"A Late Quartet" movie quotes provide the dialogue to the debut film from writer and director Yaron Zilberman. The drama film, which was given a November 2, 2012, release date in the United States, follows the rippling effects upon a group of people after a death shakes a popular string quartet in New York City. "A Late Quartet" first premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival.
In "A Late Quartet," Peter (Christopher Walken) serves as the leader of the long-standing and quite popular Fugue String Quartet along with other members Robert, Daniel and Juliette. Just as the world renowned quartet is set to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Peter informs the members that his death is near following a Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. He suggests a replacement for his open chair and a final farewell concert.
In the wake of Peter's death, each of the quartet members, their family members and friends all deal with different crises as a result. Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Daniel (Mark Ivanir) fight over the first chair opening, Robert and wife Juliette (Catherine Keener) fight over a mistake made by Robert following a heated moment, and Alexandra (Imogen Poots), the daughter of Robert and Juliette, seeks to avenge her parents by landing in the bed of Daniel's as each cope with the massive change to the quartet.For other great fall 2012 movies, check out "Flight," "This Must Be the Place," "Cloud Atlas," "Wreck-It Ralph," "Nobody Walks," "The Sessions," "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D," "Chasing Mavericks," "Alex Cross," "Smashed," "Sinister," "Seven Psychopaths," "Argo," "Here Comes the Boom," "The Paperboy," "Taken 2," "Frankenweenie," "Butter," "Won't Back Down," and "Looper."
Peter: "We begin with Beethoven's Opus 131. It has seven movements and they're all connected. For us, it means playing without pause, no resting, no tuning. Our instruments must in time go out of tune each in its own quite different way. Was he maybe trying to point out some cohesion, some unity between random acts of life? What are we supposed to do, stop or struggle to continuously adjust to each other up to the end even if we are out of tune? I don't know."
As Peter explains, just as Beethoven's Opus 131 is all connected despite the adverse side effects, so is life. This life imitating art, or perhaps the other way around, is a central theme of the movie.
Such a Great Quartet
Alexandra: "Let me tell you what makes the Fugue such a great quartet."
Alexandra: "First they have you and your hypnotizing the audience in your relentless precision. They follow you like a cobra follows a snake charmer. Then, you have my father and he's adding color and texture and rhythm. He's always enhancing you and lifting you up but he'll never outshine you."
Daniel: "In many quartets with an accomplished first violin it's the second violinist, the quality second violinist who makes the quartet stand out. Your father is great."
Alexandra: "And then there's my mother. She adds a depth of sound that none of you can bring. She makes you want to weep without exactly knowing why. Is that the voice of a wounded soul? The survival skills she had to develop prepared her to serve three masters at the same time, the one she loves, the one she partners with and the one she desires."
Daniel: "That was a long time ago, Alex, before your parents got together."
Alexandra: "Oh sure, whatever."
Driving with Daniel, Alexandra remarks about why the Fugue quartet is one of the best citing how the different members, her parents and Daniel included, shine to illuminate themselves and the others. But like her mother, is Alexandra just trying to be flattering or seduce Daniel?
Peter: "I spoke with Dr. Nadir. This difficulty I've been having, Parkinson's she says, early stages maybe."
Peter: "Yes, my brain is running out of something, dopamine. It regulates movement."
Robert: "Is it painful?"
Peter: "Not at all and the even better part is there is medication that replaces this dopamine. It's not a cure but it can slow the progress."
Robert: "That's encouraging."
Peter: "However, playing for much longer is not in the cards for me."
Juliette: "What if the drugs work?"
Peter: "I need to be real about this, deal with it, name it. The doctor says it might give me a season, maybe two, but I've made up my mind and it's best for the quartet to plan ahead, think about what comes next. I think Nina Lee should replace me. She's a wonderful cellist. We all like her. She's the one. Everybody okay with that? Danny?"
Daniel: "Nina, I mean, she's playing with Edie still, right?"
Juliette: "No, I'm not okay with this. We shouldn't be discussing this right now. That's not the time."
Robert: "I agree."
Peter: "One thing more, if this drug works and I am able to play well enough by then, I'd like the season's first concert to be my farewell."
In the announcement that sets the stage for the rest of the film, Peter reveals to the rest of the quartet his diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease. While the other members are shocked by the news, Peter wants to get right down to business in planning their next steps.
Unleash Your Passion
Daniel: "I love playing with you but you can't lead a quartet, man. You're not sufficient."
Robert: "You think you're better?"
Daniel: "You're not motivated..."
Robert: "Practicing obsessively doesn't make your playing perfect. It actually sucks the life right out of it. It's rigid and monotonous and self-loving and safe."
Daniel: "Jesus, Robert, would you stop being so childish. Please, yeah I know it's a challenging thing. It's challenging for all of us."
Robert: "The whole group is going down this path that you have of us."
Daniel: "Yes, I understand that."
Robert: "They way you play is the way the quartet plays and it's the same thing over and over and over and over. I am in my 40s. We've been playing since we were in our 20s. That is where you've taken this group."
Daniel: "If we keep it together, now we have Nina..."
Robert: "That is where you have taken this group. That is where we have let you take this group. I have let you do that, a disservice. You're not even willing to play Beethoven without your notes. Unleash your passion."
Daniel: "Unleash my passion?"
Robert: "Unleash your passion. What are you afraid of? You have the three of us to cover your ass. Unleash your passion."
Now that the quartet is needing a new first violinist, existing members Daniel and Robert each have different ideas as to who is best to fill that position. Both think themselves would be best but for different reasons.