It must be considered an act of serendipity when all the right people get together to make a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Such a case is Quartet. Based on a play by Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, Quartet is set in a retirement home for musicians, located in what must be one of the loveliest spots in the English countryside. Most of the musicians are classical, many of them opera singers, and there are a couple of aged vaudevillians in there as well. It’s getting close to the annual fund raising gala which helps fund the facility. The name attraction has had to step down due to ill health, which puts a crimp in their style. But the arrival of a new resident, a grand Diva with worldwide fame, may be their hope for a record-breaking fundraiser, which is dedicated to Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi.
It’s fun to see a film that is a carefully constructed cat-and-mouse game, particularly when the ensuing events play havoc with the plans of either the cat or the mouse or both. Hitchcock was a master of the genre, and other directors have fared well with this premise.
Well, I guess everything comes to an end. I think we’re beginning to see the end of the constant parade of shoot-em-up cop movies that captured our hearts and minds in the 1980s and are still being made today. For now.
Sometimes it’s nice to go to a movie and spend a couple of hours with the old pros, especially when the film seems like it’s going to be one thing on the surface, and turns out rather different. The film is Stand Up Guys, and it came into town last week with little, if any, fanfare. It’s not playing everywhere, just a few select locations. Even film sites such as the Internet Movie Data Base and Google tag it as a “comedy.” Sure, there’s humor and a couple of laughs, but it’s definitely not The Sunshine Boys as Goodfellas.
Now that the holidays are past, it’s time for the folks at Cincinnati World Cinema to get back to work doing what they do best: presenting interesting film programs unlike those seen in the commercial venues. In the next several days, they have two different programs, which should be of interest to film buffs of every stripe.