Co-sponsored by Christopher B. and Jeannie Meg Smith and Frantoio Restaurant & Olive Oil Co.
Directed by Dustin Hoffman
Starring: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith, Tom Courtenay
Produced by: Finola Dwyer, Stewart Mackinnon
FOCUS: ACTORS TURNED DIRECTORS • Revered actor Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut takes place in the heart of the English countryside at the Beecham House, a home for retired, genteel musicians. Among the celebrity residents are opera singers and lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly), Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and Cissy (Pauline Collins), who still showcase their talents at an annual fundraiser. However, preparations for this year’s fall flat with the arrival of one of the all-time great divas, Jean—played with pitch-perfect aplomb by the inimitable Maggie Smith (every bit the legend in her own right with a career ranging from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to Downton Abbey). Obviously, the grande dame must perform at the fundraiser. But Jean also happens to be Reggie’s ex-wife, and a youthful indiscretion on her part is still a sore spot between them, scuttling the works. With his incredible cast, maestro Hoffman explores the underlying harmonies of friendship, love and music with gusto, humor and charm.
Film Note Writer: Zoë Elton