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Review: ‘Quartet’ retains its elegant, honest sordidness 38 years later

Adjani plays Marya Zelli, a doe-eyed Parisian ex-chorus girl of West Indies heritage living in Bohemian bliss with her crafty Polish husband, Stephan (Higgins), who sells stolen objets d’art. When Stephan is arrested and thrown in jail, the centime-less, abandoned Marya becomes an objet d’art herself to a married pair of wealthy British expats: H.J. Heidler (Bates), a dominating figure who fancies himself an arts supporter with an eye for up-and-comers, and his wife, Lois (Smith), who paints, pouts and manages her husband’s whims, one of whom, we quickly realize, is Marya.