6.8/10
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132 user 176 critic

Quartet (2012)

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At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.

Director:

Dustin Hoffman

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (play), Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Smith ... Jean Horton
Tom Courtenay ... Reggie Paget
Billy Connolly ... Wilf Bond
Pauline Collins ... Cissy Robson
Michael Gambon ... Cedric Livingstone
Sheridan Smith ... Dr. Lucy Cogan
Andrew Sachs ... Bobby Swanson
Gwyneth Jones Gwyneth Jones ... Anne Langley (as Dame Gwyneth Jones)
Trevor Peacock ... George
David Ryall ... Harry
Michael Byrne ... Frank White
Ronnie Fox Ronnie Fox ... Nobby
Patricia Loveland Patricia Loveland ... Letitia Davis
Eline Powell ... Angelique
Luke Newberry ... Simon
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Storyline

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 BrianoftheNorth

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four friends looking for a little harmony See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and suggestive humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian | Polish | French

Release Date:

1 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuatro notas de amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,122, 13 January 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,390,117

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$59,520,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman's first completed directorial effort. In 1978, he began directing Straight Time (1978), but after a few days, he decided it was too difficult to both star and direct, and asked Ulu Grosbard to take over. See more »

Goofs

While Reggie is playing croquet with Wilf, his pocket handkerchief and shirt buttons suddenly swap sides, indicating a flipped shot. See more »

Quotes

Reginald Paget: [to a class of teenagers] Opera is: when a guy's stabbed in the back, instead of bleeding, he sings. It seems to me, after much research, that rap is when a guy is stabbed in the back, and instead of bleeding, he talks. Er, rhythmically, even with feeling. But because rap's *spoken*, the feeling is sort of held in check: all on one note.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in Quartet: Deleted Scenes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Tell Aunt Rhody
Traditional, arranged by Morgan Pochin
Performed by Isla and Iona Mathieson
© BDI Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sure-footed and moving debut.
3 December 2012 | by jimchevaSee all my reviews

There are two obvious reasons to see this film. One is that it's Dustin Hoffman's directing debut. The other is that any film with Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon is very unlikely to be less than very good.

As it turns out, the film - set in a retirement home for classical musicians - is simply perfect: touching and amusing from the start, with generous but judicious doses of lovely music, shifting gears in an in-obtrusively sure-footed way. Billy Connolly (who was once a presence in my local hang-out) is about as close to his real self here as in any part I've seen him play: ribald, mischievous and large-hearted; the shameless jokester and flirt you nonetheless know you can always depend on. Courtenay is heart-rendingly endearing from the start, in the most quiet, under-stated way. Maggie Smith shows far more range than her now- stock Grande Dame parts usually allow her, including an unaccustomed vulnerability and a charming exercise, at one moment, of calculated yet shy girlish charm.

As one would expect from a director who is a great actor himself, the palette of characters here is vividly and colorfully incarnated by actors who are often memorable even in the most minor parts.

The music is both respectfully and affectionately integrated throughout, moving from noble classical pieces to a cheerful bit of music hall. And is paid a surprising homage in the credits, which continue the film's nod to age and accomplishment well past its not very surprising but still satisfying end.

Very few viewers, by the way, will sense the echos here - but no more - of a lovely French film from 1935 about a retirement home for actors: "La Fin du Jour":

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031309/combined

Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", etc) tells a very different story, but anyone who enjoys this one and understands enough French should certainly seek out the older film (with the great Michel Simon).


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