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Quartet is a movie I have wanted to see ever since I saw Dustin Hoffman, the director, introduce the movie on the Stephen Colbert Show.  Actually, I don’t have a TV and I do not usually watch the Stephen Colbert Show; I decided because I knew the music and the performance that the movie was highlighting therefore it must be providence that I see this movie and that I had been on at the right place a the right time to learn of it.  It is Hoffman’s debut movie as a director.

Wonders never cease – or coincidences! – about a month later the movie was reviewed on one of my favorite reads the blog  WONDERS IN THE DARK.  The movie was open and showing in New York City and the surrounding areas.

I called the two theater groups in my town and the Film Society theater and none of the folks had ever heard of the movie and it was not on the calendar what so ever.

Many months later, my neighbor, a 50+ years piano teacher, said she drove north to the next big city and the movie was playing for 5 days at the Arts Theater there.  She wished she could see it again because she enjoyed it so very much.   I was jealous.
I could not afford the gas money and a theater ticket also.

I put it on my Movies at Home queue and hoped for the best.  I kept searching for it on the online streaming venues.

AT LAST!   Quartet showed up in my queue, I immediately moved it to the top of my list and there it was in my mailbox.   Hip Hip Hurrah!  I watched it right away.  It was a glorious look at the changes folks were making as those who had been musicians on the top of the world’s queue were settling into a life in a musician’s pensioner’s home.  They were physically changing, psychologically changing, and they no longer held their esteemed status.

It was 95’F (35‘C)  and I took Quartet  to the cool, cool downstairs and enjoyed the beauty of the music again.  The locations were quite stunning and with an “all star” cast like Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, and Billy Connelly included it made a lasting impression.  So many of the musicians in the story were actually playing themselves and it was grand to see the “tried and true” talents emerge in this story.

I loaned my DVD to one neighbor and she watched it 3 more times with different family members.  It is now at the house on the other side and being enjoyed there. Dustin Hoffman did a grand job on his first time out, and the actors and story were worth the retreat.  I can highly recommend Quartet to you.  I believe Quartet is cooler than the tinkling tunes of the ice cream truck.   One can now find it on a number of streaming venues also.
If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few blooms in my bouquet.  Thank you.

Related watching recommendations:
Julie and Julia
Temple Grandin
Momma Mia
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and the Beautiful

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  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – I put QUARTET on my must-see list at our local library after reading the review over at Wonders in the Dark, too. My name hasn’t made it to the top of the waiting list yet, but I’ll be tickled pink to see it when it’s my turn. Between you and Sam, I can’t possibly go wrong. Whoohoo!

    Patricia Reply:

    I found it wonderful to watch a good movie – did not need to be great, but it was so nice it explored some feelings and it was a nice retreat.
    I like when feelings are explored, and they open up the possibility for others to recognize feelings in themselves.
    Patricia recently posted..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAYMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I found it wonderful to watch a good movie – did not need to be great, but it was so nice it explored some feelings and it was a nice retreat.
    I like when feelings are explored, and they open up the possibility for others to recognize feelings in themselves.
    Sam made a good recommendation
    Patricia recently posted..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAYMy Profile

  2. Terrill Welch Says:

    Thanks so much for the tip Patricia and further review. I do remember this from Wonders in the Dark. David mentioned it as well. I just checked and it is not on our Canadian Netflix yet. But maybe soon.
    Terrill Welch recently posted..Sold – BLUE LAST small Canadian Landscape paintingMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Those of us who wait and wait for the opportunity to see a movie that has been recommended to us, I think we appreciate it all the more.
    Sam at Wonders in the Dark was correct in suggesting that most people would enjoy the theme and the story.

    I have had to go through so many changes of occupations and self-expectations, I liked the thought that maybe others must tackle these transitions also.
    I was a bit envious that they all could still sing :)
    Patricia recently posted..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAYMy Profile

  3. Deborah Barker Says:

    I confess to being disappointed by “Quartet” which we watched while on holiday this year, Patricia. Perhaps I hoped for too much having looked forward to it and saved it for a night in. I was expecting something akin to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which I loved and which dealt with a similar theme but had far more punch and more believable characters. I was left ‘wanting’ by Quartet even though it was pleasantly enjoyable. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has some very well known actors in it as well, not least, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judie Dench and Bill Nighy (a particular favourite of mine). I’d not want to put anyone off seeing Quartet but I suppose it is like reading a book…we all have our expectations and you can’t please all the people, all of the time!
    Debbie :-)

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes, I think I would agree that there was not the punch to this movie and I did review Marigold Hotel also, which I saw when I was on holiday in San Francisco (I had never paid so much to be in the theater before!)

    Since I lost my ability to sing with throat tumors being removed and breathing problems, it actually felt very poignant to me about how we deal with the loss of status and talent. Now I was never at the very top as these actors were assumed to be….(and none of the leads actual singers) but I liked it for its message that change happens to us all and it was a wonderful retreat.

    I don’t seem many noteworthy movies on the horizon actually and I haven’t wanted to go to a theater to see much of anything lately.
    This caught my attention.

    Have you seen the movie GOATS ? That was another one I enjoyed very much (coming of age – young boy) but I do not think I will review it.

    I think too Quartet was more about the parts of the UK I wanted to see rather than what we did see 4 years ago.
    Patricia recently posted..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAYMy Profile

  4. Sara Says:


    I haven’t seen this film, but your comments will make look for it.

    My favorite line in wonderful post was this one:”I believe Quartet is cooler than the tinkling tunes of the ice cream truck.” That’s a great line!!!

    Happy day to you:~)
    Sara recently posted..SPC: Living Inside a FlowerMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you Sara,
    It was a lovely movie and I have not seen one that was so fun in a long time. I loved all the old actors and musicians highlighted in the film and it was better than ice cream in my book.

    Most of the folks I come in contact with have never heard of the movie at all, but I have been excited about it ever since I read the review on Wonders in the Dark.

    I could relate to the emotions in the story and the changes even if I was not a top tier singer.

    I will be over soon to read your posts….I am trying to get caught up while now back on line, with new computer, and still having company in the house for another couple of days. – I am being a bit slack on the blog right now – I guess this is my vacation :)

  5. Talon Says:

    A good friend saw this and really enjoyed it. It’s on my list when it becomes available on our movie network. :)

    Patricia Reply:

    It was just a great watch on a hot summer afternoon – I am glad I pursued it and I truly did see it in perfect timing to bring the best best pleasure

  6. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Sounds interesting! I’ll search for the movie to watch it at home in a moment of relaxation.

    Thank you for the suggestion!

    Alien Ghost recently posted..Reading FacesMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Some good life lessons in this movie Raul, about the adjustments folks need to make in their lifetime
    I enjoyed it very much and am glad I saw it at home where I could watch it a second time too

  7. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia – I saw this in January for my birthday .. and I was a little taken aback by it – but once I’d settled in .. I realised how true to life it was – and how we’re all heading in that direction …

    Having spent the last six years dealing with my mother and uncle – it was an interesting watch .. and one that many carers could do to watch .. comment on and think about …

    Lots to learn in it …

    It wasn’t as riveting as Best Exotic or necessarily one I’d see again .. but I would …as I think there’s probably more to the film than I saw that day back in January ..

    Glad you’ve got it and are encouraging others to see it .. I see I didn’t write about it ..

    Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Doors to the World, Art Nouveau in Brussels and a new Downland Beauty!My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I was thinking it was more about singing then it turned out to be and I too was taken aback, but then I got to read several detailed and reviews and listen to the QUARTET recording and was delighted the movie was not about my expectations.

    I was very happy I got to see it a second time

  8. Terrill Welch Says:

    Just a quick note Patricia – David and I watched “A Late Quartet” 2012 director:Yaron Zilberman with an amazing cast including Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, and Philip Seymour Hoffman last night on Netflix. I think you may really like this movie as well. It is emotionally tight in a kind of tense understated way with a powerful expression of passion and grief that doesn’t release until right near the end.
    Terrill Welch recently posted..Seaside Mayne Island oil painting study by Terrill WelchMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks you for your recommendation – I put it in my queue right away

  9. camire Says:

    The general public at present decides what exactly it would like for entertainment, not the major studios and representatives. If you happen to add to that distribution internet and, headlines web-sites, from rumor to complete films. It’s just a completely new society. Much of it really good, some not.