The Secret Friend Flavio Alves

The Secret Friend Flavio Alves
Recently widowed, elderly Anna Marshall (Viola Davis) spends her days at home alone, engaging in conversations with her plants. Occasionally, a friendly neighbour will stop by for a brief chat, bringing by a baked good, or something, to placate obligation, but mostly, Anna is on her own. This is why she finds such curiosity in a routine crank caller who says nothing at all, but calls at 3:30 p.m. every day. Being only a 15-minute short, the gimmick works as a brief and curiously sunny look at the loneliness of the elderly. It's a bit patronizing in the sense that, as usual, an older woman is portrayed as a sweet and harmless victim with exceedingly simple needs, but given the humble template of grabbing onto whatever survival mode is available, this is mostly forgivable. Slight and harmless, The Secret Friend is little more than a mediocre cliché, but a sweet enough one at that. (Factor 8)