Obscure Netflix Movie Recommendation: The Quartet

Downton Abbey is done with for the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to be done with Downton. Especially not Maggie Smith, because who would want to be done with her? Denisa and I had a chance to catch The Quartet on streaming the other day, and I was happy to see Netflix’s recommendation engine came through for me once again. It said I would give this film 5/5, and it was pretty spot on–it’s a 9/10 for me.

The film focuses on a retirement home for musicians (because they have a lot of those in England, maybe?) Four once-famous singers end up there together, and old age drama and hi-jinx ensue. It’s not really a drama, and not a straight up comedy either. It falls somewhere in the middle. Will it be perfect for everyone? Probably not. The pacing isn’t perfect, and it’s a tad predictable. (Also, note that it has two f-bombs in it, though both are very easy to mute through. (Hint: each time a character says, “I’m about to say something very rude,” hit mute for two seconds. Problem solved!))

So if it had some issues, why did I like it so much? For a variety of reasons. First off, I really enjoyed the acting and the soundtrack. Some great classical music, and it was  fun to see all these retired musicians getting to live it up a bit. (Outside the stars, the rest of the cast is made up of actual real musicians–very nice!) As for the stars, in movie like this, you can typically either pick great musicians and try to get them to act well, or great actors and try to get them to play or sing somewhat passably. This film went the third route: great actors and have them not try to sing or play at all. It makes for a bit of a different climax, but I think the movie pulled it off.

So if you’re looking for something that’s a shade quirky, music-focused, with great acting and some beautiful scenery, then look no further. (And beside the two swears, it’s pretty squeaky clean to boot.)

Anyone else out there seen it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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