Written April 21, 2015
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 March 27, 2015
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 May 25, 2015
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 October 23, 2014
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 May 10, 2013
Everyone acted superbly. The foursome were very strong, but I have to accord kudos as well to Sheridan Smith (Dr. Cogan), Gwyneth Jones (Anne Langley), Michael Gambon (Cedric Livingston), Trevor Peacock (George), among many others. The pacing was good, scenery fabulous (maybe a bit overdone, but in keeping with the pomp required by the movie content), plot (laced with some real life musicians and singers) was predictable but still captivating. The only possible flaw was that everything was so neatly tied together at the end