• Jamie Morris

Weekend Pick: Help

Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer gives a vital performance as a strained care worker in this pulse-pounding TV movie...

Nearly two years into the pandemic, you’d be forgiven for avoiding Covid-focused dramas in favour of something more escapist – but the Channel 4 feature Help serves as a startling reminder of the harsh realities faced by care home staff and residents when the virus first began to strike.

Produced by and starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham – two of the UK’s finest active screen actors – the film depicts key worker Sarah’s efforts to keep dementia sufferers safe in a system that has all but cast them aside.

Her helpless struggles make for difficult viewing – quite literally in some cases, as the film’s extensive use of shallow focus captures Sarah’s fatigue to nauseating effect.

The film’s greatest achievement, however, is its suffocatingly tense 26-minute single take sequence, in which Sarah is left to her own devices as a resident is hit with severe Covid symptoms during a night shift.

If you weren’t already angry about how the UK government has handled the pandemic, then you may well be once you’ve watched this.