Quartet (2012)

Plot: The residents of Beecham House, a home for retired professional musicians, have just started rehearsals for their annual gala performance honoring the birth of Composer Giuseppe Verdi. This gala is more important than other years as the home may close due to lack of funds if they cannot raise enough money. Despite all being from a music background, the residents are diverse group, with some divas and divos amongst the bunch. Whereas, still randy Wilf Bond (Sir Billy Connolly) laments aging while he continually hits on the home's chief physician Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith), his best friend Reggie Paget (Sir Tom Courtenay) embraces his aging, and is enjoying living out his final years at Beecham House. That enjoyment is threatened with the arrival of a new resident, Jean Horton (Dame Maggie Smith), arguably the most famous of all of the residents and Reggie's ex-performing partner and ex-wife, who he has not seen in fifteen years. Their divorce was not an amicable one, and was largely because of her infidelity. The gala's organizer, Cedric Livingston (Sir Michael Gambon), believes that Beecham House's current financial problems would all be solved if Jean, Reggie, Wilf, and fellow resident Cissy Robson (Pauline Collins) would perform "Bella figlia dell'amore" from "Rigoletto" at the gala, they arguably having had recorded the most renowned version of the song. There are many obstacles to overcome in getting them to perform the song together. First, Reggie has to forgive Jean, who has long wanted to reconcile with him personally. Second, Jean has vowed never to sing again since her retirement, fearing humiliation in no longer singing as she did in her prime. And third, Cissy suffers from the early stages of dementia, which may worsen to the point of no longer knowing what is going on.

Alternative Plot: Once-popular opera diva Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) creates a stir with her arrival at Beecham House, a home for retired performers. No one feels the uproar more than Reginald (Tom Courtenay), Jean's ex-husband, who still stings from her long-ago infidelity. Most of the other Beecham residents are delighted, and try to convince Jean to join them in a performance of "Rigoletto." Jean, however, knows that she is long past her prime and is reluctant to sully the memory of her once-lovely voice.

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