Dustin Hoffman has over 43 years of film acting experience and he’s about to put them to good use: The two-time Academy Award-winner (for Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man) has signed on to direct his first film. Quartet is based on Ronald Harwood’s play about four retired opera singers living in a home who put on one last performance at a gala in honor of Verdi’s birthday. What, you were expecting Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium 2? HuffingtonPost had the story.
Harwood is an Academy Award-winner himself, having written the screenplay for The Pianist, so Hoffman should have strong material to work with even though the critical response for the play wasn’t universally enthusiastic. The Daily Telegraph’s review said, "…the show’s heart is in the right place and a cherishable company of senior thesps give it everything they’ve got, breathing vitality into a script that could be an inert embarrassment if performed by less accomplished players." If that’s true, Hoffman has nothing to worry about. It doesn’t get much more accomplished than the cast he’s put together, which includes Dame Maggie Smith (Gosford Park), Albert Finney (Murder On The Orient Express) and Tom Courtenay (Dr. Zhivago).