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"Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

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"Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Wed Dec 19 2012, 09:14

I went to a screening of this film and I found it to be WONDERFUL!

It stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins. The film is directed by Dustin Hoffman and he was at the screening for a Q&A afterward.

The film is about a home for retired music people and the residents preparing for their annual performing gala to raise money to keep the home running. And it wasn't until after the film that we learned many of the actors in it ARE actually retired musicians. From opera singers to orchestra musicians etc. They did the actual "performing" so for instance, the guy who plays the trumpet in one scene is a famous trumpeter - his talent has not diminished - he just isn't called for any gigs anymore.

The film has a lovely blend of humor and sadness that had me at one minute laughing and then in the next scene crying.

Maggie Smith -- as always - is fantastic. She plays a woman who was an operatic diva now reduced to living in a retiree home. (I will say the home and grounds were awesome so I don't know that she was necessarily that bad off - at least in the environment of the home!)

All of us are (or well be) old and we will be facing many of the issues that the characters in this film faced.
Pauline Collins plays "Cissy" who is experiencing signs of senile dementia and is often child-like in her portrayal of her character as she often forgets things and needs to have others help remind her.

Billy Connolly plays a lecherous older gentleman who propositions women in the home ad nauseam but in such a funny way that you can only laugh at him (or with him).

I don't want to give away anymore than that - but it is a film that will make those of a certain age sit up and notice, because it is what they are experiencing now in their lives.

It was filmed in England and the BBC was one of the producers of the film.

Dustin's Q&A was interesting. He is a very personable person and gave insight into directing that he as an actor had not considered in the past. For example, he discussed the pre-pre production and pre-production planning that goes on months before the actors are brought on and the people who have much more intimate knowledge of a character because he/she, for example a costume designer, have spent months thinking about the character so that they can design adequate costumes for them. Too often, he noted, the actors are brought in and now have to make the scenes work with the least amount of time to prepare (in comparison to many of the crew who as I noted above, have had months of pre-planning under their belt by the time the filming with the actors starts).

And he discussed how being under a low budget he had to get his shots in but the DP would come up and say, "Well, you'll have to cut this shot, we've run overtime or the location that the director had selected is no longer available on the day he/she wants to shoot that scene in that location so the location (and all the planning that went with the shots) needs to be re-selected. He said directors are better actors than many actors because they have to assure the cast that everything is okay yet they may have had twenty things go wrong, or a prop not show up or any myriad of issues but the director has to put on a everything is ok face to the actors and push on.

He also noted that there are two types of directors, those who have every shot, and word and inflection planned out and whose eyes glaze over if you have a suggestion regarding a scene. And then there are the directors who actually like actors and give them some leeway to help design the scene. He did that with the actors in Quartet and often what came out of the actor's mouth was better than what he would have asked of them or even that which was scripted.

The film has been mainly shown in film festivals and won't be released in the US (in a limited run) until Jan 11th. Australia 26th of December and UK January 1st.







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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by melbert on Wed Dec 19 2012, 09:21

Thanks Lorna! Sounds great!

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Wed Dec 19 2012, 15:54

Oh yes Lorna...our BBC radio film programme interviewed Dustin about a couple of weeks ago so I watched the trailer and put it on my
To See list. Thanks for the review. I remember him saying he didn't want to direct a film where everyone felt they were "just coming to work" and he said they had fun making it.
I love Maggie Smith ! Did you see her in Marigold Hotel ?
Wonderful film.

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Katiedot on Wed Dec 19 2012, 16:30

D'you know, I was just about to say it sounds somewhat similar to Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!

Added it to my 'to watch' list too. Please let all the cinemas in London be open next week!!

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Wed Dec 19 2012, 17:02

This is an interesting site......


http://www.facebook.com/QuartetFilm



Here you are Katie...search for it here....

http://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/3700-quartet/?www

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Thu Dec 20 2012, 05:33

Joanna wrote:Oh yes Lorna...our BBC radio film programme interviewed Dustin about a couple of weeks ago so I watched the trailer and put it on my
To See list. Thanks for the review. I remember him saying he didn't want to direct a film where everyone felt they were "just coming to work" and he said they had fun making it.
I love Maggie Smith ! Did you see her in Marigold Hotel ?
Wonderful film.

No I haven't seen Marigold hotel yet but it is out in DVD. Plan to rent it from a Redbox over the holiday!.

Still trying to catch up and also stay a bit ahead of all the wonderful films coming out this month! Wasn't she just nominated for either a SAG or GG for Marigold? I know she is nominated for Quartet just can't remember from which organization (SAG or GG).

I'm still trying to get to Silver Linings Playbook,.

Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher" is getting a lot of positive reviews and of course I'm waiting for Les Miserables which opens on Christmas day here in the US.

Other films that seem interesting - The Impossible with Naomi Watts. It's about a family caught in the Thailand tsnunami; Zero Dark Thirty the Kathryn Bigelow directed film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden; This is 40 (even though it's the sequel to "Knocked Up" which I absolutely hated probably cause it starred Katheryn Heigel (the most overrated actress out there) and also The Guilt Trip with Barbra Streisand which looks ljke it will be very funny!




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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by OofOof on Thu Dec 20 2012, 06:45

Thanks Lorna! Sounds wonderful.

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Fri Dec 21 2012, 03:46

o


Last edited by LornaDoone on Sun Jan 06 2013, 04:00; edited 1 time in total

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Fri Dec 21 2012, 09:52

It certainly looks a good debut from the trailer.
Watched him and Emma Thompson in Last Chance Harvey
on TV last night.
A lovely gentle film about searching for middle age love. sunny

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Fri Dec 21 2012, 14:35

Joanna you just reminded me that Harvey mentioned that film the other night. (Sorry I didn't take notes just trying to remember 40 minutes or so of conversation from my feeble memory).

He said Emma was wonderful to work with and she was one of the people who encouraged him to try directing. I believe he said that it was after he completed filming of Last Chance Harvey right before he left to come back to the states, that he had a conversation with the cinematographer where he asked him to let him know of any scripts or directing gigs that might be suitable.

That's who told him about this gig after the second director of the film didn't work out. I think he said the cinematographer was the one who contacted the producer and spoke to her about Dustin potentially being interested and got him a copy of the script.

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Fri Dec 21 2012, 18:27

Have you seen yet Lorna ? It's a bit predictable, but nevertheless
it's a lovely gentle film for relaxing to after a hectic time at the moment.

Oh....and in her shoes Emma is taller than Dustin too....
and he didn't seem bothered by it either ! LOL

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Tue Dec 25 2012, 04:38

Joanna wrote:Have you seen yet Lorna ? It's a bit predictable, but nevertheless
it's a lovely gentle film for relaxing to after a hectic time at the moment.

Oh....and in her shoes Emma is taller than Dustin too....
and he didn't seem bothered by it either ! LOL

yes I saw Last Chance Harvey when it was out in theaters because I love Emma Thompson's work.

Everything she's in she just elevates IMO.


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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Tue Dec 25 2012, 10:17

I first saw her in 1987 in Fortunes of War, on BBC TV. She got a BAFTA for her performance.

The DVD is available and I can recommend it.

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by LornaDoone on Wed Dec 26 2012, 20:01

Joanna - I checked for Fortunes of War on Netflix and couldn't find it. That's where I can usually find older titles.

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Re: "Quartet" - Note a Few Spoilers!

Post by Joanna on Wed Dec 26 2012, 20:06

LornaDoone wrote:Joanna - I checked for Fortunes of War on Netflix and couldn't find it. That's where I can usually find older titles.


It's for sale at Amazon.com......and Amazon.co.uk.

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