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Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham Star In Harrowing Covid-Era Drama

Acorn TV has released the trailer for Help, a harrowing Covid-centric drama starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham. Help premiered on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom last year to rave reviews, and North American viewers will soon be able to witness this timely and heartfelt film. Help is directed by Marc Munden (Utopia, The Third Day) from a screenplay by Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, Enola Holmes). You can check out the trailer below.

The official plot synopsis reads: “Help tells the moving story of a relationship between a young care worker, Sarah (Jodie Comer), who forms an unlikely bond with a patient, Tony (Stephen Graham), who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. When the coronavirus pandemic hits in Spring of 2020, their worlds are completely upended.”

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Help also stars Ian Hart, Lesley Sharp, Andrew Schofield, and Cathy Tyson. The film was mostly shot in Liverpool and surrounding areas and clocks in at a brisk 98-minute runtime. Help mainly focuses on the relationship between rookie care assistant Sarah and the residents of a local care home in Liverpool. But the lockdown and coronavirus outbreak disrupts everyone’s lives, as can be seen in the trailer. Help also features a 26-minute long-take scene in the third act, which Comer has called the most challenging scene in the film.

Related: Jodie Comer Drops Out of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Drama Kitbag

Help Aims To Raise Awareness About The Plight Of Care Homes In The U.K. During The Pandemic

Five-time BAFTA-winner Jack Thorne was approached by Graham a couple years ago to write something for him and Jodie Comer. Thorne initially wanted to write about different aspects of care homes, but the way the Covid-19 pandemic was handled and how people suffered because of it made him change his mind. Thorne said the following in a statement:

“Help was written in extreme anger about the state of care – not just in the U.K. but around the world – and the lack of priority it was given around the world. Too many disabled people died in the pandemic because their needs weren’t prioritized. It was also written as a love song to the care industry. My mom was a carer and I saw firsthand the beautiful effort she put in to looking after her clients and residents. An underpaid job, that is vital in our times, and those that kept going into those homes, despite the risk to themselves, and despite the poor pay, are our true heroes.”

Thorne added, “Doing research for this was a process unlike any other. I’ve written bleak stories before, but very few when the temperature of the room was still so hot. There is no doubt that many carers and residents are still struggling with shielding and with PTSD and I do think TV – that vital empathy box in the corner of the room – can help to shed light on this, and hopefully lead to an increased focus on the needs of the care home.”

Although quite bleak, Help is also remarkably well-made and features stellar performances from its two leads, Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham. It is a must-watch for anyone craving serious dramas. Help premieres on January 31, 2022, on Acorn TV.


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