Dustin Hoffman Makes Directorial Debut with "Quartet"

Quartet, about four opera singers in a retirement home for performers, will be released in theaters to the public on December 28. It will be Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, an appropriately sweet achievement for the 75-year-old American actor.

The film features Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay as retired opera stars. Retired musicians and accomplished stars are employed by Hoffman to serve as the other residents in the retirement home, including Grammy-winning opera singers and a former conductor of the London symphony.

The movie's main characters reminisce about past rivalries, love affairs and good times and their aging lives at the English countryside Beecham House. A Christmas opera is created as a benefit gala to financially save the old-age home from closing.

The script is by Oscar-winning screenwriter, Ronald Harwood - The Dresser, The Pianist - and is based on his stage play of the same title.

Variety wrote about Quartet: "An ebullient encore not only for its central foursome - Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Maggie Smith - but also for the distinguished musicians who comprise the rest of the ensemble, Quartet shows retirement hasn't diluted the drama one bit."

Quartet should become a staple at assisted living and continuing care residences.