Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on... and it does. Written by
Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Smith worked together - as actors - previously in Hook (1991): Hoffman played Captain Hook and Smith played Granny Wendy. In this film, they work together as director (Hoffman) and actor (Smith). See more »
While Reggie is playing croquet with Wilf, his pocket handkerchief and shirt buttons suddenly swap sides, indicating a flipped shot. See more »
Are you telling me to go out and smell the roses?
Oh no. We're telling you the roses are long gone. But the chrysanthemums are magnificent.
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As the final credits roll, photos of each of the supporting cast members of retired musicians is shown beside a picture of them during their performing careers. See more »
Yesterday afternoon was pure joy because Diane and I watched Hoffman's directorial début of a delightful movie that showcases some of the best in British acting. Superficially the subject matter would seem to be less than enthralling: an old folk's home putting on an end of year concert to raise money to keep the home working. Ha, the devil is in the details and these details set the entire story on a different plane of reality; this home is exclusively for retired concert musicians both orchestral and operatic. The level of professional attainment means that the audience for this "end of year finale" can attract people that will pay Covent Garden prices to attend such a stellar concert. The movie's casting is remarkable because the person that carries the show is Billy Connelly who enlivens the interaction with staff and residents to a degree that only his repartee can produce. Suffice it to say that his banter means that, for an old guy like me, there is never a dull spot in the movie. The drama is interjected by Maggie Smith who does it with the aplomb for which she is known. I also think that Dustin Hoffman did a remarkable job in this, his first, outing as a director. Diane and I both believe that this is a hugely enjoyable movie and should be seen by any person interested in the art of film making.
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