4 out of 10


Release Date: 7th September 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Stephanie Joalland

Cast: Dakota Blue Richards, Karl Davies, Jack McMullen, Brigitte Mullar and Zeb Moore

Writer: Stephanie Joalland




5 out of 10


Release Date: 12th June 2015

Director: John Boorman (The Tailor of Panama / The General (1998) / Beyond Rangoon / Hope & Glory / Emerald Forest / Exclibur / Exorcist 2 / Zardoz / Deliverance / Hell In The Pacific / Point Blank)

Cast: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, David Thewlis,Tamsin Egerton, Pat Shortt, Vanessa Kirby, Brian F O’Byrne, David Hayman, Aimee Ffion-Edwards, John Standing, Julian Wadham, Tom Stuart with Sinead Cusack and Richard E Grant

Writer: John Boorman



  • Callum Turner: War & Peace (TV), Victor Frankenstein, Green Room
  • Caleb Landry Jones: Stonewall, God’s Pocket, Byzantium, Antiviral, Contraband, X-Men- First Class, The Last Exorcism
  • David Thewlis: Macbeth (2015), Regression, Legend (2015), The Theory of Everything, Stonehearst Asylum, Zero Theorem, Red 2, War Horse, The Lady (2012), Anonymous, Mr Nice, London Boulevard, Harry Potter 3, 6, 7 & 8, The Boy In Striped Pyjamas, The Omen (2006), Basic Instinct 2,  The New World, Kingdom Of Heaven,  Gangster No.1, Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?, Besieged, The Big Lebowski, Divorcing Jack, Seven Days In Tibet, The Island Of Dr Moreau, Total Eclipse, James and The Giant Peach (voice), Restoration, Black Beauty (1994), Naked, The Trial (1993), Afraid Of The Dark, Life Is Sweet, Resurrected, Valentine Park (TV), Vroom
  • Tamsin Egerton: Grimsby, Love Rosie, Grand Piano, The Look of Love, HugeChalet Girl4-3-2-1,  St. Trinians 2, St Trinians, Keeping Mum, Driving Lessons
  • Pat Shortt: Song of the Sea (voice), Calvary, The Guard, Soulboy, The Closer You Get
  • Vanessa Kirby: Genius (2016), Bone In the Throat, Me Before You, Kill Command, Everest, Jupiter Ascending The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, The Rise, About Time
  • Brian F O’Byrne: Jimmy’s Hall, Prime Suspect (TV), Mildred Pierce (TV), Season of the Witch, The International, Brooklyn’s Finest, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, No Reservations, Bug, The New World, Million Dollar Baby, Intermission, Disco Pigs, An Everlasting Piece
  • David Hayman: Macbeth (2015), Dartmoor Killing, Castles In The Sky, Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit, Sawney – Flesh of Man, ScrewedBurke and Hare, Flood, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Rag Tale, Tailor Of Panama, Vertical Limit, The Match, My Name Is Joe, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, Regeneration, The Jackal, The Near Room,  Twin Town,  Rob Roy, Venus Peter, Sid & Nancy, Hope and Glory
  • Aimee Ffion-Edwards: Peaky Blinders (TV), Luther (TV), Skins (TV)
  • John Standing: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Before The Rains, I Want Candy, V For Vendetta, Shoreditch, Mad Cows, Rogue Trader, 8.5 Women, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Mrs Dalloway, The Elephant Man, The Eagle Has Landed
  • Julian Wadham: The Riot Club, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Now Is Good,  Outpost 2, Outpost, The English Patient, The Madness Of King George III, The Iron Lady, War Horse, Wah-Wah, Dominion – Prequel To The Exorcist, Exorcist – The Beginning, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, The Secret Agent (1996), Maurice
  • Tom Stuart: Gypo
  • Sinead Cusack: Stonehearst Asylum, The Sea, Wrath of the Titans (2012), Cracks, Eastern Promises, V For Vendetta, The Nephew, Stealing Beauty, Bad Behaviour, The Cement Garden, Waterland, God On The Rocks, Venus Peter, Rocket Gibraltar
  • Richard E Grant: Game of Thrones (TV), Downton Abbey (TV), Dom Hemingway, About Time, The Iron Lady, Horrid Henry, Love Hurts, CuckooHow To Stop Being a Loser, Penelope, Garfield 2 (voice), Corpse Bride (voice), Wah-Wah (dir), Tooth, Bright Young Things, Gosford Park, The Little Vampire, The Match, Spice World, Food Of Love, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, The Serpent’s Kiss, Twelfth Night (1996), The Portrait of a Lady, Jack & Sarah, Pret-a-Porter, The Age Of Innocence, Dracula (1992), The Player, Hudson Hawk, LA Story, Henry & June, Mountains Of The Moon, Warlock, How To Get Ahead In Advertising, Hidden City, Withnail & I


6.5 out of 10

Release Date: 11th April 2013

Director: John Pogue (Quarantine 2)

Cast: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne and Olivia Cooke

Writer: John Pogue




  • Jared Harris: The Man From UNCLE, Poltergeist (2015), Pompeii, The Mortal Instruments, Mad Men (TV), Sherlock Holmes 2 (2011), The Ward, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Cashback, Lady In The Water, Notorious Bettie Page, Oceans 12 (2004), Resident Evil 2, Sylvia, Mr Deeds, Igby Goes Down, Perfume, B Monkey, Happiness, Lost In Space, Father’s Day, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dead Man, Blue In The Face, Smoke, Nadja, The Public Eye, Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Rachel Papers
  • Sam Claflin: Me Before You, Hunger Games- Mocking Jay 2, Hunger Games- Mockingjay, Love Rosie, The Riot Club, Hunger Games 2 – Catch a Fire, Snow White and The Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, United
  • Erin Richards: Open Grave
  • Rory Fleck-Byrne: Vampire Academy
  • Olivia Cooke: Me Earl and The Dying Girl, The Signal, Ouija, Bates Hotel (TV)


7 out of 10

Release Date: 1st January 2013

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Cast: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Sachs, Gwyneth Jones, Trevor Peacock, David Ryall, Michael Byrne, Jumayne Hunter, Ronnie Fox and Michael Gambon

Writer: Ronald Harwood

Trailer: QUARTET

PROOF READ & EDIT DUE: Dustin Hoffman‘s directorial debut is a pleasant surprise. From the trailer it looked like one of those terribly broad UK comedies built for Americans or the Laura Ashley set who have been left twiddling their thumbs ever since Merchant Ivory vacated their comfortable spot at the top of the BritPic game.  Happily reporting a nice and even comedy with a good balance of subtle comedy and laugh out loud moments.  Hoffman also seems to have mastered the Robert Altman / 70s French Cinema style of showing life as it happens and masters a series of brilliant scenes in which lots of characters are vying for attention, whilst care staff mill around, other characters re-tuning instruments or doing vocal warm ups. He successfully sets the scene for the shenanigans to follow and there’s never a dull moment in Quartet.  It is predictable though, but like I always say, originality isn’t the be all and end all and it certainly doesn’t matter in this film.

Quartet largely takes place in and around the grounds of Beecham Hall, a retirement home for famous musicians.  Three members of a famous opera quartet are about to joined unexpectedly by the unpopular fourth member.  Maggie Smith (SISTER ACT) plays Jean Horton, former wife of resident Reginald Paget (TOM COURTENAY – DR ZHIVAGO) and former co-star of Cissie (JOAN COLLINS – SHIRLEY VALENTINE) and Wilf (BILLY CONNOLLY – X FILES 2) and her arrival at Beecham Hall causes waves.  Her appearance largely upsets Reginald who is still holding a grudge against her years after their marriage broke down. The patriarch of the home, Cecil (MICHAEL GAMBON – THE KING’S SPEECH) is keen to re-assemble the famous quartet to re-create a famous opera from their heyday (the name of the piece escapes me!) So obstacles have to be overcome, tempers flare, brains get be-fuddled and all of this is piled on top of the day to day madness of growing old.  Horny old badger, Wilf is always chasing after the house manager, Dr Cogan (SHERIDAN SMITH – TOWER BLOCK) to amusing effect. Cissie is the comedy alzheimer’s sufferer. It’s only occasionally that her condition is taken seriously. Most of the time it’s  treated like a personality trait by the fellow residents, who care for and love her ways.  I suppose this is how a person as exuberant but afflicted as this would be treated in the main. She is in a safe environment, so this limits the harm she can do to herself and maybe others.  Pauline Collins‘ performance doesn’t grate and she is perfect for the role. Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay are called upon  to do the lion’s share of the serious acting. Smith in particular shines in an initially brittle role that is just dying to open up and show what a kind person she can be.  The love and respect between her and Courtenay’s character is convincing and a big reason why the story succeeds.  What could have been corny and really broad, has turned out to be realistic and a great example of commercial UK cinema.  I was afraid that Billy Connolly would overturn the show with a larger than life performance but he also fit in perfectly.  I’ve met people like his character and they do genuinely light up the room when they walk in and cut through all the politics and bull sh*t with a witty put down or a line to get the stuffier element sniffing loudly.  The music is tastefully placed too. The cinematography is wonderful too, the early morning shots in particular of the house.

Small gaffs like planks under the leaves, when the actors are on walks in the woods are really obvious and it’s clear that there were some pick up shots done in the summer, because the trees pick and drop leaves from scene to scene. Oops.  But this wouldn’t be a British movie (large or small budget) without about 10 continuity errors every ten minutes.  I was quite thankful however that we weren’t subjected to the titular quartet miming to opera at the end.  We are left to listen to the performance from the outside the house.  Small mercy and a good exercise in taste that could have tilted the film into corn at the last minute.

7 out of 10Quartet is a good comedy for the older set.  Ample humour and pathos.  It’s really this year’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  The acting from the main four is spot on, only Michael Gambon ramps up the pantomime theatrics from the wings but he is very funny so it’s forgiven.  Well, written, nicely directed and it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome at all.  A pleasant surprise because it’s nowhere near as broad or corny as the trailer makes it out to be.


  • Maggie Smith: The Lady In The Van, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, My Old Lady, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Downton Abbey (TV), Harry Potter – 1 to 8, Nanny McPhee 2, Keeping Mum, Ladies In Lavender, Gosford Park, Tea With Mussollini, Washington Square, The First Wives’ Club, Richard III (1995), The Secret Garden, Sister Act 1 & 2, Hook, A Room With a View, A Private Function, The Missionary, California Suite, Death On The Nile, The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, Othello (1965)
  • Tom Courtenay: 45 Years, Dad’s Army, Night Train To Lisbon, Gambit (2012), Flood, The Golden Compass, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Last Orders, Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?, The Boy From Mercury, Let Him Have It,  One Day In The Life Of Dennis Denusovic, Doctor Zhivago, Billy Liar, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
  • Billy Connolly: The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies, What We Did On Our Holiday, Brave (voice), Billy Connolly’s Route 66 (TV), Gulliver’s Travels (2011), X-Files 2, Garfield 2, Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai, Timeline, White Oleander, The Aristocrats, The Man Who Sued God, The Debt Collector, Still Crazy, Paws (voice), Mrs Brown, Muppets’ Treasure Island, Pocahontas (voice), The Big Man,  The Kenny Everett Show (TV), The Secret Policeman’s Ball (TV)
  • Pauline Collins: Albert Nobbs, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Paradise Road, City Of Joy, Shirley Valentine, Dr Who (TV)
  • Sheridan Smith: Cilla (TV), The Harry Hill Movie, The Powder Room, Hysteria, Tower Block, How To Stop Being a Loser
  • Andrew Sachs: Run For Your Wife, Coronation Street (TV), The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, Revenge Of The Pink Panther, Fawlty Towers (TV)
  • Trevor Peacock: The Vicar Of Dibley (TV)
  • David Ryall: The League Of Gentleman- Apocalypse, Around The World In 80 Days (2004), Blackball, Truly Madly Deeply
  • Michael Byrne: Mortdecai, Diana, Outpost 2, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Apt Pupil, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – part 1, Blood – The Last Vampire, Beyond The Sea, Gangs Of New York, The Sum Of All Fears, Proof Of Life, Battlefield Earth,  James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, Braveheart, Nostradamus (1994), Buster, Force 10 From Navarone, The Eagle Has Landed
  • Ronnie Fox: The Hooligan Factory, Detective Harrigan, TravellerClubbed
  • Jumayne Hunter: The Guvnors, ScintillaDom Hemingway, Borrowed TimeI Anna,  Piggy, Cherry Tree LaneAttack The Block, Eden Lake
  • Eline Powell: Private Peaceful
  • Patricia Loveland: Better Things
  • Michael Gambon: Fortitude (TV), The King’s Speech, Harry Potter – parts 3-8, The Book Of Eli, Fantastic Mr Fox (voice), Brideshead Revisited (2008), The Good Night, The Good Shepherd, The Omen (2006), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,  Layer Cake, Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow, Sylvia, Open Range, The Actors, Ali G In Da House, Charlotte Gray, Gosford Park, High Heels and Low Lifes, Sleepy Hollow, The insider, Plunkett & Macleane, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Gambler, Wings Of The Dove, Mary Reilly, The Innocent Sleep, Two Deaths, Nothing Personal, A Man Of No Importance, The Browning Version (1994), Toys, Mobsters, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, A Dry White Season, The Rachel Papers, Paris By Night, The Singing Detective (TV)