The world of classical music isn't one that's explored often in the movies, but when it is, it can often prove prime awards territory — think of "Amadeus" or "Shine," which each featured composers and musicians, and which each picked up Oscars (or in the case of the former, several) for their trouble. And that certainly seems to be the hope of Yaron Zilberman's drama "A Late Quartet," which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight.
The feature debut of award-winning documentarian Zilberman, the film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken and Mark Ivanir ("Schindler's List") as the members of a world-renowned string quartet whose lives are turned into turmoil when their first cellist (Walken) is diagnosed with Parkinson's and announces his retirement. And ahead of the trailer, and the film's release in November, distributors eOne have just unveiled a trailer for the film.
As you might imagine with a cast like this (which also includes Imogen Poots as Hoffman and Keener's daughter), it certainly looks like a showcase for the actors, with all involved looking like they get some meaty stuff to get their teeth into, particularly Walken on unusually normal-person form — between this and "Seven Psychopaths," he seems to have the best material he's had in a while. And the New York locations look suitably picturesque.
We have to confess that we find it hard to shake the feeling that this feels like something that would be written by a screenwriter character in a Woody Allen film, but we're still keen to see how the film is received in Toronto, and we'd pretty much pay to see these actors in anything, so we're far from writing it off. "A Late Quartet" goes into release on November 2nd.