Freeview film of the day: Quartet

It's egos at dawn as the residents of a home for retired opera singers prepare for their annual Verdi concert.

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Quartet ★★★★ 
10.00-11.30pm BBC2 

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My word, there’s life in the old dogs (if they’ll pardon the word) yet. This was adapted by 78-year-old Ronald Harwood from his own play, marked the directorial debut of 75-year-old Dustin Hoffman and featured such glorious veterans as Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon. A retirement home for old musicians is threatened with closure unless its annual concert can raise a lot of money. To ensure that, they need to reassemble the quartet that once recorded a legendary version of Rigoletto. Three of them – Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins – are already resident; the fourth, Smith, arrives unexpectedly, but she and Courtenay had divorced bitterly and she’s averse to singing with him again. It’s funny, beautifully played and nicely directed.


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