Dorottya is a young Hungarian actress with a burning desire: to make it on the English stage. Legendary actor Sir Michael Gifford suffers from an incurable disease, and has one desire: be left alone. When Dorottya becomes his carer they both hope their wish will be fulfilled.Written by
As the end credits roll there are quick glimpses of future newspaper articles to round off the characters' stories: Dorottya gains a CGGB award, Sophia appoints Joseph as a CEO to the Gifford Foundation, and Sir Michael weds his longtime companion, Millie. The latter appears as a "Kent Advertiser" piece in 2017 (this movie's release date was 2016) for the date of October 21, stating the best man as Sir Roger Moore (who appeared earlier in a cameo at the awards ceremony). Sir Roger Moore, however, died in May of 2017. See more »
The Carer is a pleasant if somewhat sentimental film. The principal characters are Sir Michael Gifford, an aging British theatre actor with a form of Parkinson's disease, and Dorottya, the young Hungarian woman who is hired by Gifford's daughter to be his nursemaid (the "carer" of the title). It's a nice story which would have benefitted from being fleshed out a bit more in some areas. We don't learn much about Dorottya's background prior to her arrival at Gifford's estate, but she is spunky and assertive during her interview, and is allowed to stay conditionally, to see how she and Sir Michael will get along (Sir Michael is foul-mouthed, cantankerous and irascible, and has been going through caregivers at an alarming rate - he simply wants to be left alone). We soon find out, along with Sir Michael, that Dorottya has some acting experience herself, and in fact can quote Shakespeare, which of course gives her some common ground with her "patient". She is also not put off by having to help him with his bodily functions, and stands up to his verbal abuse, all of which makes her too good to be true: naturally they wind up hitting it off, and she is given the job on a permanent basis.
There is more to the story, which I won't go into: it's fairly predictable, but still pleasantly satisfying. The writing emphasizes comedy over drama, but it feels a little simplistic and casually tossed-off: Dorottya's mispronouncing of "carer" as "career" would be a more elegantly comic irony if she made other speaking mistakes as well, but her English is otherwise flawless, so it just comes off as contrived cleverness. Both Dorottya's acting aspirations and Sir Michael's illness are treated as mere plot devices, and IMO the film would have benefitted from exploring them both in more depth, especially since its running time is on the short side.
I was not particularly blown away by Coco König's performance as Dorottya - she does well enough as the character, but is not convincing when she is supposed to be demonstrating Dorottya's acting talents. Better are Emilia Fox, Anna Chancellor, and Karl Johnson, who all give excellent turns as the people living within Sir Michael's orbit, though their characters could also have been given a bit more dimension in the script. But by far the main reason to check out this film is Brian Cox's tour-de-force portrayal of Sir Michael. Cox is simply phenomenal - his superb performance is the one real standout element of the film, and watching it is like attending a master class in acting. His final scene in particular is spectacularly done, but he is brilliant throughout.
I also enjoyed Atti Pascay's music, and the film is beautifully shot by Tibor Mathé. Overall, "The Carer" is a feel-good movie which, despite some minor faults, is worth seeing for Brian Cox.
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