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Review: A Late Quartet

Score:A

Director:Yaron Zilberman

Cast:Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir

Running Time:105 Minutes

Rated:R

A world famous
quartet faces the harshness of reality when age, life, love and lust come
crashing down around them.

This
movie was hauntingly beautiful.  For
being Yaron Zilberman's first major motion picture, it was extremely well
made.  He had some big names to
direct, and much like a composer, the actors were his instruments, to which he
played perfectly.   The movie conveys
that life is very much along the same path as the piece that the quartet is set
to play, Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor, and that there
are no pauses, no stops, or retuning; you must keep playing even if everything
is going wrong.

The
biggest breath of fresh air was the performance of Imogen Poots who plays the
daughter of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener.  Her youth and exuberance in the midst
of the four veteran actors brought brightness to the otherwise poignant film. 

Christopher Walken plays Peter Mitchell, the cellist in the
quartet and the elder statesman who discovers very early on in the film that he
is suffering from Parkinson.  He portrays
his role as though he knows what it feels like to grow old and watch as young
faces begin to take over the industry.

Philip Seymour Hoffman brings along a tortured soul feeling
through his role of Peter, the second chair violinist in the quartet who
desperately wants to sit in the first position.  Catherine Keener plays his wife in the film, Juliette
Gelbart, another member of the quartet. 
Keener, though highly respected by fans and critics alike, delivers an
astounding performance here as she truly connects with the audience as she
works to balance her numerous roles of mother, wife, and playmate.

In direct contrast to Keener's Gelbart is Mark Ivanir's Daniel Lerner, who is
responsible for starting the quartet. 
While Daniel is the lead violinist, he is also the one who contains his reactions
the best.  He keeps his emotions
steady throughout the film as he works to keep his composure and his friends
together.

In the end everything is wrapped very neatly, allowing you to
leave the theaters feeling as if everything will work itself out.  The cinematography was phenomenal, as
was the writing and acting.  I
wouldn't be surprised if a nomination or two rises come Oscar time, especially
in response to the cast.

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About Robert Bexar II

Robert Bexar II

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