Maggie Smith plays opera diva Jean Horton in Quartet. (© The Weinstein Company)
In his fine directorial debut, Dustin Hoffman teams with veteran screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) to deliver a gentle but emotional tale about a retirement home for professional musicians, staged in an idyllic estate in Buckinghamshire, UK. The talented supporting cast members embellish the film with superb vocal and orchestral selections, while the colorful leading characters—played by Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Tom Courtenay—carry the bittersweet comedy about growing old with your comrades.
The annual fundraiser gala at Beecham House features the quartet from Rigoletto. (© The Weinstein Company)
Life in Beecham House is rich with compassion and competition as the residents plan their annual fundraiser gala, which includes the performance of the quartet from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto. Meanwhile, the arrival of an old friend and opera diva Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) is greeted with a warm welcome from almost everyone at Beecham House except Horton’s ex-husband (Courtenay) who hoped he would never see her again.
Director Dustin Hoffman (© The Weinstein Company)
Like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which also starred Maggie Smith, this homage to the golden years is beautifully executed by a superb cast portraying a host of memorable and headstrong characters. Adapted from Ronald Harwood’s 1999 play, we ride the highs and lows of this simple but captivating story about love, joy, sadness, and conflict in the third act of life. And where acceptance of the present means letting go of the past. A