Movie Review: ‘Quartet’ Proves Growing Old is Not for Sissies

Movie poster for ‘The Quartet.’ Courtesy
‘Quartet’ Proves Growing Old is Not for Sissies

Time can be a real enemy to a person. It will rob people of their health, mental faculties and loved ones.

But what “The Quartet” also proves is that time can be a friend. It can provide opportunity for second chances and new discoveries.

The film reveals it is never too late to live life fully.

The plot of “The Quartet” is pretty simple. A group of friends living in a retirement home for musicians prepare for an upcoming concert that celebrates Verdi’s birthday.  

What happens between the preparations and the concert’s finale is a bit more complicated when one of the resident’s ex-lover comes to live at the home.

Almost the entire movie takes place at the retirement home – which has to be the most beautiful senior citizen residence in existence. The historic mansion sits in the peaceful and gorgeous English countryside.

Residents play instruments and sing in every corner of the house’s fabulously decorated rooms.

While this place appears to be more of a bed and breakfast establishment than a nursing home, the characters and real-life residents of retirement homes must certainly share the same experiences: declining health, weakening minds, loneliness and the desire to have human connections.

The residents of this fictional home are lucky, however. They have one another to lean on as they tackle these issues. I love the camaraderie in the movie and the cast of characters.

There’s the concert director who is a bit bossy, the dueling divas, the flirtatious old man, the sweet elderly woman who is also a bit scattered-brained.

The actors in this movie are wonderful. Maggie Smith, as a former opera star who stubbornly refuses to sing, is magnificent in conveying her character’s fragileness and ferociousness.

Billy Connolly is exemplary as an old charmer who also has a heart of gold.

I love how the movie shows one is never too old to get one’s feelings hurt or to fall in love or experience a triumphant comeback.

To me, it is saying you are never too old to enjoy life and everything it offers. You just need to be strong and you can’t be a sissy. 

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