To be fair, the storyline of this film is quite thin: former part of quartet moves in home only to be confronted with her former ‘bandmates’, so to speak, only to refuse to reconcile.
The cast is fantastic. Trevor Peacock -Jim Trott from The Vicar of Dibley-, Maggie Smith from oh so many, amongst them Harry Potter and Downton Abbey, even Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore) flies by as a deeply annoyed orchestra master, Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine) and Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers). They are accompanied by real former musicians.
The home we’re talking about is one that specialises in former musicians. Which brings me to the excellent point of the film. The music. Nearly everything is sang live by truly magnificent performers. It’s not just a funny film because of the actors who perfectly know how to bring a line, but splendid because of this very added bonus. It’s a lust for the ear to hear and a joy for the eye.
Where Pauline dashes here and there as a lost soul and social glue in any situation, Maggie Smith is unwilling to give into this, as is her former husband.
It’s the kind of home you’d want any elderly to live in when they’re at that age where they can no longer take care of themselves, as it must be such a joy to be inside the reliving of your former peer group.
Despite the storyline being a bit thin, this doesn’t make it any less fun. In my opinion, the film couldn’t have handled another one to be fair, as it’s so richly dressed with Maggie being vile to Pauline and Michael Gambon being vile to…well, anyone that crosses his stick.
A true little jewel for when one doesn’t want to think much, but very much likes the opera to relive in ones livingroom 🙂