ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie review: Quartet

Updated on December 28, 2012

It's a wonder that dogs of mature years don't suffer a complex from being told so often of their alleged inability to learn new tricks. It hasn't stopped old dog Dustin Hoffman though. After an on-going career of starring in over seventy features, seasoned luvvy Hoffman, at the ripe age of 75, has decided to make his directorial debut.

As projects go, he couldn't have found a more gentle and appropriate story to begin his directing career with.

Welcome to the melodic halls of Beecham House, a retirement home for elderly musicians. The current residents are busying themselves by rehearsing for their annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday. It's a pretty big deal for all concerned; not only is it an opportunity to raise enough money to keep the home ticking over for another year, but it also gives a number of the residents the chance to shine in the now-dimming limelight of their careers.

Trying to keep everyone focused at the job at hand is Cedric (Michael Gambon), particularly when you have to control the likes of the sex-obsessed Wilf (Billy Connolly), the flighty Cissy (Pauline Collins) and Reg (Tom Courtenay) who would just be happy with some marmalade for breakfast.

Just when Cedric thinks he has everyone on track, his plans are thrown into disarray with the arrival of a new resident: Jean (Maggie Horton). Her arrival ruffles more than a few feathers, none more so than Reg's; when he learns that she's moving in, it not only drags up parts of his past he'd rather forget but it looks increasingly likely that the show might not go on as originally planned.

As you've probably already deduced, considering the aged talent involved, that this is yet another entry in the growing grey (AKA blue rinse) cinema genre. It appears there's a definite trend for seeing older actors growing old disgracefully on the big screen, and this one doesn't disappoint on that front.

Connolly does well in behaving older than he appears and Gambon is simply adorable as the bossy luvvy. And although it's always nice to see Dame Maggie do her thing, her 'thing' is somewhat predictable; Jean is no more than a 21st century version of her Downton Abbey persona Violet Crawley.

The real surprises of the film are Collins and Courtenay; it's their characters that supply the true heart of the film, with achingly touching performances offering above average reflections of raw emotions of the elderly persuasion.

Hoffman does little wrong breaking his directorial cherry, but then it is the type of drama that is technically undemanding. No doubt he was certainly aided by having such a wise and professional cast to rely upon.

It is all rather predictable though; the only real surprise is that a main cast member isn't seen pushing up the daisies by the film's end.

Quartet is almost painfully cosy in its portrayal of talented oldies, making it perfectly acceptable viewing for a cold Sunday evening in, in front of the fire with your slippers on. But unlike many of the elderly and their various ailments, it's just a bit too predictable.

3 booms


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)