The four actors who play the quartet of the title are Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and Pauline Collins. All of them are superb (no surprise there), as are many of the supporting players. Directed by Dustin Hoffman, the movie is set in a British home for retired musicians where the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
There are some wonderful, precious moments in this film. There are also moments that broke my heart and reminded me that, as I have often said (and as Cissy says in the movie), old age isn’t for sissies.
I definitely recommend this film (PG-13), but must add the warning that there is some foul language. Not a lot but it’s there.
If you watch the movie, be sure to keep watching as the credit rolls. Many of the aging/aged supporting actors were really members of orchestras and opera companies in the past. It was a delight to see their current photos next to photos from many years ago.