Breathe (2017)

1hr 58mins | Rated M | Adult themes

The tale of a man who becomes suddenly paralysed and regains the will to live through the sheer will of his wife, Breathe could look like a red rag to a cynical viewer. But on the strength of its two main stars and adept direction by adopted-Kiwi Andy Serkis, in fact Breathe turns out to be quite charming and frequently delightful.
In subject, setting and class it feels rather like a throwback to Merchant Ivory days, and has a terrific cast which includes The Crown's Claire Foy, Diana Rigg and Downton's Hugh Bonneville. To cap this off, we get not one but two Tom Hollanders. The best thing in The Night Manager plays twins and there is a special joy to be had in watching Hollander bitch at himself.
Andrew Garfield (superb in The Social Network and Hacksaw Ridge) plays real-life disability advocate Robin Cavendish, married scarcely a year when he is struck down by polio and rendered immobile and increasingly pessimistic. With an infant son and a catastrophically cut-short adventurous spirit, Cavendish is told he has months to live and confined to a bed in an institution. His loyal wife isn't having any of it, however, and together they try to construct a way for the once sport-obsessed fellow to regain a reason to live and a quality of life.
While compelling in its narrative and charmingly British, it's tempting to accuse the film of being merely Oscar bait. But while Garfield is indeed solid in his performance, unusually for a film with such a flagrantly unsubtle premise it is Foy and Garfield's relationship which both touches and inspires. Both are splendid in their roles, and utterly convincing in love.
Sunday Star Times