Andrew Garfield plays inspirational advocate for the disabled Robin Cavendish in Breathe, the feature directorial debut for actor and mo-cap master Andy Serkis.
The film tells the true story of Cavendish, who was struck with polio at 28 and left paralysed from the neck down. Unable to even breathe on his own without the use of a mechanical ventilator, Cavendish was given 3 months to live. Nevertheless, with the help of his loving wife Diana (The Crown‘s Claire Foy), Cavendish persevered, moved out of the hospital against doctor’s orders and lived a life that saw him become an influential advocate, instrumental in developing numerous devices to give the paralysed independence.
This will mark Serkis’ first foray at the helm of a feature prior to Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book, which is scheduled to arrive late 2018. He’s been on the filmmaking path for a while now; Peter Jackson chose Serkis as his second unit director on all three Hobbit films.
It looks like a touching, beautifully performed film, albeit one that has its eye firmly on that tear-jerking sweet spot. It’ll be interesting to see whether audiences and the Academy warm to it, considering some may consider it to be in the same vein as The Theory of Everything, which earned Eddie Redmayne his Oscar. Jake Gyllenhaal is also in a potentially award-attracting true-story role this year with Stronger, where he plays a man who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Breathe, also starring Tom Hollander and Hugh Bonneville, will be released in Australia by Transmission Films on December 26.
Trailer released by U.S. distributor Bleecker Street:
Synopsis for Breathe:
For his directorial debut, Andy Serkis brings to life the inspiring true love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish (Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana’s twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together — raising their young son, traveling and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients. Written by two-time Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, and shot by three-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson, BREATHE is a heartwarming celebration of love and human possibility.