A Late Quartet (2012) Yaron Silberman (now out on DVD)
If you missed it at the Spectrum (like I did) you had to impatiently wait a few months for the DVD release of Yaron Silberman’s “A Late Quartet”, starring Christopher Walken, Katherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Mark Ivinir
Walken steps outside his usual typecast role of gangster or eccentric to play the reserved and graceful Peter Mitchell, the patriarch of a world famous and accomplished string quartet. He announces to his long-standing group that he has Parkinson’s disease, and with this is the news that he plans to retire with one final concert. This is a little upsetting to the balance that’s been cultivated over 25 years of the four playing together.
Keener and Hoffman play strained married members of the quartet with a grown daughter. Tensions further arise in the group when it’s discovered that not only is Hoffman’s character having an affair, but their daughter is having a secret relationship with the fourth member of the quartet, played by Ivinir.
All four must come together to overcome this adversity, the egos, the stress of playing and the family unit they’ve developed to focus their attention on the performance of playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131, a 40-minute piece played in 7 movements non-stop, the piece that heightened their renown.