The Quartet ★★★★ Plus

The Quartet

★★★★ Plus

“The Quartet”  –  1 hr 37 mins.  Director:  Dustin Hoffman  Comedy/Tragedy     All-star cast:  Meggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith 

As the residents of Beecham House, an English  retirement home for former artisans,  prepare for their annual fundraising event in celebration of Verdi’s birthday, they flounder for a lead opera singer to complete a quartet (of  opera  stars).  Enter  the Grand Dame of Opera, Jean Horton (played by Maggie Smith).  

The viewer watches as petty rivalries, artistic  temperaments,  prima donnas and theatrics threaten to end the performance before it begins.  We are left to the final moment of the film  to figure out if the show, indeed, does goes on. There is something extraordinary with these films of our seniors;  they show such richness of character.  Actors of such depth come only with time and experience often not found in main-stream Hollywood.  Every cast member is a pro, every actor challenges you to figure out whether you are more anguished or joyful for them.  It leaves you with a sort of aching melancholy of what once was.

Hoffman did a exemplary job in drenching the film with an  entourage of real-life former artists:  Opera singers, Directors, Actors, Musicians and filled the back drop of this movie with them.  If you think you recognize someone in a backdrop, you probably have.  Wait till the final seconds of the movie and see if you were right…  An endearing way to end the movie. ★★★★ Plus


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