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Pauline Collins and Dame Maggie Smith in Quartet
Pauline Collins and Dame Maggie Smith in Quartet

There seems to be a cinematic trend developing, in which directors get together as many British character actors as they can, and get them to rub their sharp edges awkwardly against each other, filming the sparks until all is smooth.

Quartet is exactly this thing, being the story of the Beecham House, a retirement home for former musicians, and is blessed with a suitably stellar cast, including Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and Pauline Collins.

And as we told you back in July, it’s Dustin Hoffman’s first film as a director. And he’s a man who knows a thing or two about filming grown-ups bickering.

Naturally there’s a “let’s do the show right here” plot, because what else could you do in an environment like that? But it does look rather good, in a fully-dressed Full Monty sort of way:

Quartet is released in US cinemas on 28 December.

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By Fraser McAlpine