Time Out Sydney


Quartet has been adapted by screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) from his own 1999 play, and essentially it’s a country-house, putting-on-a-play drama. Only the house is a care home for retired actors and singers, and the stumbling blocks to first-night glory are the side-effects of ageing. The gentle conundrum is whether four residents of Beecham House – Jean (Maggie Smith), Wilf (Billy Connolly), Cissy (Pauline Collins) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay) – will overcome their problems to perform the quartet from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ at a benefit gig for their home. It’s a light, fruity film – complete with Michael Gambon flitting around in a silk dressing gown and fez. Dustin Hoffman, directing for the first time, draws endearing performances from his cast, and a host of supporting actors played by singers and musicians grounds its more farcical and rarefied elements in white-haired reality. 

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By Dave Calhoun   |  

Quartet details

Length: 94 minutes

Country of origin: UK

Year of production: 2012

Classification: Not Available

Showing 26 Dec 2012-31 Jan 2013

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Cast: Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon

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