NO ARRANGEMENT IS MORE BEAUTIFUL… OR MORE COMPLICATED.
Approaching its 25th anniversary, a string quartet is shaken when the cellist, Peter Mitchell (Christopher Walken), announces that he’s retiring because of a debilitating illness. Documentary filmmaker Yaron Zilberman brings a sense of honesty and carefulness to his first dramatic feature, which is obvious in the way the relationships between these characters, and how the music and the craft of performing it, are shown. Emotions build as love and challenged family dynamics affect the quartet, all set with a chilly and culturally refined New York City as backdrop. A moving tribute to art, with brilliant performances by Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in particular.
2012-U.S. 105 min. Color. Produced by Vanessa Coifman, David Faigenblum, Emanuel Michael, Tamar Sela, Mandy Tagger, Yaron Zilberman. Directed by Yaron Zilberman. Screenplay: Yaron Zilberman, Seth Grossman. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Robert Gelbart), Christopher Walken (Peter Mitchell), Catherine Keener (Juliette Gelbart), Mark Ivanir (Daniel Lerner), Imogen Poots, Madhur Jaffrey.
Trivia: Ethan Hawke was allegedly first cast.
Last word: “It took months of preparation! We filmed a string quartet with five cameras playing the music that ended up on screen. Then we edited a DVD for each actor and their respective coaches with their ‘on-screen’ music segments from five camera angles. These segments were studied by the cast until they reached a high level of imitating them. When we finally filmed the actors play, we had all our music coaches on set both helping the cast with the instruments and watching a monitor to approve the way the shots looked for authenticity.” (Zilberman, Roobla)