5 January 2013 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Dustin Hoffman directs a stellar cast in this bittersweet tale of ageing opera singers forced to face their mortality

Dustin Hoffman was 30 when he made his screen debut as the 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Three years later, in 1970, he played the 121-year-old frontiersman Jack Crabb in Arthur Penn's western Little Big Man. In his 50s he returned to star as Willy Loman and Shylock. So he knows something about the vagaries of ageing. It seems therefore not inappropriate that he makes his confident directorial debut at 75, directing a formidable ensemble cast ranging in age from the 31-year-old Sheridan Smith to actors pushing 80 and beyond in a movie adapted by the 78-year-old Ronald Harwood from his own adroitly crafted play Quartet.

Sheridan Smith plays Dr Lucy Cogan, sympathetic manager and resident physician at Beecham House, a handsomely appointed home for elderly opera singers fallen on hard times. It's »

- Philip French

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