Very rarely can a film strike so few emotions, good or bad. The Late Quartet succeeds in being a completely indifferent experience and there are few worse cinema experiences than just being boring. `Despite being the film’s finest attribute, even Philip Seymour Hoffman (one of my favourite working actors) can’t save this experience. The film rests on a successful classical quartet (Christopher Walken, Philips Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener Mark Ivanir) facing a couple disturbances in their future. One of their number needs replacing because of a health issue and another one wants to play lead violin, not second violin. Oh, the tension. To be fair, I believe anything can be made to feel dramatic if done properly but moments of sincerity come fleetingly and generally it feels too pompous to make the effort. Like a stereotype of classical music, it feels long and yawn inducing. Nothing much happens, it all feels a bit self-satisfied and when there is a little drama (one member decides to sleep with another member’s daughter) it feels painfully forced.
There’s little to see here.
Review by David Rank
A Late Quartet is released on 5th April 2013 in the UK. Running time 105 mins.
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