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A Late Quartet

a late quartet movie, a late quartet trailer
A Late Quartet released in Australia as Performance is a 2012 American film co-written, with Seth Grossman, and directed by Yaron Zilberman starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Imogen Poots34 The film premiered in the Special Presentation program at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival The film was theatrically released in over 30 countries5 It was a New York Times Critics' Pick which Stephen Holden called a magnificently acted, "deeply felt, musically savvy film"6 Rolling Stone's Peter Travers called it "a shining gem of a movie"7 and Roger Ebert said "it does one of the most interesting things any film can do It shows how skilled professionals work"8 On Walken's performance, Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said "you won't see a better piece of acting this year than his final speech"9

Inspired by and structured around Beethoven's Op 131, the film follows the world-renowned Fugue String Quartet after its cellist Peter Mitchell Christopher Walken is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease Cinematographer Frederick Elmes lensed the film and composer Angelo Badalamenti composed the score for the film The Brentano String Quartet played the quartet music for the soundtrack and Anne Sofie von Otter appears as the cellist's late wife, singing Korngold's "Marietta's Song" from Die tote Stadt


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Adaptation from source material
  • 4 Soundtrack
  • 5 Reception
  • 6 Production Notes
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


As the Fugue String quartet approaches its 25th anniversary, the onset of a debilitating illness to cellist Peter Mitchell Christopher Walken, forces its members to reevaluate their relationships After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Peter announces his decision to play one final concert before he retires Meanwhile the second violinist, Robert Philip Seymour Hoffman, voices his desire to alternate the first violinist role, long held by Daniel Mark Ivanir Robert is married to Juliette Catherine Keener, the viola player of the group Upon discovering Juliette does not support him in this matter, Robert has a one-night stand Further complicating matters, their daughter, Alexandra Imogen Poots, begins an affair with Daniel, whom her mother once pined for Yet bound together by their years of collaboration, the quartet will search for a fitting farewell to their shared passion of music and perhaps even a new beginning


  • Philip Seymour Hoffman as Robert Gelbart
  • Christopher Walken as Peter Mitchell
  • Catherine Keener as Juliette Gelbart
  • Mark Ivanir as Daniel Lerner
  • Imogen Poots as Alexandra Gelbart
  • Anne Sofie von Otter as Miriam
  • Madhur Jaffrey as Dr Nadir
  • Liraz Charhi as Pilar
  • Wallace Shawn as Gideon Rosen
  • Nina Lee of the Brentano String Quartet as herself, in the closing scene

Adaptation from source materialedit

The scene in which Peter Mitchell tells his music class an anecdote about meeting Pablo Casals is adapted from an anecdote found in Cellist, the autobiography of cellist Gregor Piatigorsky; the circumstances of the encounter and the pieces played are changed in the film, but Casals's words are essentially identical to those recounted by Piatigorsky10

The subway poetry the Little Girl reads from when Juliette visits Peter is from Ogden Nash's poem "Old Men"


  • Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No 14 in C-sharp minor, Op 131, performed by the Brentano String Quartet
  • Joseph Haydn: String Quartet No 5 in F minor, 3rd movement, performed by the Brentano String Quartet
  • Uri Caine: "City Nights", performed by Uri Caine
  • Cristian Puig: "Bulerias Del Encuentro" flamenco, performed by Cristian Puig and Rebeca Tomas
  • Pablo de Sarasate: "Zigeunerweisen", Op 20, performed by Mark Steinberg
  • Jonathan Dagan: "Salty Air" from Rivers and Homes, performed by jviewz
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No 4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010, performed by Nina Lee Brentano String Quartet
  • Erich Korngold: "Marietta's Song" from Die tote Stadt, performed by Anne Sofie von Otter mezzo-soprano, Bengt Forsberg piano, Kjell Lysell and Ulf Forsberg violins, Nils-Erik Sparf sv viola, Mats Lidström cello


A Late Quartet received generally positive reviews, currently holding a 78% "fresh" rating based on 108 critics from Rotten Tomatoes and a 85% from Top Critics11

Production Notesedit

  • To learn how to play the string instruments, the actors had individual coaches who specialized in their respective instruments Zilberman filmed the Brentano String Quartet perform Op 131 with five cameras capturing five separate angles, which he then edited into "video-boards" that the actors studied The aide helped them simulate their individual shots during production12
  • The film features members of the Brooklyn Parkinson's Group in the scene where Peter is in a physical therapy class13 For the scenes where Peter's Parkinson's becomes apparent, there were two coaches on set, Pamela Quinn and Joy Esterberg14
  • The film's stage performances were filmed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, the same stage where the Guarneri Quartet gave its farewell concert in 2009
  • Nina Lee, cellist of the Brentano String Quartet, plays herself in the film
  • David Redden, legendary auctioneer and Vice-Chairman of Sotheby's, also plays himself in the film
  • T S Eliot's Four Quartets, which Peter reads from at the beginning of the film, itself was inspired by Beethoven's late quartets
  • Members of the Attacca String Quartet play student musicians in the Juilliard class scenes
  • A Late Quartet was the first production to be granted permission to shoot inside of the Frick Collection

See alsoedit

  • Late string quartets Beethoven


  1. ^ "A Late Quartet 15" British Board of Film Classification March 6, 2013 Retrieved March 7, 2013 
  2. ^ "A Late Quartet 2012" Box Office Mojo IMDb Retrieved February 2, 2014 
  3. ^ "A Late Quartet 2012" ComingSoonnet Retrieved February 2, 2014
  4. ^ Brooks, Katharine September 11, 2012 "A Late Quartet review" The Huffington Post Retrieved February 2, 2014
  5. ^ Internet Movie Database - A Late Quartet, 2012-11-23, retrieved 2016-09-24 
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen 2012-11-01 "A Late Quartet, Directed by Yaron Zilberman" The New York Times ISSN 0362-4331 Retrieved 2016-09-24 
  7. ^ Travers, Peter November 1, 2012 "A Late Quartet" Rolling Stone Retrieved 2016-09-24 
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger "A Late Quartet Movie Review & Film Summary 2012" wwwrogerebertcom Retrieved 2016-09-24 
  9. ^ Lumenick, Lou 2012-11-02 "Strikes all the right chords" New York Post Retrieved 2016-09-24 
  10. ^ Piatigorsky, Gregor 1965 Cellist 1st ed Retrieved July 7, 2013 The greater was my shame and delight when, a few years later, I met Casals in Paris We had dinner together and played duets for two cellos, and I played for him until late at night Spurred by his great warmth, and happy, I confessed what I had thought of his praising me in Berlin He reacted with sudden anger He rushed to the cello 'Listen!' He played a phrase from the Beethoven sonata 'Didn't you play this fingering Ah, you did! It was novel to me it was good and here, didn't you attack that passage with up-bow, like this' He demonstrated He went through Schumann and Bach, always emphasizing all he liked that I had done 'And for the rest,' he said passionately, 'leave it to the ignorant and stupid who judge by counting only the faults I can be grateful, and so must you be, for even one note, one wonderful phrase' I left with the feeling of having been with a great artist and a friend 
  11. ^ "A Late Quartet" Rotten Tomatoes Flixster Retrieved February 2, 2014 
  12. ^ "A Late Quartet Press Kit" PDF 
  13. ^ Zilberman, Yaron 2012-11-23, A Late Quartet, retrieved 2016-09-24 
  14. ^ Zilberman, Yaron 2012-11-23, A Late Quartet, retrieved 2016-09-24 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • A Late Quartet on Internet Movie Database
  • A Late Quartet at Box Office Mojo
  • A Late Quartet at Rotten Tomatoes
  • A Late Quartet at Metacritic
  • Interview with Yaron Zilberman on Israeli TV on YouTube

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