so many movies before it, the film starts where it ends.

Like a cheap, brand new suit or a stuffy high-brow gala, Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet is a fine piece of high cultured entertainment with low-brow issues.

Graced with fine classical music and an impeccable musical score from Angelo Badalamenti, the music is just the setting for a simple story of passion and love. But the twist in the narrative as the film unfolds, is not the love and passion the quartet shares for one another, but rather a sizzling passion for the sounds and beauty of classical compositions.

Like any hobby or refined passion, A Late Quartet is a showcase of how music affects the lives of people who allow them to be engulfed by the mesmerizing strings of some of the greatest musicians to have ever lived.

Once together, the Fugue is a metaphor of beauty, wisdom and harmony; consisting of a group of people who are diverse both physically and emotionally. The members of the quartet include violin I and perfectionist Daniel Lerner (Mark Ivanir); violin II and the emotional impulse of the quartet Robert Gelbart (Philip Seymour Hoffman); viola and the sensible lone female composer Juliette Gelbart (Catherine Keener); and finally the glue and backbone of the quartet, aging cellist veteran and mentor to all three players Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken).

Upon learning of his weary health and the early signs of Parkinson's disease, Peter must share with the quartet his illness and impending future of the group. His influence goes far beyond what he brings to the stage, since he and his recently deceased wife Miriam (Anne Sofie von Otter) raised Juliette from an early age as an orphan. And his teachings of classic music to Daniel as a student makes his departing the quartet emotionally straining and difficult for everyone.

As the option to find another cellist arises and the chance for the group to evolve as they approach their quarter-century anniversary, Robert sees this as an ideal opportunity to play switching roles as violin I and II—with hesitation from the obsessed Daniel and his nonsupporting wife Juliette.

What transcends from the melodrama between these people and the struggles they face as a group of human beings, putting aside their passion for classical music, is a portrait of love, lost and acceptance. The film plays as a modern-day fable to unleash one's passion and wonderful moments of fulfilling your dreams with realities.

A Late Quartet may be a heightened sense of melodramatic wonder, thanks to the highly emotional and super sensitive Sting Quartet No. 14 by Beethoven in the film's finale or the wonderful sounds of the Brentano String Quartet playing on behalf of the Fugue. Nonetheless, a few things are certain.

A Late Quartet is a masterclass in acting for all four masterful and meticulous actors.


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