A Late Quartet

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A Late Quartet
A Late Quartet Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Yaron Zilberman
Produced by Yaron Zilberman
Mandy Tagger
Vanessa Coifman
David Faigenblum
Emanuel Michael
Tamar Sela
Written by Yaron Zilberman
Seth Grossman
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman
Christopher Walken
Catherine Keener
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Frederick Elmes
Edited by Yuval Shar
Opening Night Productions
RKO Pictures
Distributed by Entertainment One
Release dates
  • September 10, 2012 (2012-09-10) (TIFF)
  • November 2, 2012 (2012-11-02)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,562,546[2]

A Late Quartet is a 2012 American drama film co-written (with Seth Grossman), produced, and directed by Yaron Zilberman.[3][4] The film uses chamber music played by the Brentano String Quartet and especially, Beethoven's Op. 131.[5] The film was released in Australia as Performance.


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.


Adaptation from source material[edit]

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 Piatigorsky.[6]


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.


A Late Quartet received generally positive reviews, currently holding a 79% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[7]

See also[edit]


  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)". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Brooks, Katharine (September 11, 2012). "A Late Quartet review". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "Cast & crew". ALateQuartet.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "A Late Quartet". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]