Conclusion: It's easy to imagine how Quartet could have become a treacly mass of sentiment, but Hoffman and his spirited ensemble never let that happen. Everyone involved—the writer, the director and the stars—are far too aware, and too respectful, of the fact that remaining vital and focused as time wears away at you is a serious business (even if, like Connolly, one's business is comedy).
Conclusion: Though fairly simple, straightforward, and predictable, Quartet is also effortlessly charming and entertaining throughout. It is quite like a smaller, retirement home variation on Maggie Smith's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and delights in a similar way. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray sports terrific picture/sound and a slight but adequate supply of extras.
Conclusion: 'Quartet' isn't a movie you're likely to watch over and over again, nor does Anchor Bay provide us with a release containing the kind of bonus materials that would warrant owning this movie. However, for first-time filmmaker Dustin Hoffman, this is a more than respectable showing, with some great performances and solid cinematography. At the very least, it's worth checking out once – meaning this one's recommended, but for a rental only.
Excerpt: After working half a century as an actor, Dustin Hoffman finally makes his directorial debut with Quartet , and it’s immediately clear that his filmmaking aspirations haven’t been burning a hole in his belly all these years. Based on the 1999 play by Ronald Harwood, a distinguished British writer whose work includes The Dresser , The Pianist , and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly , Quartet falls into the common actor-turned-director trap of valuing the performances of...
Summary: An ebullient encore not only for its central foursome, but also for the distinguished musicians who comprise the rest of the ensemble, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut shows retirement hasn't diluted the drama one bit at a rest home for old stage-folk.
Summary: If you can accept the idea of a rest home for retired musicians, you won’t question whether their partners, presumably not all of whom are musical, would live out their golden years. You might also resist wondering why Dustin Hoffman, an actor in his prime in the '80s and '90s, would highlight this fact, choosing a film about ageing as his directorial debut.