KERRY BROWN
Lisa Schwarzbaum
January 11, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

Quartet

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
97 minutes
Limited Release Date
01/11/13
performer
Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith
director
Dustin Hoffman
distributor
The Weinstein Company
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B

You say Amour is too bleak, with its unsweetened portrayal of the ravages of age on a pair of cultured French musicians? Quartet knows just the tune to soothe its mature target audience: This lulling aspirational fantasy/comedy in the key of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel offers aging, cultured Englishfolk (and one randy Scot, played by Billy Connolly) living out their golden years in a beautifully maintained residence for retired musicians. Every vista suggests that this gracious oldies’ home is situated down the road from Downton Abbey, and every scene insists that real physical or mental infirmity belongs in some other picture. In this Elysium, the arrival of a Famous Opera Star — done up with trills by Maggie Smith — upsets the established harmony. And most agitato of all is the fellow singer who was once her husband (Tom Courtenay), still smarting from whatever it is that smarts in gentle Auto-Tuned Old Age romances like this one. Dustin Hoffman, a 75-year-old first-time feature director better known as a great old acting pro, conducts at a pleasant tempo. B

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