Few actors are as acclaimed as Dustin Hoffman. The Academy Award-winning actor – who has starred in everything from classics like Kramer Vs. Kramer and Tootsie to recent releases like Meet the Fockers and the Kung Fu Panda series – has long been a Hollywood legend. However, like leading men Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford before him, Hoffman has now decided to make the transition into directing.
For his first directorial effort, Hoffman has selected Quartet, based on the play by Ronald Harwood. The story is set at a home for retired opera singers, where the arrival of Jean (Maggie Smith) threatens the status quo. There she is reunited with her ex-husband Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and meets his friends Cecily (Pauline Collins) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly). Jean appears just in time to take part in the home's annual concert, but there's just one problem: she refuses to sing.
Thanks to Yahoo! Movies, we have our first look at the finished film, and while there's nothing particularly ground-breaking about Quartet, the story and especially the cast show tremendous promise. The film, in fact, seems downright charming and should serve as a pleasant piece of sophisticated entertainment for its target audience. However, it is unlikely to draw in mainstream audiences due to its focus on the old-fashioned art of opera singing and a cast to whom many younger moviegoers may have trouble connecting.
Yet, Quartet – which also features Smith's Harry Potter costar Michael Gambon – should be well-crafted - and with Harwood himself having written the screenplay, faithful to the source material. Smith is a joy to watch in everything she's starred in, and Hoffman has more than enough years in front of the camera to shift behind it with ease.
In addition, the reunion of Jean and Reggie looks like it ties neatly into her anticipated return to singing. The film then appears to have a clear focus on the theme of rediscovery, indicating that this emotional through-line will bring Quartet together.
Quartet comes to theaters in limited release on December 28, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies