January isn't known for highbrow movie releases. Most of this month's offerings fall into the horror or action genres. "Quartet" is the exception, and its light comedy may be just what the doctor ordered for a post-holidays slump.
The film is Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, and he's stacked the deck with a who's who of British including Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly.
"Quartet" chronicles the lives of residents at a British retirement home for opera singers and musicians. Their days are genteel, filled with games of croquet and music, until Jean, a former opera star and diva with ties to some of the residents, arrives in their midst. When the retirement home faces closure, its residents must work together to raise money to save it. They put their talents to use, performing works by Vivaldi, but for it to be a true success, they most coax Jean into singing again.