"It’s Never Too Late To Reconcile"
What You Need To Know:
QUARTET is an artful, utterly charming adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play. It’s time for the annual concert celebrating Verdi’s birthday at a retirement home for musicians and singers. Many residents suffer from some mental or physical limitation. This adds to the stress of preparing for a show that’s crucial to the home’s funding. The story focuses on three opera singers, Reggie, Cissy and Wilfrid. Into their cozy mix steps Jean. Jean is a new resident who’s having a tough time adjusting to her new life. She also happens to be the woman who broke Reggie’s heart years ago.
QUARTET is one of the best surprises of the year. Renowned American actor Dustin Hoffman chose this delicate piece to make his directorial debut. What a marvelous debut he has! Of course, he’s helped by a wonderful cast of British actors led by Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Billy Connolly. Despite the profound heartache in the most dramatic moments, QUARTET is a movie of forgiveness and reconciliation. Thus, it contains moments of sublime joy. There’s some foul language in QUARTET, however, so caution is required.
(BB, C, H, LL, V, S, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview with redemptive elements of forgiveness and reconciliation that also promotes the value of life toward the end of one’s journey this side of Heaven, a brief scene in a chapel, and a positive reference to God, but a main character admits he’s not religious; 11 obscenities (including two “f” words during two moments of tension) and 10 light exclamatory profanities, plus a couple scenes where man with prostate problems has to relieve himself outside but nothing really salacious shown; light violence when elderly woman hits another elderly woman with some flowers she brought when the other woman brings up an uncomfortable subject, and the hit woman later collapses in a hallway and has to have some bed rest; some sexual innuendoes, mostly involving one elderly man’s comments about and flirtation with women at his retirement home (for instance, in perhaps the most crude moment, he admires one elderly woman’s breasts in an early scene), discussion of an affair and multiple marriages, and young couple emerges from high grass in a field, which implies some hanky panky of one kind or another, but nothing is shown that’s really salacious; no nudity but some female cleavage; light alcohol use; smoking; and, arguments between a former married couple and people react angrily to some things but apologize later.
Playing for a couple weeks in Los Angeles and New York for a qualifying Oscar run, QUARTET is a well acted, artful, utterly charming adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play about elderly opera singers and musicians living in a special retirement home. It’s one of the best surprises of the year, and is due to get a wide release starting January 11 across the United States. There’s some foul language and innuendo, however, so caution is advised.
It’s time for the annual concert celebrating Verdi’s birthday at Beechum House, a retirement home for musicians and singers. Many of the residents in the retirement home suffer some degree of mental or physical limitation. This adds to the pressure and stress of preparing for a show that’s crucial to the home’s funding each year. The story focuses on three of the show’s opera singers, Reggie, Cissy and Wilfrid.
Into their cozy mix steps Jean. Jean is a new resident who’s having a tough time adjusting from her diva status in the outside world. Group living clearly doesn’t suit her. She’s also upset that her singing voice isn’t what it used to be.
Making matters worse, Jean had a bitter break-up years ago with Reggie. Reggie’s still upset because Jean cheated on him just before they were to marry. Their continued bickering disrupts the planning for the concert. Especially when the elderly director of the fundraising gala asks them to invite Jean to sing a piece from RIGOLETTO with them, their one big recording hit together.
Renowned American actor Dustin Hoffman, at 75, chose this delicate English piece as his directorial debut. He carries off his duties marvelously. In fact, he probably should have started directing years ago, his direction is that good. Of course, he’s helped greatly by a wonderful cast featuring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Dame Gwyneth Jones (a real opera singer), and rising star Sheridan Smith. Collins, Connolly, and Gambon almost steal the show, but Maggie Smith and Tom Courteney deliver profound, but delicate, performances that lift QUARTET above the ordinary.
QUARTET will bring laughter, tears, and smiles to many discerning moviegoers, especially to those of us who’ve felt the ravages of age and regret. In the end, however, this is a tale of forgiveness, reconciliation and not letting life pass you by, whatever your age. Thus, despite the profound heartache in the movie’s most dramatic moments, QUARTET also delivers moments of great joy.
QUARTET has some mostly light foul language, plus a couple “f” words during two heightened scenes of tension. Also, Billy Connolly’s character, Wifrid, enjoys flirting with the retirement home’s younger staff members, including the head of the home. Those parts are, for the most, pretty tame, however. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises some caution.