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Is Anybody There? [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
The story follows a young boy as he deals with his life of living at a retirement home in the 1980s UK (that his parents manage for income). I had to have subtitles on as the accents and slang were unintelligible throughout. Caine plays a retired magician and self appointed resident to this home who inevitably befriends this young loner. Over the course of the film these two unlikely characters impart upon each other their little nuances and knowledge of life. Extremely slow moving at times and unlikely in others, what makes this movie tangible is the believability of Caine's borderline senility meets second chance in a dead end home role.
The Blu clarity is outstanding. I even paused it in the most of unlikely places and the line definition was ideal for the scenes. Even in the near dark basement scene there was no pixelation or blur. The DTS was perfect, and the subliminal/background noises of the old folks home played through no matter what part of the house the scene was taking place. The only supplement was made up of a few forgettable deleted scenes.
Not a mainstream appeal film by any means, but the performances were believable by all involved. The Blu sells itself but in an unlikely film of sorts. Four for the Blu and the story.
The film is set in what was once generally referred to as an "old folks home" in rural Britain in the 1980's. The center of the story is a ten-year-old boy named Edward who lives there because his Mum (Anne-Marie Duff) and Dad (David Morrisey) run the place, with the help of a hired-girl named Tanya (Linzey Cocker). It's a marginal existence and the strains on the family are readily visible. Mum is harried and exhausted from carryig the lion's share of the load of running the place and looking after the home's various elderly residents, each with their various quirks, problems and eccentricities. Dad, barely half-hearted when it comes to shouldering his share of the load, is going through a mid-life crisis, trying to make himself look - and feel - younger as he gives unwanted attentions to Tanya. And then there's Edward himself (Bill Milner, who stole the show in the equally underseen Son Of Rambow), a lonely boy with no real friends who's become obsessed with death and the afterlife because barely a month goes by without one or two of the home's residents passing on.
Into this quietly desperate situation comes Clarence (marvelously played by Michael Caine), a retired stage magician who's been sent to the home - much against his wishes - after the death of his wife.Read more ›
The central themes are those germane to most people's lives: regret, the impossibility of doing anything more than muddling through, loss, acceptance, and - in a sotto voce manner - forgiveness. Michael Caine turns in a good solid performance that is under-stated to the right degree. In fact, everything is under-stated, which makes the emotional impact much greater. And the script avoids the standard Hollywood play-it-for-sobs-then-tears-of-joy schtick, up to the last 60 seconds of the movie. Although the premise of the movie sounds depressing - let's watch old people decay and die and the caretakers' marriage fall apart because of the stresses and strains - this is actually a very enjoyable movie to watch. The pleasure is akin to seeing a finely crafted time piece in operation: everything is where it needs to be and the parts move in synchronicity. So basically this is a low budget movie that delivers high value emotional content and the pleasure of seeing something done very well indeed. Absolutely a must-see for anyone who enjoys superior acting and confident direction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superb motion picture from the director of the current hit, Brooklyn. Memorable!Published 5 months ago by frank Machine
A wonderful find; especially since I'm a long-time fan of Michael Caine!!Published 12 months ago by Leslie
Anyone who is a Michael Caine fan will enjoy this movie. In this picture, he plays an elderly man who has developed Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Irish Bill