Is Anybody There? (2008)

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Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people's home run by his parents. Whilst his mother struggles to keep the family business afloat, and his father copes with the onset of mid-life crisis, Edward is busy tape-recording the elderly residents to try and discover what happens when they die. Increasingly obsessed with ghosts and the afterlife, Edward's is a rather lonely existence until he meets Clarence, the latest recruit to the home, a retired magician with a liberating streak of anarchy. Is There Anybody There? tells the story of this odd couple - a boy and an old man - facing life together, with Edward learning to live in the moment and Clarence coming to terms with the past.
Michael Caine as Clarence
Bill Milner as Edward
Anne-Marie Duff as Mum
David Morrissey as Dad
Thelma Barlow as Ena
Linzey Cocker as Tanya
Adam Drinkall as Stuart
Jamie Gilbert as Tanya's New Boyfriend
Garrick Hagon as Douglas
Keith Hargreaves as Bus Driver
Rosemary Harris as Elsie
Ralph Ineson as Mr. Kelly
Angie Inwards as Mavis
Charli Janeway as Guy Who Walks
Karl Johnson as Arthur
Miles Jupp as Vicar
Michael Keogh as Paramedic
Leslie Phillips as Reg
Ralph Riach as Clive
Elizabeth Spriggs as Prudence
Sylvia Syms as Lilian
Andrew Turner as Undertaker
Peter Vaughan as Bob
Carl McCrystal as Undertaker 1
Oliver Leach as Barry
Full cast
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4477 Mb
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Charles Berky

It is a very depressing movie - especially if you are over 70. Didn't deal with any of the good things that can result from aging. From the reviews, I thought it would have a happy ending. Not so.


When an actor as good as Michael Cain takes on a project as intimate and spirited as the subject matter in IS THERE ANBODY THERE? is, you know you are in for a rare and wonderful treat to watch a veteran take stage and deliver a heart-felt performance. He has a terrific ensemble working around him here in this ode to one's golden years, notably Bill Milner as the young, precocious youth who is fascinated with death and all its paranormal trappings. The young boy is forced to live in a home where his mother (wonderfully played by Anne-Marie Duff) has set a convelescent setting for senior citizens to come and live out their remaining days. At first, the cantankerous old codger played by Caine - who once was a semi-popular magician - is at odds with the boy, but soon learns to love him as his own. Sweet and quirky scenes pop up effortlessly in this script that acknowledges death in very mirthful ways. A real little gem of a film!


We loved this movie-once the magic scene takes place, the movie absolutely takes off. Before that it's very good-but it closes with immense power. LOVED IT!!!!

Rich S

I liked this film and I liked the story such as it was. It isn't so much a coming of age movie as a mutual growth experience in which growth is not always positve. After all the film reminds us, we will all die sooner or later. The difficulty seems to be, as portayed by the story, that some of us have a devil of a time enjoying what life we manage to live. The boy in the film [Milnor] does an exemplary job in a very odd role. Likewise Michael Caine. After I shook off all the stereotypes that Caine represented, I found him emminently believable and subtly humorous as only he can be. Much attention to detail makes the film interesting even when the story necessarily lags during story continuity segments. [Which were mercifully infrequent]. I liked this film better after I saw it in its entirity than I did as it unfolded. As unusual as the characters appear to be in the film, we have all known people like them, in fact sometimes they turn to be ourselves; even if only in secret moments.


Well written, well-performed movie, emotionally moving, but off-beat. It probably will not appeal to many people. It offers a sympathetic view of old-age and dying, the struggles people have to get through life, and a child's curiosity, obsession with the after life.

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