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:

Every diva deserves an encore. 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

Jean: Are you telling me to go out and smell the roses?
Cissy Robson: Oh no. We're telling you the roses are long gone. But the chrysanthemums are magnificent.
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

Referenced in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Little Maids from School
from "The Mikado: Act 1"
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Performed by Cynthia Morey, Melodie Waddingham, Nuala Willis, and Adrian Müller
Courtesy of
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In Dustin's debut, not a single false note
17 December 2012 | by richard-1967See all my reviews

What remarkable good fortune that Dustin Hoffman chose this Ronald Harwood play (and screenplay) for his directorial debut at age 75. This is a movie for actors, and there are many terrific performances in this wonderful ensemble piece about the residents of a home for aging musicians, which we saw at our movie preview club.

But the warmth of the story - the vibrancy of the seniors playing string quartets and practicing their cellos and clarinets, their friendships, annoyances, disappointments, and even loves - marks this film as something very special.

Hoffman has taken a beautiful English estate and turned it into a world of music filled with well-drawn and compelling characters: the woman with advancing dementia who relishes the CD of her performing Rigoletto 40 years ago; the flirtatious Wilf, whose "advances" towards the women on staff are never offensive and always charming; the aging diva - the always wonderful Maggie Smith - who is horrified by the thought that by moving in her life is over.

The best drawn (and in my mind, played) character is Wilf's best friend Reggie, who doesn't get Wilf's preferential treatment but has a quiet dignity and love of his life and his art that quietly shines through. His scene teaching students by comparing opera and rap may be this film's best.

Reggie is played by one of the most underrated and powerful British actors of his time, the estimable Tom Courtenay. It's hard to believe it's been 50 years since he starred as a 25-year-old in The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner. In a performance of grace, nuance, and elegance, Courtenay outshines even Maggie Smith. Perhaps he's inspired by working again from a Harwood screenplay; it was Harwood who wrote The Dresser, an excellent 1983 vehicle for Courtenay and Albert Finney.

One more note: Finney was apparently supposed to play the Wilf role, but unfortunately was not up to it health-wise. But comedian Billy Connolly's performance is just splendid.

See this movie!


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