"Is Anybody There" is a 2008 production of British Broadcasting Corporation Films that has achieved theatrical release. It runs 95 minutes, was written by Peter Harness, directed by John Crowley, and stars that wonderful actor Michael Caine. It is set in 1980's seaside England: it looks/sounds like the North of England to me, and concerns the interactions of Caine, playing the Amazing Clarence Parkinson, retired magician, unwillingly taking up residence in an old people's home; and Edward (Bill Milner), an unusual ten year old boy who's fascinated by death, and well-placed to investigate that fascination, as he's growing up in the old people's home that's run by his parents. Anne-Marie Duff plays Edward's Mum; David Morrissy, his Dad. The home is populated by a veritable stock company of well-known older English actors: considering the prevalence of plastic surgery, they might well have been made-up to look older, as Caine might have been. (The man seems to have no personal vanity.) They include Rosemary Harris as Elsie, Leslie Phillips as Reg, Elizabeth Spriggs as Prudence (it was her last picture); Sylvia Syms as Lilian, and that North of England stalwart, Peter Vaughan, as Bob. Speaking of which, you can cut the North of England accents in this picture with a knife: subtitles would sure have been helpful. Despite which, the acting is uniformly very good. Conservative Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister in the 1980's; as this film is apparently set on her watch it might have had some political thoughts. Thatcher's governance was noted for great, although costly in human terms, improvements in the British economy, and I'm a little surprised to see this setting of the family-run nursing home at that time. At one time, these live-in family nursing homes were not uncommon: a family just had to get a big old house -- they were not too popular, then --- and some old people to fill the rooms, and they had a living. I wouldn't have thought this business model had lingered into the 1980's; but perhaps it did linger in the North. Let's face it; the subject matter makes this movie a downer. The thing about getting old is, you generally get sick, physically and/or mentally; you lose your looks, your job, your loved ones, and your friends; you get lonely, and then you die. There is some cheerfulness and hope in Caine's relationship with the boy; but this movie is certainly not going to be everybody's cuppa. The best reason to see it is, of course, Caine, a marvelous actor and a thrifty one, who can do a lot with a little. And he did give a bit of a nod to his loyal, longtime fans: at one point he's explaining to the boy why his marriage broke up, and he says," I couldn't settle down. I was very good-looking then, and I couldn't keep it in my pants." Well, hello, Alfie: some of us remember just how he looked then. For us, I give the movie an extra star.