Rarely do I write movie reviews from viewing a rental. But there are some readers who need to know about this picture.

“A Late Quartet” (rel. 2012) is for viewers who appreciate great drama about human passion, with fine acting and some good excerpts of classical music. Add to the story; love, lust, obsession, infidelity, trust, the bane of aging and how music embodies the very soul of dedicated lifetime musicians.

Twenty-five years of performing quartet music around the world, four artists bonded as a virtual family, but one that eventually breaks apart as latent jealousies emerge and one member develop a debilitating illness which threatens the future existence of the foursome.

The four love one another as they would love their own children, parents and spouses rolled into one. But the once that stable house of cards crumbles, never-before known feelings about one another out into the open. The story offers unpredictable struggles that may shock the viewer, realizing that these master musicians are only human after all.

The stars: Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir, are as good as they get.

Some critics of the movie will be musicians like myself who immediately detect that the actors are not actually playing the instruments and that camera angles and clever directing are able to fool most of the audience. To be fair, it is an impossible task to cast great actors who are also advanced musicians. They are rare, indeed.

Picky picky.

This is a 2012 movie which undoubtedly bombed at the box office, which means it’s a great dramatic movie worth 9 ½ points out of ten.

Sorry folks, no guns, car chases, farts or fantasy figures. Just a plot, great acting, good writing and characters that bring out the depths of emotions within a captive audience.

Recommended strongly for student musicians and lovers of classical music.

Rent it.

Click here: A LATE QUARTET Trailer – YouTube