“Breathe” is a breath of fresh air
I usually don’t like disease films; they follow the same pattern with the patient dying in the end and me going home depressed. Don’t get me wrong, the patient dies at the end of “Breathe” too, so take a box of Kleenex but, the film is so inspiring that you don’t mind the fact that Robin dies. He lived a good life and lived years longer than anyone could have possibly expected and this is a true story.
“Breathe” is a love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish. When Robin is struck down by polio in Kenya at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. Diana refuses to give up in the face of a Robin’s devastating disease. With the help of her twin brothers brilliantly played by Tom Hollander and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall, Robin escapes a drab hospital ward to seek a full life with his wife and son.
Academy Award nominee Andrew Garfield of “Hackworth Ridge” stars as Robin Cavendish. Claire Foy plays his wife Diana. Tom Hollander plays twins Bloggs and David Blacker. Hugh Bonneville is Teddy Hall. Many will recognize Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham of “Downton Abbey”.
There is real chemistry between the two leads and they are supported by a phenomenal cast.
“Breathe” marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis. Serkis does a tremendous job in his first directorial effort.
The film was written by two-time Academy Award nominee William Nicholson who also penned “Unbroken,” “Gladiator” and “Les Miserables” to name just a few of the many movies he has written. “Breathe” is a beautiful story that is so well-written that it flows with no gaps or lags.
I loved the music. The film opened and closed with the duet by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly: “True Love” from “High Society.” We also heard Lee Marvin sing “Wand’rin Star” from “Paint your Wagon.”
The make-up crew needs a nod also, the way they subtly aged the entire cast was extraordinarily well-done.
When Academy Award nominations are announced, “Breathe” will be named in several categories.
An interesting note: Robin and Diana’s son John was one of the producers of the film.
I recommend this film to everyone but especially those parents who do not inoculate their children against polio. They need to see this film to understand what a devastating life they are exposing their children to. I grew up fearing this insidious disease so my sisters and I were first in line to be inoculated. Polio was eradicated until Jenny McCarthy and some doctor scared parents by saying that inoculations cause autism. It is not true; hundreds of studies have proved, without a doubt, that autism is not caused by inoculations.
Unfortunately, you will have to go to Plaza Frontenac to see this film but is worth the drive.