Movie Review: Quartet

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that there have recently been a number of movies aimed at the 50+ men and women demographic.  Is it possible that the film industry has discovered this expanding movie-going population?  Let’s hope so.

The British film people were right on target with last year’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” comedy (reviewed previously by us) and they score again with “Quartet,” an amusing film about an English residence for retired opera singers and musicians.  In addition to the wonderful music in the film, the acting is consistently terrific – mostly thanks to Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay.  There is a delightful tongue-in-cheek quality about the story and in the dialogue (you must listen carefully for the occasional biting verbal asides that pop up throughout).  Clearly this was a wild bunch (sexually) in their early careers as musicians of various stripes, and the echoes of their dalliances continue into their senior years as they convene for their annual Verdi concert at this retired musician’s home.  It is both surprising and amusing as some residents find past lovers and one-night stands around each corner; and it doesn’t even bring a blush to their cheeks, but it does bring a twinkle to their eyes.  The opportunity to go around once more with a love from the past leads to a surprising and subtle happy ending.  But you have to watch closely for it. Directed by Dustin Hoffman, the performances are top-notch throughout.

You don’t have to be an opera fan to enjoy this fun film, but if you take along someone who is, you will certainly score a lot of bonus points (and stay for the ending credits, which have photographs of the stars in the earliest performances!).


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