(A Late Quartet)

No arrangement is more beautiful... or more complicated.

Drama starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener as members of a New York-based, world-renowned four-piece string quartet struggling to keep the group together in the face of competing egos, lust and a debilitating illness.... More

When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet receives a life-changing diagnosis, their future suddenly hangs in the balance. The fallout threatens to derail 25 years of friendship and collaboration as suppressed issues and feelings are brought to the surface. As the quartet's quarter-century anniversary concert approaches, how it will go - and whether it will take place at all - are among the many questions that surround the future of the group in this time of turmoil.Hide

Flicks Review

As a cultural philistine I needed a push to watch a film about classical musicians. But once lured in by a solid cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener I found Performance to be impressive, superior drama. The film’s leads are good across the board, most notably Walken as cellist Peter Mitchell, recently diagnosed with career-blighting Parkinson’s Disease. Walken thankfully seems to have moved on from his scenery-chewing schtick of bygone years, and here he offers up a nuanced and delicately devastating portrayal of a widower losing another love of his life – playing music.... More

While some of the events that unfold in Performance may veer towards the predictable (especially in romantic subplots), the film’s real pleasures lie in seeing its characters brought to life, particularly when it explores the dynamic between four musicians who have performed together for 25 years. The ease with which they relate to each other, as well as the long-buried tensions that arise when Mitchell moots the idea of his retirement, feel like they’re true of any artistic group together for an extended period of time. And when marital strife rears its head between Hoffman and Keener, the married members of the quartet, you could almost swap the violins for oddly-tuned electric guitars and be watching a film about Sonic Youth.

The world of classical music is critical to making the film tick though, its specifics being crucial to Performance’s characters and their circumstances as well as the music itself providing moving accompaniment. But don’t fret if you’re an ignoramus like myself, there’s no need to study up in order to enjoy.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Brian1 superstar

Seems a new genre has sprung up, dedicated to and about those reaching their later years.
The trials and tribs and fun anjd frustration. This combined those elements with classical (a little anyway) music.
A very nice watch.

BY freshdude superstar

The film's original title is "A Late Quartet" but was renamed "Performance" for the Australian and NZ market to avoid confusion with Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet". Funnily enough, both films have the same score on Rotten tomatoes, and "Performance" wins by 0,1 on IMDB.

A celebrated string quartet finds itself at a crossroads and in danger of disintegration after its eldest member announces his retirement due to a sudden health crisis. It doesn't sound all that exciting, I admit. But with the... More perfect cast and the weaving of love, ambition, and family tensions into a story makes for a satisfying smart film (and naturally set to a perfect classical soundtrack).
A special mention for Christopher Walken, who reminds us here that his acting range goes well beyond the crazy bad guy we have seen him play so much of late.

"Performance" relies on the interplay of great actors and an intelligent script (maybe a little "over the top" at times) to deliver an emotionally resonant and redemptive tale about life, adversity and the importance of compromise and collaboration in a group setting.Hide

BY Weds_Loafers superstar

"Performance" is the story of a world-renowned string quartet whose cellist (and oldest member) is diagnosed with Parkinson's and who is forced to contemplate retirement. As the movie develops, we learn more and more about the characters and their underlying relationships and tensions. This is not as dull as it sounds! The acting is superb and, if you enjoy classical music, you will love this film. 4 stars.

The Press Reviews

83% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A skillfully performed drama that treats the varieties of musical expression as an effective if unsubtle metaphor for a person's many possible pathways through life. Full Review

  • Measured performances from the seasoned cast balance out a script that errs towards the melodramatic. Full Review

  • The leads make sweet music in an affecting four-piece that, if not note perfect, plays well to their individual strengths. Full Review

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