It should come as no surprise that Dustin Hoffman would eventually step behind the camera. After all, he’s an actor noted for depth, intelligence and an intuitiveness perfectly suited to working with others in order to bring the best out of them. What’s astounding is how long it took him to get around to this role (following a brief uncredited flirtation with the 1978 film Straight Time), but the time is now and Quartet finds him working in exceptional company.
The story, set at a retirement home for opera singers about to put on an annual concert in honor of Verdi’s birthday with more than a hint of drama in the making, features Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon, and may draw comparisons to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with music as the flavorful spice in place of an exotic location. But the real joy will likely be in appreciating the anticipated light touch at the helm, while hoping for a repeat performance. Now open at Mariemont Theatre. (PG-13) Not screened in time for review