A Late Quartet

Director: Yaron Zilberman

Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir & Imogen Poots

There has been a trend of late in Hollywood to appeal to the “grey” market. With a plethora of films aimed squarely at the older generation, the money men see this as a lucrative market given the ageing population. Thankfully this trend has produced some great films such as The King’s Speech and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which directly target the more mature cinema goer.

The world renowned Fugue Quartet have performed together for nearly 25 years. Led by senior member and cellist Peter (Walken) they have ties together that go way beyond that of music. Married couple Robert and Juliette met through the group and their daughter (Poots) is following in their musical tradition. Daniel (Ivanir) is 1st violinist and the mercurial talent behind the quartet. As the anniversary tour looms, Peter is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and relationship ruptures threaten to tear them apart.

A Late Quartet is a very powerful and wonderfully acted treatise about relationships. The news of Peter’s condition leads the other three members to reassess their lives and look at the decisions and mistakes they’ve made over the last 25 years. The connections within the classical music they play suddenly begin to have a strong resonance with their own lives. At the same time, Peter is trying desperately to keep the group together. Don’t let the “grey” tag put you off, this is a strong drama which will appeal to everyone regardless of age.

As you would expect, music plays a large part in the film. Celebrated composer Angelo Badalamenti provides a beautiful score to supplement the compositions performed by the Fugue Quartet. As the cast wrestle with their demons, they all have to look within themselves and weigh-up their personal desires against the needs of the ensemble; as with the mechanics of the compositions they perform, the needs of the whole must sometimes outweigh that of the the individual. The acting is top notch with Walken in particular putting in an astutely judged performance, and there is some superb and extremely powerful dialogue (none more so than between Juliette and her daughter).

If you fancy watching a powerful drama about relationships and compromises, with a star-studded cast and beautiful music, A Late Quartet is a film you should definitely go and see.

Screening now at the Showroom http://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/latequartet