A Late Quartet
First-time fiction director Yaron Zilberman establishes a tense trajectory in the opening shot, with a loaded exchange of looks passing between each member of the Fuge before they sit down to play their season-opening concert. Before a note is played, we're pulled back in time to witness the seeding and gestation of the specific events that brought friends, lovers and co-workers of 25 years to such a tempestuous moment.
A medical diagnosis that spells doom for a passionate profession dependent on fine motor skills causes each of the group members to revaluate their position in life. Issues of ego, love and lust plague married viola Juliette (Catherine Keener), second violin Robert (Philip Seymore Hoffman) and obsessive perfectionist, first violin Daniel (Mark Ivanar). The strong ensemble cast invest in bringing each character's foibles to the surface to be prodded and squeezed to the bursting point.
Giving consideration to, but ultimately selling short, the stakes artists place on ego, the emotional goo that splatters forth takes the form of some salacious melodrama, adding Robert and Juliette's music prodigy daughter, Alexandra (Imogen Poots, Jane Eyre), to the sexually charged melee of passive-aggressive domination tactics.
Zilberman respects the music, using substantial portions of Beethoven's brilliant Late Quartets in the film and always shooting performance scenes with specific attentiveness to accuracy. His visual storytelling, however, with scenes of indistinct editing and meandering cinematography, leaves something to be desired.
Nonetheless, A Late Quartet is an intelligent and engaging juxtaposition of music philosophy with the fragile egos and consuming passions common to group relationships. (Mongrel Media)
ReviewsMar 26, 2015
The Riot ClubLone Scherfig
Initially, Lone Scherfig's The Riot Club doesn't seem like much. Miles (Max Irons) and Alistair (Sam Clafin), two very different affluent yo...
ReviewsMar 20, 2015
If you didn't know it already, or hadn't figured out after hearing his "joke" at this year's Academy Awards, Sean Penn is kind of a dick. Bu...
ReviewsMar 19, 2015
Watership DownMartin Rosen
Though Martin Rosen's adaptation of Richard Adams' famed novel Watership Down encompasses an abundance of themes and concepts including fata...
ReviewsMar 19, 2015
Drake's Homecoming: The Lost FootageEvan Kosiner
Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Drake's career knows that no, Aubrey Graham did not actually start from the bottom. By all accounts ...