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critics consensus

It's sweet, gentle, and predictable to a fault, but Dustin Hoffman's affectionate direction and the talented cast's amiable charm make Quartet too difficult to resist. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Once-popular opera diva Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) creates a stir with her arrival at Beecham House, a home for retired performers. No one feels the uproar more than Reginald (Tom Courtenay), Jean's ex-husband, who still stings from her long-ago infidelity. Most of the other Beecham residents are delighted, and try to convince Jean to join them in a performance of "Rigoletto." Jean, however, knows that she is long past her prime and is reluctant to sully the memory of her once-lovely voice.

Cast & Crew

Maggie Smith
Jean Horton
Tom Courtenay
Reggie Paget
Pauline Collins
Cissy Robson
Michael Gambon
Cedric Livingston
Sheridan Smith
Dr. Lucy Cogan
Andrew Sachs
Bobby Swanson
Gwyneth Jones
Anne Langley
Michael Byrne
Frank White
Ronald Harwood
Screenwriter
Jamie Laurenson
Executive Producer
Dario Suter
Executive Producer
Christoph Daniel
Executive Producer
Marc Schmidheiny
Executive Producer
Dickon Stainer
Executive Producer
Xavier Marchand
Executive Producer
Dustin Hoffman
Executive Producer
John de Borman
Cinematographer
Barney Pilling
Film Editor
Dario Marianelli
Original Music
Andrew McAlpine
Production Design
Ben Smith
Art Director
Sarah Wittle
Set Decoration
Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Quartet

Critic Reviews for Quartet

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (57) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (29)

Audience Reviews for Quartet

  • May 21, 2015
    In "Quartet," things are looking tough at a retirement home for opera singers and other assorted divas in England with all the hopes riding on a fundraising concert presided over by Cedric(Michael Gambon). That hope rises with the arrival of Jean(Maggie Smith), a living legend. But Reg(Tom Courtenay) has mixed feelings, no surprise considering they were once married. Meanwhile, Wilf(Billy Connolly) looks for a bush to take a leak behind. Even as predictable and cliched as it is, "Quartet" is still not a total loss, as it is also more than a little touching. That starts with Dustin Hoffman in his directorial debut, showing a bit of visual flair. And then there is the cast, including several ringers from the world of opera. Yes, one can make a case that Maggie Smith can do what she does in her sleep(and probably does), but that does not make it any less amazing, especially paired with the equally capable Tom Courtenay.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2014
    Dustin Hoffman executive produced and then directed this ode to those who chose the stage, to entertain, and who live to see the spotlight pass them by. Buckshot with many who actually made that choice, who lived that life, it then proceeds to display very nearly a sitcom view of the last act of life, or at the very least the Disney version. Everyone is dressed up, very clean, in this mansion out in the country, a home for retired musicians, appointed with fine lawns, and have rooms that should be called suites. Whatta way to go! The story concerns the difficulties a once popular foursome have in getting together to do one more show ("to save the orphanage ... for the penguin ... we're on a mission from God" The Blues Brothers then, though w/o the major players doing even one song!). The players perform their required duties but are ill served finally by the platform given them. Only Pauline Collins gets any real work done here. No, honestly.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2013
    This British comedy-drama film based on the play of the same title by Ronald Harwood, which ran in London's West End from September 1999 until January 2000, and it was filmed late in 2011 at Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire. This is actor Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. And it wasn't bad at all! The story of Ronald Harwood who wrote the screenplay as well, takes place in Beecham House, a retirement home for gifted musicians, patterned after the real-life Casa di Riposo per Musicisti founded by Giuseppe Verdi. And my favourite very colourful characters were Reg, Wilf and Cissy who are all retired former opera singers who often worked together in the past... All the residents of the retirement home continue to be engaged in their former profession in one way or the other, which gives place to lots of amusing times in the home, but also some rivalries amongst the musicians. The movie was well received by the film critics but I will have to say that is made for targeted audience - I don't know too many young people interested in this subject! For me it was lulling inspirational fantasy/comedy with aging, cultured Englishfolk (and one randy Scot, played by Billy Connolly) living out their golden years in a beautifully maintained residence. Good acting, entertaining story and solid directing are the characteristics of this art work. Don't expect too much, though!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2013
    A completely pleasing way to spend an hour and forty minutes. Nothing spectacular in way of story or technique, but a collection of fine performances delivered by a first-time director who knows his way around character development.
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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