Taraneh Alidoosti stars in a gripping, award-winning mystery-thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi.
Courtesy Curzon Film World
A celebrated New York string quartet – Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir – struggle to hold their group together after one of them receives a piece of devastating news. Co-written and directed by Yaron Zilberman.
For a first-time feature director, Yaron Zilberman really hit the jackpot with his cast for A Late Quartet. Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir star as a world-famous string quartet whose personal and professional lives are thrown into turmoil when their oldest member – Walken – is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s a stuffy sort of story, with more than the odd melodramatic tendency, but in the hands of these four talented players it becomes a stirringly authentic study of the complex and often fragile ties that hold long-term relationships together.
Walken gives his most nuanced performance to date as the fatherly cellist, Peter, exuding waves of compassion and melancholy from those icy blue eyes more commonly seen staring out of some of cinema’s scariest psychopaths. Seymour Hoffman does what he does better than almost anyone else ever, managing to be at once loveable and loathsome as second violinist Robert, who’s sick of being overlooked both in the group and in his marriage to viola-player Juliette – played with supreme understatement by Keener. Inexplicably-underused Ukrainian actor Mark Ivanir (Schindler’s List, The Good Shepherd) completes the foursome as perfectionist first violinist Daniel.
Shot on-location in a very wintry New York, the film has an almost documentary feel at times – Zilberman made his name with the award-winning documentary Watermarks – and often gives a fly-on-the-wall style glimpse into the lives of Manhattan’s privileged classical music set. The fact that the actors all had intensive tuition in their characters’ chosen instruments makes the concert and rehearsal scenes feel all the more real – no cunning camera angles or cutting to close-ups of professional musicians needed here.
Despite a few unsalvageably duff notes in a sub-plot involving Daniel hooking up with Robert and Juliette’s daughter (rendered both headstrong and vulnerable by the excellent Imogen Poots), the accomplished performances gradually draw you into the emotional quagmire of the plot, before throwing you in at the deep end with a rousing concert-hall finale. Like Beethoven’s famously intense and hectic Opus 131 in C# Minor, a recurring motif in the film, you’re left wondering just how – and whether – the players will make it to the end of the film without it all falling apart, and that’s what keeps you captivated until the last note fades.
A pathos-laden chamber piece poignantly played by an ensemble of actors at the peak of their powers.
We grabbed five minutes with Jim Gillespie after his Edinburgh International Film Festival directing masterclass to put five burning questions to the man behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, whose
Principal photography has commenced on Dark River, the third feature film from writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Sta
The best all-singing, all-dancing showstoppers every committed to screen
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
@Film4 RT @GabrielTate1: TV Film of the Day: @markcousinsfilm's mesmeric, sprawling cine-essay A Story of Children and Film (1.30am @Film4) https:…
@Film4 Our week starts at 11am with a spellbinding 50s comedy Bell, Book & Candle, starring Kim Novak & Jimmy Stewart. https://t.co/GEERli1nDO
@Film4 @urssaRMR Ha, yes. Well spotted!
@Film4 Japanese poster for Die Hard 2 (1990) https://t.co/8dNDpFzvlR
@Film4 "Just once, I'd like a regular, normal Christmas..." At 9pm, Bruce Willis stars in Die Hard 2: Die Harder. https://t.co/YlGzjda4U5