• 12
  • Dustin Hoffman (2012)
  • UK
  • 94 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Dustin Hoffman's first film as a director is a treat for the actors involved, and what actors they are: the cast includes Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly. Scripted by Ronald Harwood from his play, Quartet is a romantic comedy drama about the travails and delights of a handful of aged opera singers living reasonably contentedly in a stately retirement home. But the plans for their annual Verdi fundraising concert are turned upside down when diva Jean Horton (Smith) - the final member of a famous quartet to arrive at the home and also the ex-wife of Reggie (Courtenay) - shows up unannounced. Hoffman has cast his actors in roles that fit them well and they reward him with fine performances: Courtenay is courtly, Collins good-hearted and busy (though her character suffers from dementia) and Connolly is cheeky and flirtatious, while Smith's pride hides her feelings and fears. There is nothing startling or challenging about Quartet, but it's a delightful film that touches on themes of ageing and the enduring importance of art. And the film's location, Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire, plays a character in its own right, adding splendour to the warmth.

Plot Summary

Comedy drama based on Ronald Harwood's play, directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay. At the Beecham House retirement home for opera singers, the occasion of Verdi's birthday is always marked by a special fundraising concert. But this year the arrival of one particular grande dame throws preparations into chaos as egos clash and old resentments surface.

Cast and crew


Jean Horton
Maggie Smith
Reggie Paget
Tom Courtenay
Wilf Bond
Billy Connolly
Cissy Robson
Pauline Collins
Cedric Livingston
Michael Gambon
Dr Lucy Cogan
Sheridan Smith
Bobby Swanson
Andrew Sachs
Anne Langley
Gwyneth Jones
Trevor Peacock
Ronnie Fox
Luke Newberry


Dustin Hoffman

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Momentum Pictures
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 21 Dec 2012
Certificate 12
Technicolor Polska