Billy Connelly (nearly Headless Nick), Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), and Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore)…no I’m not talking about a top secret Harry potter project but Quartet, the directorial debut from Dustin Hoffman (aka Captain Hook for the 90s kids out there).
The film centres on a retirement home for the old and extremely talented. From the start, you instantly get a taste of the characters and what’s in store as Gambon, head of the choir, shouts and instructs, the choir sing at the top of their lungs and Billy Connelly takes the mick!
Connelly’s character in the film is worth the ticket price alone. He is a ladies man, a smooth talker and young lad at heart, hindered only by the fact that he is getting old.
The relatively peaceful existence of the residents is thrown into slight disarray when Jean (Maggie Smith), an eternal diva of the opera world and former wife of one of the residents, arrives to stay. Long lost romances are reignited, delicate issues of old age are addressed, many a handbag is lost to forgetful-ness and sentences repeated for the hard of hearing.
It perhaps sounds bleak but the story is lovely and heart-warming and one which left me in tears by the end but laughing throughout.
The stars put on an amazing show and give a good lesson in how to grow old gracefully with a dash of attitude (whoever thought we’d hear Maggie Smith tell someone to “F**k Off!”).
At the start of the year The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel put a hand out to an upmarket audience and took over £20 million at the UK box office. Quartet runs along a similar vein, has Dustin Hoffman behind the camera and an all-star cast to match so is most definitely a feel good, upmarket Q1 release to look out for in January 2013.
Quartet releases 4 January 2013