Quartet

[12a]

United Kingdom 2012, 98 mins
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Starring: Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly

As the occupants of a retirement home for opera singers prepare for their annual concert celebrating Verdi’s birthday, havoc is wreaked by the arrival of Jean (Smith), the ex-wife of one of their number (Courtenay).

Still very much the diva, Jean refuses to add her voice – or at least her singing voice – to the party, and QUARTET follows the efforts of the variously well-meaning, grumpy and forgetful incumbents to persuade her to get off her high horse and muck in.

Scripted by Ronald Harwood from his 1999 play, and marking Hoffman’s agreeably assured directorial debut, QUARTET radiates much of the gentle drama and grown-up good humour of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, with especially nice turns from Connolly as an ageing roué and Collins as Jean’s daffy, well-meaning confidante.