After a nearly half a century performing in front of cameras, this year will see Dustin Hoffman taking on the role of the director for "Quartet," a musically-tinged comedy adapted by Ronald Harwood from his own acclaimed stageplay.
Featuring the rag-tag gang of British veterans including Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon, the film follows the dramas that arise at a retirement home for opera singers with the arrival of a new resident who plays the diva and refuses to take part in an annual concert celebrating Verdi's birthday. Here's an extended synopsis, courtesy of BBC Films:
Lifelong friends Wilf and Reggie, together with former colleague Cissy, are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi's birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton, a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, also Reggie's ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone's surprise, the plans for this year's concert start to unravel.
As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, it becomes apparent that having four of the finest singers in English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the show will go on.
The trailer plays fairly broad and doesn't exactly look like the actor's piece we were expecting but, either way, it'll likely play well for the same audiences that flocked to John Madden's similarly vet-led drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." That film has already grossed over $121M globally and is in top 5 grossing films of the year in the U.K. and top 3 in Australia taking in $50M between the two. The Weinstein Company were quick to acquire rights to Hoffman's film in early May in the deal worth upwards of $3M. A January 4, 2013 release has been set for the U.K. though no date has been slated yet for the U.S.
Trailer removed at the request of the Weinstein Company.