Quartet Review

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Beecham House, a grand country pile where former opera singers live out their retirements, is playing host to a concert in celebration of Verdi's birthday. But the arrival of one of the residents' ex-wife, a diva named Jean (Smith), brings chaos in tow.


Ageing opera singers flirt fall out in this genial Dustin Hoffman-directed comedy-drama set in a palatial British retirement home. All is harmonious until famous diva Jean (Maggie Smith) arrives, much to the shock of her former husband, Reginald (Tom Courtenay). Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins provide light laughs, but it’s Smith and Courtenay that bring heart as they hobble towards a potential reconciliation. Quartet is neither as slick nor funny as the recent retiree hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but it’s still a pleasing watch for the Downton Abbey set.

A frothy and often charming directorial effort from Hoffman, his first in a Hollywood career that's spanned five decades, that will keep Downton fans happy.