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Dustin Hoffman shoots ‘Quartet’

Dustin Hoffman has begun principal photography on his feature film directorial debut, QUARTET, showcasing a celebrated cast of virtuoso UK actors.

The project, which was first announced at Cannes 2010, is shooting for nine weeks in and around Buckinghamshire (UK).

QUARTET is based on Ronald Harwood’s stage play of the same name and features six-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner Maggie Smith (Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Gosford Park), double Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Tom Courtenay (The Dresser, Doctor Zhivago, Billy Liar), BAFTA nominee Billy Connolly (Mrs. Brown), Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), Olivier Award-winning Sheridan Smith (Legally Blonde, The Musical) and four-time BAFTA winner Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Gosford Park).

Story synopsis:
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 Reggie’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. As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, it becomes apparent that having four of the finest singers in English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the show will go on. QUARTET is a joyous and entertaining film about redefining old age and growing old with hope, demonstrating how art illuminates life and the human spirit remains undimmed even as the brightest stars start to fade.

QUARTET is financed by BBC Films, DCM Productions and Decca. Finola Dwyer (Finola Dwyer Productions) and Stewart Mackinnon (Headline Pictures, This Little Life) produce.

International Sales: HanWay

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