Philip Seymour Hoffman, dead of an apparent drug overdose, was one of my favorite actors. And in A Late Quartet -- and how ironic does that title seem now? -- he gave a great performance. It was a crowd-pleaser at film festivals.
There is a good deal of curiosity about the private lives of string quartets, as if they were bizarre, secret societies. I answered a small variety of questions this way I can begin to give you some idea of what it's really like.
There is no wrangling legendary actors Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman when they're in a room together. Like old friends, their conversation can swing wide and cover just about anything -- from the employment rate of Screen Actors Guild members to "The Hunger Games."
Here's the thing: the more ravaged and tortured Walken looks, the more beautiful I find him. His face is the face of an artist; you can imagine the statue. And in every frame, you can see and you can love the depth of greatness -- of the character and the actor.
Maybe you're like me and know next to nothing about classical music, string quartets, and the men and women who perform it. But none of those things kept me from enjoying A Late Quartet, an impressive indie film.