Written March 26, 2017
Dustin Hoffman did a super job directing "Quartet." In films about special expertise in a field, the leading actors usually give off twin whiffs of disconnection with the field and of exaggeration as if to make up for their lack of knowledge. A decent screenplay--and this is a lovely one--can somewhat help the leads with that gap. Here, the leads are amid people who have actually spent their lives in the field; many are still active in the field. Hence, an unusual depth of involvement, and a concomitant grace and flow: nothing seems artificial.
It gave me a start, though, near the end of the film, to see stars such as Dame Gwyneth Jones actually performing--true to life, but as fictional film characters, not as themselves. Those faces & voices still belong to real people, and so the characters suddenly seem a strange hybrid of truth and fiction. It was almost shocking to hear Dame Joan's and Luciano's voices in the "Rigoletto" quartet, layered over made-up characters.
Written June 30, 2016
It was one of the most beautiful movies I have seen in a long time. Maggie Smith is a treasure All of these retired musicians make getting older seem not quite as bad.
Written June 28, 2016
I liked it but did not love it.Not a very interesting story!Beautiful scenery and music but none of the characters very interesting!A very light 1 1/2hours!!
Written August 27, 2016
A lovely film that's part "Downton Abbey" (Look! There's Maggie Smith playing the same character she always plays!), part "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and entirely charming, if not entirely original. There are several utterly poignant moments and the scenery is always lush and verdant -- as if the English country landscape is taunting the fading characters whose golden days appear to be long past. But as one might expect, it turns out their most important 'roles' have yet to be played. The music is gorgeous and the end credits (don't leave without seeing them) are lovely. There are several missteps, but they in no way take away from the larger, more glorious aspects of the film. (The 'urban youth' storyline -- thin and underdeveloped -- feels gratuitous and tagged-on, rather than organic, believeable.) Opera fans: delight in a lovely turn by the ever radiant Dame Gwenyth Jones.
Written August 16, 2016
It was a delicious, touching movie greatly directed by a great actor. The acting is superb; Tom Courtney remains one of the great actors of all time. And what do you have to say more than Maggie Smith. All the actors were superb. A must go.