A Late Quartet

“A tight-knit string ensemble begins to go slowly out of tune in A Late Quartet, a skillfully performed, intelligent drama centered around four outstanding performers who perform with enormous feeling. After 25 years of faithful collaboration and celebrated musicianship, the Fugue, a New York-based chamber quartet, finds itself in danger of dissolving. On the eve of the ensemble’s 26th season, cellist Peter (Oscar winner Christopher Walken) quietly informs his three younger colleagues that he’s in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and plans to retire imminently, in hopes that they’ll be able to find a swift, suitable replacement. The impending shakeup spurs second violinist Robert (Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman) to suggest that he be allowed to play first chair on occasion, to the irritation of Daniel (Mark Ivanir), the quartet’s tightly wound first violinist. Caught in the middle is violist Juliette (Oscar nominee Catherine Keener), who also happens to be Robert’s wife, and their daughter, Alexandra (a vivacious Imogen Poots), an attractive violin student who takes lessons from Daniel. The soundtrack is a chamber aficionado’s delight”—Justin Chang, Variety. R. 105 Min.

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