In the United Kingdom, the movie Quartet was released on January 1, 2013. This movie marks the directorial debut of popular actor Dustin Hoffman and it is filled with a cast of British actors and actresses that prove that Dustin Hoffman is a director to recognize and respect.
The story is about a group of former opera singers who are living in a retirement home designed especially for musicians with real talent. These opera signers perform an annual concert on the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi. At the time, there are only three of an operatic quartet living in the retirement home, but when the fourth member moves in, chaos begins which threatens the annual performance.
The main characters in the film include Billy Connolly who plays Wilf, Tom Courtenay who plays Reg, Pauline Collins who plays Cissy, and Maggie Smith who plays Jean. At the start of the movie, Jean is the only singer who has not yet moved into the retirement home. She just happens to be the ex-wife of Reg, so when she moves in, that is the reason behind the trouble. The opera singers are known to have somewhat challenging temperaments, so when the ex-wife moves into their territory, it is only natural that problems ensue rather quickly.
The film not only stars the amazing Maggie Smith, who played Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series, but she is reunited with Michael Gambon, who played the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. Their chemistry in six of the Harry Potter movies was very powerful and it continues to be in Quartet, even though the film belongs to a completely different genre.
Quartet not only has some of the best actors and actresses from the United Kingdom, but the film was also filmed entirely in England. As the film is set at a retirement home called Beecham House, the filmmakers used Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire. There were also many scenes filmed at St. Nicholas’ Church in Hedsor, too.
Awards and Nominations
This film has already been nominated and received many awards, as only seems natural for a film with this caliber of actors. Maggie Smith has been nominated for best actress by the Golden Globes committee. Billy Connolly has also received a nomination, but for supporting actor from the British Independent Film Awards. Director Dustin Hoffman, has already received two awards for his directorial debut. One award was from the Chicago International Film Festival for an Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature. The second award was for a Hollywood Breakthrough Award for Breakthrough Directing from the Hollywood Film Festival. The film itself also has already won an award as a Top Ten Independent Film from the National Board of Review. From the plethora of awards this movie has already garnered, it is likely that Dustin Hoffman will be directing more films.
The screenplay was written by Ronald Harwood and was first used as a play. The movie was shown at several film festivals around the United States, but it will be officially released in limited theaters in the United States on January 11. It will also be released in many other cities around the globe between now and May 2013.