Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut is an amiable but ultimately tedious love letter to opera and growing old. Being a “slow” film isn’t necessarily a problem if the plot and subject matter are good enough to carry you along. This just isn’t the case here.
Quartet is set in a home for retired opera singers and tells the story of Jean, a retired diva who refuses to take part in an annual concert held by the home. To make matters worse, she was once married to one of the residents.
How interested you are in that story will determine whether or not you enjoy this. It doesn’t really have anything new to say and doesn’t really work as an insight into what it is like to grow old. There are the usual jokes about forgetting and having to pee a lot. Also, if you don’t have an interest in classical opera then you’ll be left out out of the loop.
It isn’t all just bad news. The performances are very good and the four leads bring charm and gravitas to their roles. Also, the main love story is well handled with touching moments that ring true.
Quartet is a frustratingly simple movie that doesn’t bring much to the table. Hoffman’s direction is decent enough but the overall film just feels lacking in every department.
THE REEL SCORE: 5/10