FilmNovember 1, 2012 at 5:13 am

“A Late Quartet” Makes Sweet Music and That’s About it

Yaron Zilberman’s “A Late Quartet” follows the Fugue, a famed musical ensemble struggling to stay together after its revered cellist Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Between scenes of mesmerizing music and equally impressive acting from the likes of Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Zilberman adds in an extra–marital affair, a battle of the egos and forbidden love, all of which drive the plot forward, but take away from what we truly want to see — or better yet, hear. These dramatic elements are necessary, but rather contrived. Once a violin is thrown in, scenes suddenly becomes genuine. The poignant opening and closing performances of “A Late Quartet” nearly make up for the sub–par scenes sprinkled throughout. As members of the audience, both of the Fugue and of the film, we wished to hear more.

2/5 Stars

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