Billy Connolly and Maggie Smith are retired opera singers in Quartet trailer

When it comes to actors making the transition to directing, several of them have succeeded in their role ranging from Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles to Clint Eastwood and more recently, Ben Affleck.

But it is one of the big Hollywood heavyweights who gets his chance to shine behind the camera as Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Rain Man) makes his debut with the light-hearted drama Quartet which has just unveiled its official trailer.

The film focuses on a group of former English opera singers (Sir Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins) who live in the Beecham House retirement home. Each year they plan a concert to raise money for their home but the arrival of a new resident (Dame Maggie Smith) with a history in opera threatens to derail the event.

For most fans, this isn’t the type of film you would expect Hoffman to make but from my perspective, it does look fun especially when you have such a vastly experienced cast to work with. It’s especially funny to see Gambon and Smith on-screen together after their Harry Potter days proving that any Potter actor can still work with each another regardless.

At the same time though, you do get the sense that the marketing team are benefiting from the recent commercial success of another British dramedy The Exotic Marigold Hotel by using a cast of such versatility in a light-hearted production.

The film is out in the UK on January 4th 2013.

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