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A Late Quartet Blu-ray Review

A Late Quartet Blu-ray

Aside from strong performances, “A Late Quartet” has limited appeal.

In the midst of celebrating 25 years as a quartet, Peter (a cellist), Daniel (first violinist), Robert (second violinist) and Juliette (violist) find their friendships (and their quartet) going through some tough times. Peter discovers he has Parkinson’s disease and is facing retirement, Juliette discovers her husband (Robert) is cheating on her, Daniel is having a fling with Robert and Juliette’s daughter, and Robert and Daniel have a power struggle over who is a better violinist. Can the quartet overcome their problems to perform an anniversary concert?

If it wasn’t for the music and the all-star cast that features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken, “A Late Quartet” would seem like the type of made for TV movie that you would see on the Lifetime network. ‘Quartet’ attempts to be a moving and symbolic film that delves into subjects of friendship and the correlations between life and music, but it comes off as being a forced melodrama. If writers Seth Grossman and Yaron Zilberman refrained from stuffing in all sorts of obstacles between the characters and not been so in your face of the parallels of music and the drama on screen, the film might have been more interesting. As is, however, the film never grabs you like it should.

On the plus side, the performances are sharp here (especially Walken). It’s nice to see him take on a serious character for a change as he has been doing so many quirky roles as of late. As for Keener and Hoffman, I don’t think they have ever had  a bad performance in their careers and they certainly do the best they can with the roles they are given here.


Presented in 1.78:1 1080p, ‘Quartet’ certainly offers up the hi-def clarity you would come to expect from a new release title.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track does a fine job balancing the quiet dialogue centric moments and the profound music performances.

The only extras are Fox trailers and a featurette titled “Discard And Harmony: Creating A Late Quartet” that contains film clips, cast/crew interviews, discussions of the script and characters, etc.

Summary: The great cast deserved better than the lazy material they were given.

February 13, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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