Thursday, July 25, 2013

MOVIE WEEKEND: QUARTET

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present for your consideration a lovely movie called Quartet (2012, PG-13, Available On DVD).


At a home for retired musicians, every year they hold a fundraising gala in which the elderly musicians perform. This year, Cissy (Pauline Collins), Wilf (Billy Connolly), and Reg (Tom Courtenay) are shocked when Reg's ex-wife Jean (Maggie Smith) becomes a resident at the home. Jean once sang the quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto with the three of them, but then she went on to become quite the star in the world of opera. Will she now consent to perform the quartet with them, thus bringing in a large audience, and save the home from financial ruin?

I loved this movie from the moment it began! Most members of the supporting cast really are retired musicians, and they continue to make such beautiful music. The actors are excellent, and it amazes me that Maggie Smith, who is fast approaching her 80th birthday, can make so many movies and still appear as the Dowager Countess in our beloved Downton Abbey. 

Furthermore, Quartet represents Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut.

I must warn you that this movie is quite predictable. I didn't care, but perhaps it will bore you. Children about age 12 and older might enjoy it, even though it's about a bunch of old farts. Kids might like seeing Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) in a different role. Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is also in the movie, though in a somewhat smaller part. You should be aware that this movie includes profanity and quite a bit of sexual innuendo, as Wilf continues to think himself quite the ladies' man, and discussion of a past indiscretion comes up.

Quartet earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

22 comments:

  1. I remember reading about this movie when I read an article about Dustin Hoffman. Haven't seen it yet, but it looks sweet!

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    1. It is sweet. It's just a nice movie with a lot of lovely music and no violence or guns or bombs exploding.

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  2. I bet I would love this movie!

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    1. Oh, yes. I thought of you immediately.

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  3. How strange it is to think of Tom Corteney, a movie star of my youth, as playing someone old and retired. It's easier with those one sees on a regular basis, like Maggie Smith. Thanks for this review.

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  4. Hummm I don't fancy it much... But your obvious joy has changed my mind

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    1. I don't know if you'll like it, John. I'm not sure of your taste in movies, except you seem to be a zombie person. Unless you love the actors and classical music, this one might not be for you.

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  5. Janie:

    This is one of the few times I must respectfully disagree with you. I rented this movie because I adore Maggie Smith and expected this to be another Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But it wasn't. Maggie never for a moment convinced me she could sing and the entire plot was based on this. And my god what I wouldn't do to live in that marvelous home. The New Prince of Cambridge should live in a place that nice. I will admit that Mrs. Chatterbox liked it very much.

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    1. It's true that Maggie Smith has that kind of shaky, wavering voice, so it's difficult to imagine her character sings opera, but I was able to engage in Coleridge's suspension of disbelief. I'd like to retire and live in that home. I'd never say anything bad about nursing homes again.

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  6. I've never heard of it--I'll have to check into it.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it either. I can't remember if I saw a trailer for it on a DVD or if Netflix recommended it to me. I think you'd like it.

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  7. My sister was just raving to me about this movie- they bought it and the soundtrack, too. And now with your review, we are going to have to watch it here!

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    1. I think you'll really enjoy it. Let me know, please, if I'm right.

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  8. Sounds like the kinda feel-good flick I'd like... like a more modern, but equally predictable version of the old Bing Crosby movie "Holiday Inn".

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    1. It is a feel-good movie. We need more feel-good movies in the world.

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  9. Already was in my queue. Sounds like I will like it.
    Did you watch A Late Quartet in streaming? I really enjoyed that one. Another movie without killing or bombs or shooting, but some sexual topics. :)

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    1. Haven't seen A Late Quartet, but I like sex so I'll try to get to it.

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  10. Hi Janie .. it was my birthday movie in January - and it wasn't as good as Exotic Marigold .. but it was still good old fashioned British humour with classical music .. and I loved it - not ecstatically, but I'm so pleased I saw it .. as you say nothing really to dislike - just relax and watch ... and as far as old age is concerned .. there's a few things there to take not of: that's what grabbed me ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I liked this one better than Marigold.

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  11. Ooh, interesting! I liked Marigold a lot.

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    1. Some people seem to like Marigold more than Quartet. I prefer Quartet. Maybe it's because of the classical music. I hope you enjoy it.

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