Probably Preposterous Words & Sounds: The Late Quartet

More evidence for my minor but persistent grumble about the fact that on those rare occasions classical music turns up as a plot line in the movies it’s often a watch word for arch melodrama or villainous perversion To wit: in any horror movie, it’s the guy who listens to Verdi or Wagner who did it. Hannibal Lechter famously blissed out to Mozart. Another post will take up Woody Allen’s highly personal (and longtime) use of opera as coding for bad guys.

The latest effort, “Late Quartet,” avoids the horror card, but otherwise seems to hit ever cliché of the genre. From the trailer (haven’t dragged myself to see it yet) seems overwrought and a little joyless. (Contrary opinion here.) Still, there are bound to be a few yuks courtesy of Christopher Walken trying to mime playing the cello. Reportedly they worked and worked to make it seem plausible that the four were professional string players. It didn’t work. (In fairness, that probably doesn’t matter, they are great actors, which great string quartet players wouldn’t be.)

More after I see the full movie.

For a taste of Beethoven’s Op. 131 in the flesh, check this clip from The Endellion Quartet out. It is something to hear.

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