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Friday, December 7, 2012

Brief Thoughts: A Late Quartet

A Late Quartet:  2 1/2 out of 5

Once again, this is a film that I don't have a whole lot to say about.  It revolves around members of a world-renowned string quartet struggling to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust.  The film features Christopher Walken as Peter Mitchell, who is now at a point where he must leave the famous quartet he has been associated with for years; Philip Seymour Hoffman as Robert Gelbart, the second chair violinist who is hoping he can make a play for first chair; Catherine Keener as Robert's wife Juliette and another member of the quartet, who finds Robert's thoughts insufferable; Mark Ivanir as Daniel Lerner, the leader of the quartet, who considers himself to be the most talented; and Imogen Poots as Alexandra Gelbart, the daughter of Robert and Juliette, who manages to get caught up in all the drama unfolding.

This is a film that I really did not care for, but at the same time find things to admire about it, as some of the performances were good enough and the low key nature was sometimes entertaining.  I saw it well over a month ago, but never had a reason to really jump into writing a lengthy review.  Admittedly, if it were not for the actors involved, I probably would have hated this film.  Yes, when you have people like Walken and Hoffman as your leads, you are bound to see some good things come from all of that, but the film is so wrapped up in bland melodrama and stalk character types that it is hard to really want to appreciate the performances.  Only Walken stands out, as he is not given anything more to do than play a character ready to accept his fate.  I guess it is fair to say that this film has a fine, classical soundtrack, but in the end it amounts to nothing more than a movie about wealthy white people having problems with handling their fame and egos, resorting to affairs and arguing in order to get through it.

Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS3.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.


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