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Is Anybody There?
Star Trek, Wolverine, Ghosts of Girlfiends Past, Is Anybody There? - Movie chicks Viques Rojas and Gayle Bass review "Star Trek," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Ghosts of Girlfiends Past," and "Is Anybody There?"
Every once in a while a quiet, little movie comes along that makes a big impact. Such is the case with "Is Anybody There".
The UK export doesn't boast a lot of big names but the one it does have is more than enough: Michael Caine. There is no question in my mind that I have seen the first Oscar worthy performance of 2009.
Set in a seaside village in the 1980's, "Is Anybody There" chronicles the lives of a small family struggling to make do by becoming a sort of neighborhood rest home for the elderly. Mom, Dad and their 11 year old son, Edward, provide a homey atmosphere for seniors in their sprawling home. But times are so tough that even young Edward's bedroom has been given up for the business.
With death all around him, Edward has turned his lemon into lemonade and devotes hours to trying to 'connect' with the previous tenants who have moved on. He tries to capture EVPs with his little reel to reel tape recorder, documents his failed efforts in a journal and watches all manner of ghost documentaries on the telly.
But when retired magician and perennial cranky Clarence (Caine) moves in, Edward's life is forever changedas is Clarence's. What starts out as a tempestuous union at first, blossoms into a caring, nurturing experience as Clarence makes it his mission to turn Edward's life around into one of embracing life and not being consumed by the possibility of the afterlife.
The film boasts an excellent cast of some of England's finest in their golden years, including Rosemarie Harris and Elizabeth Springs. Each cast member brings a tender sadness to their character's age related affliction from the man with the shakes to the dancer who's lost a leg. Even the young in the household have their problems. Edward's mum is run down and tired, while his dad is feeling the restless pull of a midlife crisis. Lots of drama but lots of opportunity to learn lessons, to grow, to love.
But the relationship between Edward and Clarence is what this movie is all about. You would think that Bill Milner as Edward would have his work cut out for him working with the great Michael Caine in what is sure to be one of his most memorable roles. But the young actor is truly mesmerizing. And as for Michael Caine, he will break your heart---yet again! There simply aren't words to capture his every nuance in a magic filled performance.
Brace yourself. I defy you to leave with dry eyes but every tear will be worth it.
LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN: "Michael Caine was Fabulous! And wasn't the little boy great?" Two women chatted about the film all the way through the parking lot, they were so touched. The usherette was a big fan, too. She told everyone what a treat they were in for as she tore their ticket. She didn't lie!
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