A Late Quartet hits the right notes

Penticton Art Gallery Kitchen Stove Film Festival presents A Late Quartet with a powerhouse cast.

Christopher Walken stars

Christopher Walken stars

A powerhouse cast delivers in the latest Penticton Art Gallery Kitchen Stove Film Series, A Late Quartet.

The film is an engrossing drama set in New York City featuring an all-star cast of Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Catch Me If You Can), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master, Capote), Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, The 40 Year Old Virgin), Mark Ivanir (The Good Shephard) and Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later). It is showing in the Penticton Art Gallery film series on April 4 at the Landmark Cinema 7.

On the eve of a world renowned string quartet’s 25th anniversary season, their beloved cellist, Peter Mitchell (Walken), is diagnosed with the early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. When Peter announces he wishes to make the upcoming season his last, his three colleagues find themselves at a crossroad. Competing egos and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration.

Robert Gelbart (Hoffman), the quartet’s second violinist, announces his desire to alternate chairs with first violinist Daniel Lerner (Ivanir), after years of sacrifice and peacemaking for the benefit of the group. Robert’s wife, violist Juliette Gelbart ( Keener) has a particularly difficult time grappling with the tragic diagnosis, as Peter has served not only as a colleague, but as a dear father figure since childhood.

When Juliette is unable to support her husband, their marriage is strained with a palpable tension that they can no longer ignore. Tossed into the maelstrom is their daughter Alexandra (Poots), a talented violinist in her own right.

As the string quartet prepares to play Beethoven’s Opus 131 for what might be the members’ last concert together, the seven movements of the piece echo their own tumultuous journey. The film progresses gracefully through its own movements and Peter’s illness brings forward long-repressed feelings and explosive emotions that shatter the delicate harmony that has bound the group together for so long.

A Late Quartet follows writer/director Yaron Zilberman first film, the award-winning feature length documentary Watermarks.

A Late Quartet is showing on April 4 at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Landmark Cinema 7 in Penticton. Also screening are selected animated shorts as part of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival Student Showcase.

Pre-purchased tickets are $13 and available at the Penticton Art Gallery and the Book Shop. Limited tickets at $15 may be available at the door.

Did you know?

-Ethan Hawke was originally cast by had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

-Sotheby’s David Redden appears as the auctioneer in the film’s auction scene.

-The scene between Walken and Keener at the Frick Collection is the first time the Frick allowed filming a scene at their gallery since its opening 75 years ago.

-Peter Mitchell (Walken) tells his class an anecdote about the two times he met cello legend Pablo Casals; this anecdote is a true incident that happened to another legendary cellist, the late Gregor Piatigorsky. The anecdote is paraphrased from Piatigorsky’s autobiography, Cellist.

-From IMDB.com