10 year old Edward (Bill Milner) lives a lonely existence in a sea-side retirement home with his stressed out parents (David Morrissey, Anne-Marie Duff) and a cast of eccentric geriatrics. Bored and increasingly obsessed with death, he is abruptly brought out of his morbid shell by the arrival of “The Amazing” Clarence (Michael Caine) an anarchic retired magician.
Mining similar territory to last year’s Brit-hit ‘Son of Rambow’ (also featuring rising child star Milner) ‘Is Anybody There?’ is a charming and often very funny slice of 80’s family nostalgia that – thanks to Peter Harness’ terrific script – always manages to ring true.
Unsurprisingly, Caine lights up the screen whenever on it and he and Milner develop a chemistry that imbues the drama with a real depth of emotion and credibility. Backed up by a strong supporting cast of familiar faces (Leslie Philips, Sylvia Syms) this is a quintessentially English story that should find itself a wide audience.