Now Playing: Quartet

by The Dartmouth Arts Staff | 2/24/13 11:00pm

Directed by: Dustin HoffmanWith: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly98 minutesRated PG-13

"Quartet" takes place at a home for elderly musicians who come together to perform in their retirement. With a looming concert that will decide whether the home will stay open, residents are in the midst of frantic preparation. However, everything gets turned upside down when Jean Horton (Smith), arrives at the retirement community. Jean is a self-loving diva and the ex-wife of one of the home's stars, and her arrival causes old feelings and rivalries to bubble to the surface. Marina Shkuratov

Featuring a venerable cast of veteran actors, "Quartet" is Hoffman's sweet and sentimental but silly directorial debut. The actor's talents immediately lend the film a graceful polish that successfully masks the occasional tedium and shallowness of the movie's emotional arc. A lightweight affair compared to recent films examining the final years of life such as "Amour", "Quartet" nonetheless provides a gentle reprieve from the heavy dramatics of Hollywood.

Katie Tai

"Quartet" is a simple, heartfelt and endearing film that depicts both the pain of getting older and the persistence of love without ever taking itself too seriously. The movie is set in a nursing home in rural England, but don't be fooled: between Wilf's (Connolly) witty banter and the lively performances of Beecham House's residents, there is never a dull moment. It's not the movie of the year, but it is worth seeing and will make you laugh.

Caela Murphy

"Quartet" is a charming look at the lives of fantastically talented retired musicians living and performing together. The classical music that plays throughout the film when characters are rehearsing or having their breakfast is understated and fitting. "Quartet" has many humorous moments that make up for what the film sometimes lacks in material, and the character of Wilf (Connolly) is hilarious as the promiscuous and wildly inappropriate opera singer. "Quartet" manages to find moments of poignancy, with a tender and complicated love story complementing the lighthearted plot.

Marina Shkuratov

Also playing: "Safe Haven," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo."