A Late Quartet

Recommended

2013 | 105 minutes | Rated R

Recommended

At the start of A Late Quartet, Christopher Walken’s character explains to a group of his cello students that Beethoven’s late quartet, Op. 131, is not the standard four movements but instead has seven parts and that you have to play them straight through with no breaks, which causes your instruments to go all out of tune with one another. “It’s a mess,” he says. It’s also a metaphor about how basic entropy affects togetherness. The togetherness, say, of a musical group that’s been playing for 25 years when the oldest member finds he has Parkinson’s and can’t go on. Walken plays that character. Has he ever been the emotional center of a film before? It’s magical. For much of A Late Quartet, the camera follows the storm of the other characters’ drama—often, melodrama—until it finds a resting place once again on his alien face, quietly registering the effects of old age, including the death of his wife. Walken is getting old. See him. (JEN GRAVES)
Showtimes

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Film Credits
Director
Yaron Zilberman
Cast
Philip Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Mark Ivanir, Catherine Keener, Imogen Poots, Wallace Shawn, Madhur Jaffrey