Music aged to perfection

I heart Dustin Hoffman.

The Graduate, Kramer vs Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Moonlight Mile, Runaway Jury — winners all.

Then came the last 10 years. Two painful Fockers movies.  I Heart Huckabees (which I did not). Much cartoon voiceover work.  I began to despair.

But now Dustin Hoffman the director has stepped forward with his first feature, Quartet.








You can see by the photo that Hoffman wrangled some major names — Scottish actor/comedian Billy Connolly, and the Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith.  Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins complete the ‘quartet’ of retired opera singers living at Beecham House, a retirement home in rural England for retired musicians.

(And can I just say — swanky.  We should all be so lucky.)

The movie begins as pretty much everyone at the home is in rehearsals for their annual fundraising concert. Connolly, Courtenay and Collins all want Smith — a recent addition to Beecham — to recreate their famed quartet at the concert.

She says no…to pretty much everything.  And the movie goes ‘behind the music’ to the pasts and passions of the players.

I loved the performances, especially Tom Courtenay as Smith’s jilted former husband.  And Hoffman filled the ‘home’ with retired world-class singers and musicians.

Just wait till you hear how much music they’ve still got!

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