Directed by Dustin Hoffman
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Dustin Hoffman sure did play it safe in his first turn in the director’s chair, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. This light comedy, adapted from a 1999 play and “set in a refined Masterpiece Theatre–style world” of aging British musicians, “hums along nicely, but lightly,” on the talents of its many veteran performers. As the residents of a posh retirement home plan a show to save their residence from financial ruin, Ronald Harwood’s “unimaginative script” doesn’t give Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, or Hoffman’s other actors much to work with, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. But in the thankless role of a former opera diva who’s too imperious to jump into the effort, Smith leads the way in overcoming cliché. She and her colleagues each find “stirring notes of melancholy in the silliest sentimentality.” Still, the actors can only do so much, said Mary Pols in Time. It’s easy to understand why certain audiences might enjoy stories about the drama and happy endings to be discovered in old-age homes, but this one is far too “cloying and cute.”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.