It must be considered an act of serendipity when all the right people get together to make a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Such a case is Quartet. Based on a play by Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, Quartet is set in a retirement home for musicians, located in what must be one of the loveliest spots in the English countryside. Most of the musicians are classical, many of them opera singers, and there are a couple of aged vaudevillians in there as well. It’s getting close to the annual fund raising gala which helps fund the facility. The name attraction has had to step down due to ill health, which puts a crimp in their style. But the arrival of a new resident, a grand Diva with worldwide fame, may be their hope for a record-breaking fundraiser, which is dedicated to Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.
It’s fun to see a film that is a carefully constructed cat-and-mouse game, particularly when the ensuing events play havoc with the plans of either the cat or the mouse or both. Hitchcock was a master of the genre, and other directors have fared well with this premise.