Review: The Phone Call

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Heather, a socially awkward, shy woman, works at as a counsellor at a help-line.  One day she receives a distressing call from a man who sounds extremely depressed.  He has swallowed a large quantity of pills. Heather gets invested in the caller’s story and keeps him on the line, desperately trying to find out who is is, and where he is, in a bid to save his life.

Directed by Mat Kirkby and written by Kirkby and James Lucas, the short film stars Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent.  It is a quiet film that really stays with you, days after you see it.  It is based on a heartfelt script and the cinematography is simple, subtle and draws you in as the story progresses.  I found the film gut-wrenching to watch at times, but ultimately, it is an inspiring story about humanity and compassion.

This incredible film was awarded the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2015.

The entire film is available on Kanopy.

Pro Tip: You can access the streaming service Kanopy free with your Ottawa Public Library Card. Kanopy offers a large collection of high quality films and documentaries from art-house classics to world cinema. You can stream up to 4 films per month. If you are outside of the Ottawa area, check with your local library. They may have access to Kanopy or a similar service.

More info & links:

Jith Paul

Web Designer, Editor, Film Reviewer

Jith Paul is an independent filmmaker based in Ottawa. While pursuing a career as a software engineer, he decided to take a detour to follow his passion for film and filmmaking, establishing Treepot Media in 2010.

He is a co-founder of the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival, and editor of the film613 blog.

When he is not busy fighting crime, he coordinates the efforts of an international team of software developers and service providers as the Team Lead for Digital Development at CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel.