When I get old, I want to live in a place like Beecham House for Retired Musicians. Unfortunately, I am neither British nor a famous musician, so that probably won’t be happening, but I did love getting to spend an hour and a half with the Beecham House’s residents in “Quartet,” directed by Dustin Hoffman.
“Quartet” stars Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly (who will always be Billy McGregor on “Head of the Class” to me) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore!) and is led by an outstanding (as if we would expect any other kind) performance by Maggie Smith. The erstwhile Dowager Countess plays Jean Horton, an opera diva who used to be married to Tom Courtenay’s Reggie and sing with Pauline Collins’ and Billy Connolly’s characters.
The film deals with poignant topics like aging and the difficulties of dealing with both the past and the future in a beautiful way, helped along no doubt by such strong performances from the cast, the gorgeous setting of Beecham House and breathtaking performances from some of Britain’s greatest real-life retired musicians. Overall, it’s one of the sweetest movies I’ve seen in a while, and while it may not be your typical chick flick, I definitely recommend giving it a chance to win you over.
“Quartet” is currently playing in Austin at the Regal Arbor 8.