It must be noted I've been a little bit slack of late, many reviews unpublished prior to the launch of films in the cinema, and now A Late Quartet reviewed late on the day of release, despite the fact I saw it 3 months ago. SORRY!
And now, on with the review.....
The Fugue Quartet is the world's premier string orchestra, for decades the quartet have toured the world enchanting an audience. But as the group reform after a break after the loss of Peter's (Christopher Walken) wife, they are soon rocked by another tragedy. Peter has developed a number of minor "ticks" but investigation reveals that he has Parkinson's disease. Against the desire of the other's Peter begins the quest to find a replacement, and as one crack appears, others come to the surface.
A Late Quartet is a nice slow burning drama, which had it not been for the occasional sexual element would fit quite nicely on a Sunday afternoons television viewing. Some consider it a little pretentious, but from this reviewers standpoint it was as perfect as it could be for a movie that surrounds a fairly low interest passion. Movies that feature classical performers never tend to go down too well, but this breaks that routine. The combination of musical interest, sexual tension, and kitchen sink style drama makes for fairly addictive viewing.
Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir and Imogen Poots all deliver well rounded performances. Keener and Hoffman's marriage reaches boiling point, and Poots as the rather passionate daughter puts the icing on the cake. It's the unusually weak Walken that brings the movie it's power, mourning his wife and his impending illness. Things look fairly bleak for Walken's character, and this is played out in an incredibly sterling manner.
A Late Quartet is not for everyone, but it does have rather a lot going to it, and if you love to watch movies that have a certain whimsical throw away nature, then this could be right up your street, even if the subject matter does little to float your boat.
A Late Quartet is in UK cinemas now.