7.2/10
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7 user 15 critic

The Phone Call (2013)

Heather is a shy lady who works in a helpline call centre. When she receives a phone call from a mystery man, she has no idea that the encounter will change her life forever.

Director:

Mat Kirkby
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sally Hawkins ... Heather
Jim Broadbent ... Stan (voice)
Edward Hogg ... Daniel
Prunella Scales ... Joan
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La llamada See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£25,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RSA Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was completed in two days. See more »

Quotes

Heather: Stan, for only knowing so much about you, I feel like... I feel like you're my friend.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Take This Dance
Written & performed by Carmen Phelan
Produced by Adam Morley
Courtesy of Carmen Phelan Music (PRS/ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A new kind of companionship we are seeing flourish
3 March 2015 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

The Phone Call concerns Heather (Emily Hawkins), a shy, reclusive woman who works as a dispatcher for a crisis hotline. One day, she picks up the phone to hear an elderly man sobbing profusely on the other end. Being the professional that she is, she slowly talks to him and gets him to reveal his current situation. The man states he is "Stanley" (voiced by Jim Broadbent), a man who lost his wife Joan a few years ago and has taken a handful of antidepressants in order to cope with the mental pain. He doesn't want Heather to call an ambulance; he has made up his mind about ending his life and is content with his decision. He just wants companionship before he fades away.

This is a somber short film that sneaks up on you with the way Stanley's undying love for his wife comes through, as he tells Heather stories and details about his wife, along with being so content about his extreme decision. Hawkins plays her character wonderfully, exuding shyness and fright, despite keeping her professionalism throughout the entire ordeal, in a profoundly affecting manner. Broadbent, though he is no more than a voice throughout the short, also provides one with spine-tingling urgency, as his voice captivates, giving off each emotion and vocal-quiver with a great deal of sincerity and believability. Directed Mat Kirkby's camera shoots all the right things, in addition, from close-ups on Heather's small, reserved movements or her notes on Stanley, filling the environment with simultaneously unsettling and tranquil vibes.

The Phone Call instantly reminds me of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, a short documentary which, like The Phone Call, won an Oscar for its respective category. That film showed the daily routines of several dispatchers at a crisis hotline, helping numerous souls, in this case, veterans, who were on the teetering edge of suicide and either needed companionship or some sort of guidance. Judging by these two beautifully-made shorts, the relationship dispatchers form with their callers through the means of a telephone is one that we will likely see develop and grow overtime, and if such an idea is carried out with the kind of heartbreaking realism and brutal honesty these two shorts have depicted, I'm all for it.

Starring: Emily Hawkins and Jim Broadbent. Directed by: Mat Kirkby.


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