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‘Quartet’

by Kaori Shoji

Maggie Smith, who projects elderly matron authority like none other, plays Jean, who remains a haughty diva even though she hasn’t sung a note in years. She’s the latest addition to stately retirement home Beecham House, which Hoffman draws as a sort of upscale, mahogony- and martini-fueled artists’ commune complete with a marvelously dedicated staff. The place is short on cash, however, and retired opera singers Reggie (Tom Courtenay), Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Cissy (Pauline Collins) plan to hold a benefit concert in honor of Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday to raise money, roping in Jean to sing soprano on “Rigoletto.” You won’t stop smiling throughout. (K.S.)

Quartet (Karutetto! Jinsei no Opera Hausu)
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