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Date Screened: 11th November 2013

Synopsis

On the eve of a world renowned string quartet’s 25th anniversary season, their beloved cellist, Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), is diagnosed with the early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. When Peter announces he wishes to make the upcoming season his last, his three colleagues find themselves at a crossroad. Competing egos and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. Robert Gelbart (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the quartet’s second violinist, announces his desire to alternate chairs with first violinist Daniel Lerner (Mark Ivanir), after years of sacrifice and peacemaking for the benefit of the group. Robert’s wife, violist Juliette Gelbart (Catherine Keener) has a particularly difficult time grappling with the tragic diagnosis, as Peter has served not only as a colleague, but as a dear father figure since childhood. When Juliette is unable to support her husband, their marriage is strained with a palpable tension that they can no longer ignore. Tossed into the maelstrom is their daughter Alexandra (Imogen Poots), a talented violinist in her own right. Like her father, she too decides to act on her desires.

As the string quartet prepares to play Beethoven’s Opus 131 for what might be the members’ last concert together, the seven movements of the piece echo their own tumultuous journey. Writer/Director Yaron Zilberman (WATERMARKS)’s A LATE QUARTET features incredibly moving performances from a cast including Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Imogen Poots.

DIRECTOR: Yaron Zilberman

STARRING:
Philip Seymour Hoffman , Christopher Walken , Catherine Keener

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

LANGUAGE: English

COUNTRY: United States

BBFC RATING: 15 (Click here for the full classification report)

Reaction Index Score: 85%

Official Trailer

Reviews

The Guardian logo
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, it quietly observes the internal dynamics of the Fugue String Quartet, an internationally acclaimed musical group founded and based in New York that has been playing around the world for 25 years. We encounter them as an entity, working together thoughtfully, a trifle self-regarding perhaps, and then we get to know them as individuals … Click here for the full review
telegraph
Zilberman and Seth Grossman’s screenplay matches the foursome’s personalities with their instruments via a lack of subtlety that borders on cheek. Juliette, the viola player, is determined to harmonise with all three of her colleagues, while Peter, a wry pragmatist, provides the group with its moral baseline as well as its bass line. (His discovery that he is in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease is what initially destabilises The Fugue and sets the drama in motion) … Click here for the full review

Mark Kermode

Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark Kermode is the UK’s leading film critic. Feted as one of the finest film reviewers of his generation as well as for his impeccably-coiffured quiff, Mark Kermode presents the film review on Radio 5 live with Simon Mayo in a broadcast partnership that has lasted nearly 20 years.
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Empire Online logo
Measured performances from the seasoned cast balance out a script that errs towards the melodramatic. Hours sweating over those instruments pay dividends too … Click here for the full review and rating
total-film
From the wood-panelled concert halls where the four ply their trade to the snowy Central Park where Hoffman does his jogging, New York itself becomes a player in a film that is sure to be embraced by its discerning cognoscenti.

But even if the only movements you’re au fait with involve your limbs, that shouldn’t prevent you feeling in tune with the pleasures on offer … Click here for the full review and rating

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