Published June 2, 2013


Film info

  • Title Quartet
  • Director Dustin Hoffman
  • Year 2012
  • Run time 1hr 38m
  • Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Tagline Four friends looking for a little harmony

Lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins), are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton (Maggie Smith), a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, also Reggie’s ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone’s surprise, the plans for this year’s concert start to unravel. As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, it becomes apparent that having four of the finest singers in English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the show will go on. Quartet is a joyous and entertaining film about redefining old age and growing old with hope, demonstrating how art illuminates life and the human spirit remains undimmed even as the brightest stars start to fade.

Fast Facts

Title: Quartet Director: Dustin Hoffman Year: 2012 Run time: 1hr 38m

Background Info

I’m not sure this would have been our usual choice, but having watched and enjoyed the Exotic Marigold Hotel, so we were willing to give this one a go. Plus, interested to see Billy Connelly and what he could do!

Live Blog

4:51 - I like this quite jaunty opening. Brilliant song to get through the credits. 6:23 - Ooh, Sheridan Smith. I forgot she was in this. 8:06 - So many faces in this! 9:20 - “You’ve got to try this jam, it’s unbelievable. It’s like eating Christmas.” 12:15 - I like retired musicians trading insults. 15:27 - Although it must be an exhausting place to live - noise everywhere you go. 24:36 - The trouble with this film is, it’s hard to know if the music is background music or if it is actually coming from somewhere within the film. 30:41 - Opera wasn’t always posh? 32:48 - 12 curtain calls is a ridiculous amount. 35:05 - I’d love to have a piano in every room I walked into. 42:40 - The opposite of forgive and forget… grin and bear it. 46:18 - “I was only married twice! After you.” 55:45 - It’s a lovely house they are in. Beautiful surroundings too. Wonder where it is. 56:53 - A curtain call competition. 1:07:16 - Does Sheridan run this place all by herself? 1:12:29 - I love that she’s so attached to that portable CD player, but she could do with an MP3 player instead. 1:14:06 - Love their rendition of Happy Birthday. No effort spared. 1:27:20 - They have white bow ties on, I’m not sure I’ve seen a white one before.


I don’t have an enormous amount to say about this one. It was good, not great but a reasonable way to pass the time. It wasn’t as good as the Marigold Hotel, but still had some interesting characters and a couple of chuckles along the way. I think the finer points were lost on us, classical music not really our thing, but it was still fun. Plus bonus Sheridan Smith!

**Rating: **3/5

Rating: 3 / 5

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