This film about four retired opera singers who regroup in their old age is as brilliant and lovingly composed as the operatic pieces that soar through the background. In short, it leaves longing for an encore.
For all the references to its characters' infirmities, Quartet delivers quite a cosy and light-hearted version of old age, but Hoffman's deft direction and his cast's note-perfect performances make it enormously entertaining.
The point isn't that Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut suffers in comparison with other films about old age, such as Amour. The point is that it's so spectacularly silly and sentimental, it simply suffers in comparison with other films.
As the film's characters are reaching the end of their lives, loose ends will be tied and soul searching will be done. Hoffman gracefully orchestrates the story's emotional arc. Quartet is a lovely late-career surprise from a master actor.