Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Wednesday evening at the movies - Quartet


Oh, how I loved Quartet. It was wonderful - the acting, the story, the music, the setting - a perfect movie. It was uplifting, yet realistic about aging. The actors were excellent. Tom Courtenay may have the kindest face I've ever seen. The gleam in Billy Connolly's eye hasn't diminished a bit. Pauline Collins still has a kewpie doll look and seems untouched by time. And Maggie Smith. Well, what can one say. She goes from strength to strength. All the talk about there being no roles for older actors seems to be going by the wayside. As the boomer generation ages, I think we'll see more and more films tailored to their sensibilities, though I know I would have loved Quartet in my twenties just as I do now. The movie is set at the fictional Beecham House for Retired Musicians. The real location was Hedsor House.

The movie is peopled with real musicians and singers as well as actors. In a marvelous touch, the credits show photos of the people in the movie and how they looked when younger in one of their acting or musician jobs. Quartet is directed by Dustin Hoffman. Along with the aforementioned actors, we see Trevor Peacock who actually made an appearance on the blog in his role as Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley; Andrew Sachs, 'our Manuel' from Fawlty Towers; and Michael Gambon who played such a good Maigret, and was famously in Gosford Park. 

The young people in the film are not portrayed as patronizing the older ones. There's a good scene where the Tom Courtenay character is teaching a class about opera to teens. You can see that he is really getting through to them, and that he is listening and learning from them. He tells his students that opera used to be for people like them, regular, casually dressed people, but then the rich took it over. At the end, the doctor at Beecham House, played so well by Sheridan Smith, says how the residents give younger people hope for their futures.

As always, I don't want to say too much, except see it! In my little theatre, where Tom sells the tickets and runs the projector on Wednesdays, we all clapped at the end. 

The official movie site is here. I thought of posting the trailer, but honestly, it comes off as a bit silly. The film itself is so much more. 



30 comments:

  1. Good Morning - it's early over here in Zurich, my doggy woke me up - bless him. I saw this movie a few months ago and enjoyed it so much. I loved these characters, especially Cissy. Maggie Smith is a wonder, how she expresses volumes with just a look. Every one of the quartet had me in the palm of their hand.

    I loved it so much, I went again when in the States with a few friends. Dustin Hoffman has done himself proud. Thanks for showcasing the film here on your lovely blog.

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    1. It's clear that we feel exactly the same about this wonderful film!!

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    1. I've been watching these actors almost all my movie life, and they feel like old friends.

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  3. Thanks, Nan - this one's on my To See list.

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  4. I'm so looking forward to seeing this! I've loved Tom Courtenay since the sixties.

    Some friends and I were saying recently that we boomers are being appreciated now as a valuable audience! If you get a chance to see the British TV series Last Tango in Halifax, I'm sure you'd enjoy it. Much less cosy than I expected, though. It stars Derek Jacobi and wonderful Anne Reid, who should be more famous than she is.

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    1. He still is so handsome, and as I said, he has such a kind face. It's true about audience. Young ones go mostly to the loud, and gross-out pictures; and many in between kids and my age don't go out to the movies at all. It is so much cheaper now to wait and see it on Netflix or streaming. But we boomers like going to the movies, always have, and always will if the good movies are there. And there are lots of us! Hoping LTiH comes over here. There seem to be so very many Anglophiles over here, you'd think they'd release these things simultaneously in both our countries. :<)))

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  5. I must see this. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. It is definitely your cup of tea!!

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  6. Oh, I really do want to see this. Like you, I never want to say too much about a movie, just say, "WATCH it, it's good!"

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    1. It comes out on dvd soon, I think.

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  7. I've definitely got this on my list and can't wait to see it. In return I recommend The Life Of Pi, which is inspirational.

    Thank you for the excellent review.

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    1. I'm just not sure about Life of Pi. I'm not big on the water. :<)

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  8. Ditto everyone's "must see this" comment. I didn't realize you'd returned to posting, Nan! So glad you're back. I had to go way back through the files to find out when you'd returned. I haven't seen anything wonderful, lately. We went to Les Miserables, twice, mostly because we love the play so much and we've seen some of those actors, mostly bit parts, on stage (Samantha Barks was my favorite Eponine in the theater). Most recent movies we've seen have been action flicks to keep me from going mad while folding laundry. I did like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Usually, I avoid Tom Cruise but Huz said it was OK and I ended up enjoying it (except for all that blood).

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    1. I'm sorry. I should have let you know. Thank you for your kind words. Les Mis is too sad for me. Next week's movie is Side Effects, a complete change of pace. We'll see...

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  9. Nan, thank you for visiting me. Seems my comments to you do not go foreward sometimes.
    Take care and you and your sharing is important to me...

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    1. This is a movie you'd like, I think.

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  10. How did I not hear about this one? Thanks so much, it's going on my list of movies to watch. See if I can get it from the library...

    Everyone keeps telling me to watch Downtown Abbey, and Maggie Smith is a powerful incentive to do so. I'll need to set aside some time, maybe later this summer, where I can have a Downtown Abbey marathon.

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    1. I am probably the only person who isn't a fan of DA. But this movie is wonderful.

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  11. This looks like something I'd enjoy very much. I shall have a look for the DVD. Hedsor House features in my favourite computer game - I have built a replica of it in "The Sims 2" :-)

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    1. I so loved it! That is so funny about the house being in a computer game. I know nothing about any games. :<)

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  12. I CANNOT wait to see this. But I'm guessing I'll have to wait until we get back to Oregon and hope it's still playing. Not only no time, but also no good indy theaters here.

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    1. I so loved it! It should be on dvd before too long, I would think. And oh, what a gift indy theatres are!

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  13. Thank you for reminding me of this film. I had been meaning to see it but then forgot about it. And so great to see Sarah (aka Clemence) from Upstairs Downstairs again.

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    1. You'll love it, I'm quite sure! 'Sarah' is just as cute as ever.

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  14. Oh, I can't wait for this to come out on dvd! I've got it saved in my Netflix queue. Lovely review, Nan!

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    1. It is just wonderful. You will love it.

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    1. It is so lovely, to look at and in sentiment.

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