Top positive review
328 people found this helpful
on 3 January 2013
The story of a retirement home for aged musicians who put on a gala performance show each year to contribute to keeping the home open. Their next show must raise more money as economic times harden. When the famous embittered diva Jean Thornton (Maggie Smith) arrives, then who better as a draw card? But she must be first persuaded to break her vow of never singing again to perform, in a Quartet - Rigoletto - "Bella figlia dell'amore".
The cast reads like a who's who of well known ageing British actors. Nevertheless, a good story line, differentiated characters and Dustin Hoffman has done a fine job of the direction.
The story itself is a delightful cheeky whimsical look at saying farewell to past glory and living with the reality of being over the hill. Some rather touching insights into failings of health with the onset of age, but not in the least depressing. The genre put me in mind of the movie, `The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. If you enjoyed that, then you'll enjoy this.
As should be expected from such an exulted cast the standard of acting is excellent, though dare I say, typecast... The story line doesn't take itself too seriously and the humour is nicely calculated to add to, rather than detract from, the drama.
The plot is somewhat predictable but, who cares when the characters are so endearing and/or irascible!
When we saw the movie, the average age of the audience matched those of the cast! But it was a sign of the success of the film that no one wished to depart the auditorium until the final strains of lovely music, and credits, had died away.
Maybe a little corny for some, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.