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By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

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Quartet (12A)

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this charming, funny and insightful film in which four ageing opera singers are reunited in a specialist retirement home.

Starring Dame Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connelly and Pauline Collins, Quartet is the movie version of the stage play by Ronald Harwood of the same name.

Lifelong friends Wilf and Reggie, together with former colleague Cissy, are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers.

On the anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday each year, the residents give a concert to raise funds for their home.

Jean Horton is a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times. As Reggie’s ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, feathers are ruffled when Jean moves in to Beecham House.

As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, plans for the annual concert rapidly unravel.

A wickedly comic British film about growing old, Quartet explores the notion of fading stardom and inspiring humand endeavour.

At Derby QUAD.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A)

Director, Peter Jackson, returns with his latest instalment of JRR Tolkein’s literary genius brought to life on the big screen. Following on from the huge success of the Lord of The Rings trilogy, a young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) finds himself commandeered into a company of dwarves planning to reclaim their lost home, the Kingdom of Eerebor.

Legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield, agrees to employ Bilbo as a burglar on the advice of wizard, Gandalf the Grey.

In the first of three films re-telling the epic journey to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo finds the courage and guile to keep up with the 13 dwarves as they battle Orcs and trolls and goblins. Then, lost on the shore of an underground lake, Bilbo meets Gollum, and falls into possession of an item that will change his life forever.

At Cinebowl, Uttoxeter.

Also showing:

Rise of the Guardians (PG), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A), Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (U), Jack Reacher (12A), Life of Pi (PG), Quartet (12A).

At Cinebowl, Uttoxeter.

Life of Pi (PG), Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG), Gambit (12A), False Trail (15) S, The Impossible (12A), Sightseers (15), Alps (15) S.

At Derby QUAD.

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