Ralph Fiennes’s exquisite performance of T. S. Eliot's poetic masterpiece is dynamically translated from stage to screen by director Sophie Fiennes (Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology). During the early days of COVID, the Oscar® nominee set himself the challenge of committing Four Quartets to memory, and in 2021 he brought it to the London stage followed by a tour of theaters across the UK. Written by Nobel Prize winner Eliot in the shadow of the Second World War, the poem is a searching examination of who – and what – we are. This celebrated meditation on human experience, time, and the divine offers up questions, imagery, and emotions that bear a powerful relevance to our present day.
“Lucid and searching, scorching and incantatory…[Fiennes] recites Eliot’s poem as the music it is, and you feel that Eliot, through the drama of Fiennes’ presentation, comes across as nothing less than the 20th-century Shakespeare."
“The hypnotizing, affecting performance that Fiennes extracts from this thicket of uncertain meanings and recondite references is a beautiful testament to what Eliot himself once said: ‘Genuine poetry communicates before it’s understood.’”
“It is frankly astonishing how contemporary nearly every word sounds despite these poems having been written over 80 years ago. Ralph Fiennes interprets the works as a sort of crescendo-ing reasoning with both life and death”
"A staggering experience that is going to be best seen in a darkened room where you can get lost in the words which are amplified and expanded by Fiennes' physical performance...This is a masterclass of acting and a magnificent film. See it”
Directed by Sophie Fiennes
Cinematographer Mike Eley