(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews ” A Late Quartet,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Jeremy Northam and Christopher Walken. The second movie Jan reviews is the drama, “The Other Son” with Jules Sitruk, Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbé.
From John Garfield in Humoresque to Hugh Grant as Chopin in Impromptu, some actors can convince us they are classical musicians. In this smart film, we meet members of a world-renowned string quartet. They are struggling to stay together through illness, ego and lust.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir play the talented foursome. Directed with sophistication and emotion by Yaron Zilberman, we root for the four to stay together but sex and life complicate their lives. Terrific classical music, details about how it is played, fine acting, New York City in the Winter providing beautiful cinematography and the quartet’s playing of Opus 131 all make the movie work.
Walken and Hoffman both in unusually gentle form, but everyone is excellent as we find out the drama behind the music.
This is a touching, switched at birth story with an unusual twist. Filmed in Israel and the West Bank, two young men discover they were switched at birth. Complicating this surprising discovery, one man is Israeli and the other Palestinian. The repercussions for themselves and their families are complex and turn everyone’s values upside down.
Based on a true story, the movie doesn’t go for cheap theatrics but stays compelling as we hope that humanity overcomes everything else. In French, English, Arabic and Hebrew, directed by Lorraine Levy.
You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)