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!