Ralph Fiennes Commits T.S. Eliot to Memory in Celebrated One-Man Show Turned Cinematic — Watch Trailer

Fiennes memorized the Nobel prize winner's masterworks in lockdown before taking them to the London stage.
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes in "Four Quartets"
Courtesy Kino Lorber

April is the cruelest month, but evidently not for one-man shows starring Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes.

The “Schindler’s List” and “Harry Potter” star’s sister Sophie Fiennes directs a film version of “T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets,” the stage production he brought to London and throughout the UK back in 2021. During the lockdown, Fiennes committed to memory the “Wasteland” poet’s four epic poems written during World War II about man’s relationship to time and the divine. His performance, praised as “magnetic” by The Telegraph, was filmed at the end of his run.

IndieWire shares the exclusive trailer for the film version, opening April 28 at the IFC Center in New York City, courtesy of Kino Lorber. An expansion in theaters nationally will follow.

Fiennes’ filmed performance of Eliot’s masterworks is a co-production between The Bath Theatre Royal and Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Lone Star Productions, Amoeba Film and Lonely Dragon Films. Sophie Fiennes, who also directed the concert documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” and 2012 Slavoj Zizek documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” also edits “Four Quartets.”

“T.S. Eliot’s meditations on the intermingling of past, present and future have even more resonance in this captivating performance by Ralph Fiennes,” wrote Clive Davis for The Times.

“With this magnificent adaptation, Sophie Fiennes and Ralph Fiennes have transformed T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece into an utterly singular work of cinema that reaches an emotional depth unlike anything I’ve experienced just reading the poem. ‘Four Quartets’ is like nothing I’ve seen on either stage or screen, with an astonishing and deeply felt performance by Ralph Fiennes at its center. It’s both an honor and a great joy to partner with Sophie once again and bring this daring and inspired film to North American audiences” said Richard Lorber when Kino picked up the film for distribution back in February.

Fiennes has long enjoyed a decorated career on the stage, starring in Shakespeare productions like “Richard III,” “The Tempest,” “Julius Caesar,” and “Hamlet” in London. Last year, Fiennes starred in David Hare’s “Straight Line Crazy,” directed by Nicholas Hytner in the UK.

“Four Quartets” opens on Friday, April 28.

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