Search This Blog

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Late Quartet - A late review...

 Yaron Zilberman presents the story of a string quartet from New York who must come to grips with the thought of losing one of their members. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Peter, the eldest of the group, expresses his wish to leave. As his departure threatens the future of the quartet, so too does the breakdown of Robert and Juliette's marriage. Tensions increase further when Robert becomes dissatisfied with his position as second violinist, while first violinist Daniel becomes involved with Alexandra, Robert and Juliette's much younger daughter.

Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman turn in predictably high calibre performances here, with the latter truly shining; Hoffman's ability to find truth in a character through subtlety continues to thrust him higher through that league shared by the likes of Ed Harris, Tim Roth and Viggo Mortensen. It is a league actors who are, quietly, better than anyone ever says; actors who make a film worth watching, almost all on their own. Frustratingly, Mark Ivanir, as Daniel, doesn't quite strike as resounding a note as his screen partners; had a fourth cast member been able to share the screen with these masters, we would have had a perfect ensemble cast.

Nicely written, with real characters and great dialogue, A Late Quartet closes where it opens, with everything you see in between ensuring that when you reach the end, you see it anew. It makes for an engaging watch, with some golden scenes strewn throughout. It is true to say we do not quite get to know everyone as well as one might hope, and the running time could have been longer, allowing for better pacing, but the use of a quartet as an analogy for the strains that real-life relationships face, not to mention the fantastic performances, lend all the weight needed to what would have otherwise been a more average drama.


No comments:

Post a Comment