"Billy Connolly's Wilf is a joy to watch"
It's always gratifying to see legends of British cinema together in one place on the same screen, and this time we have the added bonus of fellow cinematic legend Dustin Hoffman at the helm for his debut feature Quartet.
Right from the start, Quartet is fun and engaging, set in a retirement home for musicians, where we are introduced to Reg (Tom Courteney), Wilf (Billy Connolly), Cissy (Pauline Collins), and Cedric (Michael Gambon) who are all retired, celebrated musicians in their own right. The head of the home, meanwhile; Dr. Lucy Cogan (played by the lovely Sheridan Smith) isn't a musician but certainly is in awe of all of these former stars.
Things are turned upside down when Jean (Dame Maggie Smith) - an old flame of Reg's arrives at the home. I wouldn't say her arrival sparks all of the ego clashes that run rampant, since they're apparent from the outset - especially from Gambon's Cedric who insists people call him Ceedric - but her arrival certainly doesn't help in that regard.
Set to the backdrop of musical classics, Quartet showcases memorable performances from the cast, as they are all simply brilliant. Most notably Billy Connolly's Wilf is a joy to watch, he's incredibly funny in everything I've seen him in, a phenomenal talent who lights up the screen every time, and in this instance such comedy is sparked from his healthy obsession with Smith's Dr. Cogan (who can blame him?), never once portrayed awkwardly, he's just a dirty old man (as I said, who can blame him?)!
While I genuinely loved the film, there is one thing I would've liked to have seen - and that is the Quartet sing. Throughout the film they're talking about how good they once were so I expecting to see them perform at some stage but alas, left somewhat disappointed in that department.
That being said one mar doesn't spell doom for Hoffman's debut, as it's a strong one, and let's hope there is more from him in the future, as he's certainly getting off on the right note.