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A Late Quartet [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The four members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust. Set in iconic New York City, this is the story of four musicians, bound together by their passion for music and long years of working together. But when their patriarch Peter is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the repercussions hit the group deeper than they could imagine. First and second violinists Robert and Daniel row over first chair, Robert and violist Juliette's marriage hits the rocks when he has an affair, and their headstrong daughter embarks on her own explosive affair - with Daniel. As their 25th anniversary performance looms, the musicians must either find a way to overcome their troubles, and preserve their legacy - or part ways forever.

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Wallace Shawn, Anne Sofie von Otter
  • Directors: Yaron Zilberman
  • Writers: Yaron Zilberman, Seth Grossman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AQTY3JO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2012
Format: DVD
"A Late Quartet" (2012 release, 105 min.) brings the story of the (fictional) "Fugue String Quartet", portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman as Robert, Christopher Walken as Peter, Catherine Keener as Juliette (wife of Robert) and Marc Ivanir as Daniel. As the movie begins, we learn that Peter has the beginnings of Parkinson's disease and possibly the end of his musical career. Peter contemplates a replacement so as to assure the contunity of the quartet. Robert at that point voices his long-held frustration of "just" being second violinist and would like to share first chair with Daniel, much to Daniel's dismay. Robert and Juliette get into a huge argument about it and when he feels like she doesn't "have his back", Robert has a ill-fated affair with a younger woman. Juliette finds out and promply kicks him out of the house. Meanwhile Daniel fall for the charms of Alexandra (daughter of Robert and Juliette). At this point we are about half-way into the movie. Will Peter recover from his illness to bring one last live performance? Will Robert and Juliette reunite? Is Daniel's relationship with Alexandra doomed? Will the Fugue String Quartet survive? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: the acting performances are ACE throughout this movie, none more so than from Philip Seymore Hoffman as the wounded husband and frustrated musician, and in my book better than his much hyped performance in "The Master" earlier this year. But check out also Christopher Walken as he stares into his mortality, just superb.
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Format: DVD
The moments when and idea for a story, the intelligence of a script to tell it, the sensitivity of the director to make it work, and the cast of extraordinary actors to make it visual come all too infrequently these days in the films that cross our theater screens. A LATE QUARTET is such a complete success on so many levels that it should be considered a standard for filmmaking excellence. It is cerebral, yes, it is best appreciated by people who are involved in some way with classical music even if that be solely as an audience, but the dynamics of this little `community' of people drawn together by a lasting contract to rehearse and perform for the better part of their time and the effect of physical proximity and the risks of intellectual/artistic distances have rarely been so exquisitely painted.

The honored Fugue Quartet has been living and performing together for 25 years: first violin Daniel Lerner (Ukrainian American actor Mark Ivanir), second violin Robert Gelbart (Philip Seymour Hoffman), cellist Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), and violist Juliette Gelbart (Catherine Keener) make such perfect music together that we would never guess their lives are askew. Peter is diagnosed as having Parkinson's Disease and understands that his performing days are now severely limited; the Gelbart's marriage is at risk because of the tatters of time and the dealing with daughter Alexandra (Imogen Poots) who reacts to her history of being an alone child by entering into a physical affair with obsessive Daniel and Robert's ill-advised one night stand with the young beautiful Pilar (Liraz Charhi); Robert's surfacing jealousy of wanting to be first violin: the struggle with whether the quartet should disband due to Peter's illness or continue with a new cellist.
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Format: DVD
A surprisingly simple yet "complicated" movie that IMHO was one of 2012's best. The aging leader and cellist (played by Christopher Walken) of a classical "String Quartet" finds that he must retire due to the onset of Parkinson's Disease. What now? Well, the "second violinist" (for 25 years ...) played by Philip Seymour Hoffman takes the opportunity to suggest to the first violinist that he'd "kinda like to play first violin on occasion." The first violinist (played by Mark Ivanhir) a true virtuoso and perfectionist is aghast. The second violinist's wife (and viola player rounding out the Quartet) who's spent her entire adult life playing in this Quartet and, in fact, only met her husband through their playing in the Quartet together kinda agrees with the first violinist :-) ... What now? ;-) What a GREAT story about human / Community dynamics and Life ;-) ;-)
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Format: DVD
This is superb movie. You'll need some liking or even tolerance for heavy classical music in the form of a string quartet. The centerpiece is Beethoven's opus 131. The title of the movie, "Late Quartet" word plays on the music, a very late composition, and the characters of the fictional fugue quartet, in the twilight of its career. Walken's character, the cellist, starts out with a monologue about the quartet op. 131, one of the last things Beethoven ever wrote. It is a monster of a piece. In the world of quartets, all of which have 4 movements, this one has 7. I leave aside why 7 - some mystical, or ancient number symbolism perhaps? The movements range from delight, youth, rage, pity, extreme tenderness, a dance, to a chilling look at mortality. One reviewer of quartet op 131 said it is like Dante's Divine Comedy; it has everything. A problem is that its markings demand must be played without interruption between movements, like life itself the quartet must be played without interruption. Walken's character notes that these markings make it impossible to play. As time goes on, with all the strenuous bowing and plucking, the instruments begin to get out of tune each with itself, then with each other. Life is much like this. The quartet is a metaphor for life itself, "Late Quartet" mirrors for us, through incredible music the stages of our own lives as they pass one to the other, bow strings fraying, out of tune episodes overlapping. The director maintains this wonderfully sensitive metaphor throughout the film.

The ensemble of actors is remarkable, as is that of the musicians playing the parts. I wonder if the ensemble can represent our own internal lives, set musically.
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