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Is Anybody There? (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  1 May 2009 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,814 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 39 user | 82 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mum
Ralph Riach ...
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Elizabeth Spriggs ...
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Reg
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Dad
Thelma Barlow ...
Ena
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Bob
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Andrew Turner ...
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Oliver Leach ...
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Storyline

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 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Is Anybody There?  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£123,309 (UK) (1 May 2009)

Gross:

$2,024,225 (USA) (10 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leslie Phillips spoke out against this film after is was released, as he said it had been completely changed from the story he and the other elderly actors were making about an old people's home, in order to concentrate on the relationship between Michael Caine and the boy. See more »

Goofs

Some think the father's mustache at the party is a continuity error as he shaved it off that morning. However, it is a fancy dress party and the father is clearly wearing a fake mustache to go with his costume. See more »

Quotes

Edward: [about death] I'm not scared. I just want to know what happens.
See more »

Connections

Features The Two Ronnies (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Two Ronnies Theme Tune
Written by Ronnie Hazlehurst
Published by Crosstown Uptown Music (ASCAP)
(p) BBC
Licensed courtesy of BBC Worldwide
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Naivety and wisdom all rolled into one
25 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Not knowing what to expect of this film we were pleasantly surprised, relieved in fact. One critic had rated it as 'morbid' – just what we needed on a bank holiday afternoon – when in fact it was quite uplifting.

There was no waiting around, Cowley took the audience directly to the sitting room of the elderly peoples home. You didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the antics of some of the elderly residents – an ex-dancer, a drunkard, war veteran – who, as interesting as they looked, were never discussed in much detail. They were 'props', clichés or as Edward would put it, 'pains in the backside'.

Indeed, we are made to see the residents as Edward did. Their antics are in fact, annoyances, enough to drive a wedge between him and his parents. Edward, who celebrates his 11th birthday in the film, is focused solely on finding out what happens after death. He played the part beautifully with such naivety and sincerity.

The arrival of Clarence to the home would change Edward more than he would think and vice versa. It was nice to see the relationship grow between the two. For the very first time, Edward would begin to look upon one of the residents as a grandfather figure, someone who would teach him new tricks and to live for the living, not for the dead. Not only did Clarence become a grandfather to Edward but also a friend. There are some great snapshots throughout of the two of them.

Overall, it was a nice film that taught us to live for the moment and that regrets can eat you up inside. It also reveals truths about residential homes: 'you live all your life on your own and then someone thinks it's a good idea to put you with complete strangers'. We must remember that despite having their age in common, elderly people are all unique and should be treated so. Despite being set in the 1980's, the colours and styles all depicting this era wonderfully, these 'lessons in life' are as true today as they were back then.


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