And we thought they didn’t make them like this any more: a film in which character is drama. In the middle of their 25th season, the four members of an illustrious string quartet – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Christopher Walken – face personal and professional challenges that threaten every part of their lives. Though the stakes are high, the volume is pitched just right: The film and the performances retain a quiet, forceful elegance that’s perfectly in keeping with the Beethoven they’re playing. Walken, playing against type as the warm-hearted leader of the group, is an especial pleasure.
At VIFF: Oct. 4, 9 p.m., Granville 3; Oct. 7, 9 p.m., Granville 3
At TIFF: Sept. 10, 6 p.m., Elgin; Sept. 12, 5 p.m., Scotiabank.