Quartet-PosterDustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with Quartet, and following the impressive success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earlier this year, it will be interesting to see if a cast of a similar generation and calibre finds the same welcoming audience.

The film premiered at TIFF back in September to positive early reviews, and will be getting an Oscar-qualifying limited release in the States at the end of the month.

We caught the first trailer just over a month ago, and now Vue have debuted a new featurette, taking us behind the scenes of the dramatic comedy/musical.

“Lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins), are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton (Maggie Smith), a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, also Reg gie’s ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone’s surprise, the plans for this year’s concert start to unravel.”

Leading the cast is an impressive line-up, headed by the increasingly popular Maggie Smith (of recent Downton Abbey fame), Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins, and Sheridan Smith, with Hoffman directing from a script by the Oscar-winning screenwriter/playwright, Ronald Harwood (The Pianist, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), who adapts his own play.

Quartet will be given a limited release in the US on 28th December, qualifying it for the coming Academy Awards, with the nominees announced early next month. It will then be opening in the UK on 1st January, followed by opening wide in the US on 4th January. And judging by what we’ve seen from the film so far, it’s one not to be missed.