With a career that’s spanned just over five decades now, it would appear as if actor Dustin Hoffman has done it all – that is with the exception of directing a film. There’s long been a story that Hoffman did some uncredited work behind the camera on Ulu Grosbarg’s wildly underrated 1978 burglar tale “Straight Time,” but with the upcoming “Quartet,” Hoffman is taking all the credit.
His debut is a musically tinged comedy adapted by Ronald Harwood from his own acclaimed stageplay, featuring a “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”-style round-up of British veterans, including Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon, following the dramas that arise at a retirement home for opera singers with the arrival of a new resident who plays the diva and refuses to take part in an annual concert celebrating Verdi's birthday. Now word has it that the film will get a year-end release, with The Weinstein Company adding it to their beyond-impressive 2012 slate -- filled with goodness such as “The Master,” “Django Unchained,” “Killing Them Softly,” and “Silver Linings Playbook” – with “Quartet” set as prime awards season fodder on December 28th. The film is premiering at TIFF soon, so we’ll have to see if it has any hopes of scoring some Oscar gold come then.
Another release you may be looking forward to is the upcoming Rolling Stones documentary “Crossfire Hurricane,” with HBO setting Brett Morgen’s film for a winter release of November 15th. The doc follows The Stones’ storied history on the road, providing first-time insight into their early days of rebellion all the way to Keith Richards' 1977 arrest in Canada for heroin possession. We’ll also get a look at the recent tours that showed the aging rockers still rolling (ALL PUN INTENDED). For those who aren’t stateside, the movie will also be released in select theaters in the U.K. with a broadcast on BBC 2 tentatively set for later in the year. Whether or not this will add anything new to the well-told tales covered in countless other books, movies, magazine articles, websites, and cave drawings remains to be seen, but a good yarn, well told, is worth hearing twice.