In A Late Quartet, Christopher Walken gives one of his best “normal” performances in years. He plays a cellist retiring from the quartet he founded, which sends the rest of its members into a cyclone of jealousy, greed and infidelity. Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has languished as second violin for 25 years, and thinks the new alignment ought to allow him a bigger spotlight. His wife, Juliette (Catherine Keener), plays viola in the quartet and disagrees with him. Then there’s Daniel (Mark Ivanir), the perfectionist of the group, first violin and paramour of Robert and Juliette’s daughter. Although director Yaron Zilberman deserves kudos for the way he approaches this unique world of performance, the heavy-handed, clichéd personal issues the musicians face drag down a promising film.