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The world of opera is a relatively small one, so it is no surprise that a few of these divas and divos have a shared "history," and therein lies our tale.
Let's look at some of this wonderful cast:
* Maggie Smith ("Downton Abbey") is Jean, who always had at least 12 curtain calls but hasn't been in the spotlight for far too long!
* Michael Gambon ("Harry Potter") is Cedric, in charge of the star-studded gala, with a towering ego of his own.
* Billy Connolly ("Brave") is Wilf, proof positive that an old horn dog never quits sniffing around.
* Tom Courtenay ("Gambit") is Reggie, a kind, considerate fellow who is still nursing a broken heart.
* Pauline Collins ("You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger") is Cissy, the sweet busybody who can't think of one bad thing to say about anyone.
Just a couple of important tips: 1) If you have any hearing problems, either see this in a theater that features closed captions, or wait for the DVD with Amazon.com so you can turn on the subtitles.Read more ›
It probably helps to have a lifelong love of classical music, especially opera, with just a smidgen of Gilbert & Sullivan & vaudeville mixed in.
While, as expected, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon are superb in the leading roles, the supporting player-musicians, who also inhabit the beautiful, scenic Beecham House, some of whom are familiar faces but most of whom I'd never heard of, are a joy to behold as well. Please be sure to stay for the closing credits where you'll see headshots of each of them as they are now and as they were in a key role from their heydays.
No one sums it up better than Ann Hornaday in her rave review in the January 24, 2013 Washington Post: "Smoothly navigating the perilous line between insufferably twee and heartbreakingly grim, "Quartet" is a subtle, sure-footed delight -- made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it was directed by a 75-year-old first-timer named Dustin Hoffman. Judging from this debut, the kid's got a future."
RE THE DVD EXTRAS: There's a batch of short clips of the leading actors talking about the movie and what it was like to work with Hoffman. But my fave is Hoffman's commentary track.Read more ›
Bill Connolly has the "Peter Pan" role as Wilfred, the irrepressible flirt and funster of Beecham House. Pauline Collins is the sparkly but memory-challenged Cecily, the perfect Tinkerbell to run errands and deliver messages in this musical Neverland. Tom Courtenay is Reginald, earnest and unimpaired though subtly challenged by his own realism in this kingdom of Children Who Decline to Grow Old. Maggie Smith is the haughty, acerbic narcissistic super-diva Jean, to whom falls the Captain Hook role of antagonist. We the audience all know that she'll be captured eventually, conquered by joie de vivre, and join the Lost Boys in their climactic gala rumpus. Great fun! Who doesn't love Peter Pan?
"Getting old is what people do," says Reginald somewhere in the middle of the film, and ain't that the bleary-eyed truth!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I only could watch the first 9 minutes! Please refund my money so I can see it in FULL! Thanks!
Great movie, great cast starting with my favorite actress Maggie Smith supported by many excellent retired musicians and opera singers all preparing for the annual fund raising... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jean Zuccaro
Terrific film. The acting was superb and the beautiful music soared. Very touching.Published 29 days ago by mary
the whole cast is excellent- Maggie smith, of course, but tom cortenay should have won the academy award - the scene where he's explaining opera in the context of hip hop is... Read morePublished 29 days ago by candace crawford
I ordered this video and when I went to view it this Blue Ray disc is blank! This is not an original release but most likely re-recorded! I need to return this mess. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Moe