You might be wondering – alright, the schlocky and the ridiculous Songbird notwithstanding – when we would have our first humanist drama centered on the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems inevitable from day one of the first lockdown, after all: We did actually experience the intrigue of a particularly dark Hollywood picture, so why wouldn’t there be a movie or two?
Well, wait no longer. Acorn TV has unveiled the North American montage of its trailer for To help, written by Jack Thorne and featuring the currently hot Jodie comer. Comer plays Sarah, a caregiver caught in the first wave of the coronavirus crisis, with Stephen Graham taking the place of Tony, one of her patients, who has dementia precocious. Located in the working-class city of Liverpool in northern England, Sarah finds herself struggling on her own – without PPE now known to be life-saving, and without the help of Her Majesty’s Government – to save the residents of the House of care. (It’s even implied that the UK’s first coronavirus death is that of a 70-year-old patient at home. Talk about big drama.)
To help is led by Marc Munden, and won the Rose d’Or Award for Best Drama in November of last year. Thorne had this to say about his article on the pandemic:
“Aid was written in extreme anger about the state of care – not just in the UK but the world – and the lack of priority it has been given around the world. Too many people with disabilities are died in the pandemic because their needs were not a priority … It was also a love song for the healthcare industry. My mother was a caregiver and I saw with my own eyes the beautiful effort which she deployed to care for her clients and residents. An underpaid job, which is vital in our time, and those who continued to enter these homes, despite the risk to themselves and despite the mediocre salary , are our real heroes. “
He goes on to describe the film’s research process as “like no other,” noting that while his previous stories have been just as dark, none hit when the iron was so hot. After all, the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, with new pressures placed on states around the world by the rising tide of the Omicron variant. “There is no doubt that many caregivers and residents are still struggling with shielding and PTSD and I think television – that vital empathy box in the corner of the room – can help shed light on that and, hopefully, lead to an increased focus on the needs of the care home, ”Thorne suggested.
To help premieres Monday, Jan.31 on Acorn TV. Check out the trailer below.
Bring the soaring fists and crane kicks!
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