Each year they take part in a concert to celebrate the birthday of the composer Verdi and to raise funds for the upkeep of the home. This year however things are different with the arrival of new resident Jean (Smith), an opera diva of the grandest kind whose presence resurrects painful memories for the three friends and is not exactly conducive to harmony amongst the extended company.
The wider cast are pitch perfect as the group of ageing operatic and musical stars, unwilling to accept that, for the most part, their moment centre-stage is but a faded memory. Indeed, having watched the film, the only aspect which you may find slightly off-key is having Connolly and Smith vie for prime spot. When they come on screen these two old troupers steal the limelight banishing everyone else to the wings, which is no mean feat when you consider the calibre of the those they’re working with.
This really the only minor quibble in an otherwise whimsical blend of dry wit and acid sharp timing which makes for a delightful cocktail of friendship and the acceptance of the frailties, both in yourself and in others. Quartet provides a marvellously feel-good way with which to see in the new year. The only real question the film raises is why it took Hoffman so long to make his directorial debut. Going by the evidence here we can only hope he does it again soon.