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Heather volunteers as a crisis center hot-line operator. She receives a telephone call from a tearful Stan, who is reluctant to divulge the nature of his problem. All she can initially get out of him is that he is despondent and remorseful about an event that happened two years ago, which is now making it difficult for him to continue. The call takes on some urgency for her when she learns that he has taken some prescription anti-depressants. While she tries to convince him to let her call an ambulance for him, all he really seems to want is someone - her - to figuratively hold his hand while he dies. Without any other support staff around, Heather has to use whatever clues she can glean from their conversation to provide Stan the help she wants to get to him before he dies. Written by
Too bad they don't give out Oscars for acting in short films!
'THE PHONE CALL': Four Stars (Out of Five)
A 20 minute British short film; which was nominated for an Academy Award, for Best Live Action Short Film, at the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. It stars Sally Hawkins as the dedicated employee of a crisis hotline center, who receives a disturbing phone call from a suicidal caller. She desperately tries to save him. It was directed by Mat Kirkby and written by Kirkby and James Lucas. The short costars Edward Hogg and the voice of Jim Broadbent. I found it to be short (of course) but still effectively moving.
Hawkins plays Heather; a rather shy woman, who works as a helpline call center counselor. One day she receives a distressing call; from a man (Broadbent) who sounds extremely depressed. The caller also (eventually) tells her he's swallowed a large amount of pills. Heather tries her hardest to find out who he is, and where he's at, in order to save him.
The film is pretty depressing, and not for everyone, but I also found it to be really inspiring; it definitely takes the viewer through a lot of different emotions. It's also surprising how effectively suspenseful it is; I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. Kirkby co-wrote a pretty insightful and moving script, and he does an even more impressive job bringing it to life. What's most impressive about the short is Hawkin's performance though; too bad they don't give out Oscars for acting in short films!
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