Movie review: Quartet

By Columbus Alive
From the January 24, 2013 edition

I hereby propose the Motion Picture Association of America considers a new rating for films like “Quartet”: NC-68. No children under retirement age admitted.

“Quartet” joins “The Best Exotic Marigold” hotel in ushering in a new era of Octogenarian Cinema. The target audience will likely enjoy it as a pleasant Sunday matinee. Most others need not apply.

Set in a home for retired opera singers (I am totally not making that up), the film tells the tale of a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Hijinks ensue.

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut (at the age of 75) with an adaptation of a stage play. He knows a thing or two about acting, and this shows in some great performances — notably Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly.

But the film at large is cloyingly cute and supremely pleased with itself. Like the story it tells, it feels like a performance for the sake of performing.

But, like the films of Michael Bay or Adam Sandler, I’m not the target market. Your grandparents will probably love it.