Monday, October 27, 2014

Movie Week - A Late Quartet

I’ve already mentioned how I’ve been seeking out Philip Seymour Hoffman films.  I very rarely use the search function in Netflix, but when I put his name in, A Late Quartet popped up. 

It’s always a gamble when you try out a film that you’ve never heard of.  It may be a hidden gem or perhaps you haven’t heard of it for good reason.  I happen to dig that gamble. 

So which one is A Late Quartet? 

Well, working in its favor is that it has a cast that I’m familiar with.  There’s Christopher Walken, Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir.  While Ivanir may not be a familiar name, he’s certainly a familiar face. 

Also, it’s establishes the world and the drama right off the bat.  It’s set in the world of classical music and focuses on a string quartet.  It also starts out with a dramatic moment, where the quartet is onstage and set to play, but before they do, we flash back. 

Now I love music.  I’ve got 230 GBs on my hard drive.  But I’m not all that into Classical music.  It’s just not my speed.  I can appreciate individual pieces, but it’s not something I’m going to be investing in. 

But I get musicians and this film is about musicians. 

The acting in this film is superb.  It’s a film about four people who have been close for a quarter of a century and how strained relationships can come to a head.  Every character takes a journey and it’s riveting to watch. 

Walken turns in an understated performance, which is something you don’t really associate with Walken.  Hoffman is as great as ever.  Keener is so good that that you both wonder why she’s not starring in studio films and but also applaud her for carving her own path.  And Ivanir really inhabits his character’s restraint and discipline. 

A Late Quartet has no bloat.  Every scene moves along the plot and nothing is superfluous.  Watching it was impressed at how everything well put together it was.  I was equally shocked at how I’d heard nothing about this film. 

I'm so glad that I found this film.  It's something that I'm totally recommending to family members.  

If you’re interested in checking out a fine film with great performance, try out A Late Quartet. 

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