A Late Quartet

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When their cellist (Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, the other members of a string quartet have to evaluate their plans to mark their quarter century together. The fallout proves testing for them all.


On the eve of their 25th anniversary tour, members of a classical string quartet are thrown into professional and personal crisis when cellist Christopher Walken tells them he has Parkinson’s Disease. Music and marriage, friendship and family, jealousy and desire all come into play as the various relationships are movingly tested. The screenplay tilts towards histrionic but the actors play it beautifully, and there is no cheating with cutaways; they look like they are performing although they were dubbed by professionals. Better than Quartet, by the way, in case you were wondering.

Measured performances from the seasoned cast balance out a script that errs towards the melodramatic. Hours sweating over those instruments pay dividends too.