Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman has made his directorial debut with a movie inspired by the works of Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi, ‘Quartet’.
The film was released in January 2013, in what is the year marking the bicentennial anniversary of Verdi’s birth. The impressive cast includes Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay.
‘Quartet’ features music by Oscar-winning Italian film composer Dario Marianelli, who wrote the scores for cinematic successes such as ‘Atonement’, ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘Anna Karenina’. Real musicians among the actors stage cut-down versions of Verdi productions.
Based on Ronald Harwood’s stage play of the same name, ‘Quartet’ tells the story of lifelong friends Wilf Bond (Connolly) and Reggie Paget (Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy Robson (Collins), who are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for the home. But the plans for the concert start to unravel when Jean Horton (Smith), a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, moves into the home.
A comic film about redefining old age and growing old with hope, ‘Quartet’ was nominated for a 2013 Golden Globe Best Actress, Comedy or Musical award for Smith’s performance.