A remarkable true story is ready be told for the first time on the big screen, here are all the details…
Spoilers may follow.
What’s it about?
Robin Cavendish was 28 and in the early days of launching his own tea-broking business in Africa when, in December 1958, he was diagnosed with Polio. Paralysed from the neck down and transferred to a hospital in England on a respirator, Cavendish told his 25 year-old wife, Diana, that she was to ‘turn off the machine’ and start again with her life.
Stoically refusing, Diana helped her husband find new purpose in life, leaving the hospital (against advice) a year later and moving into an old country home with their young child Jonathan.
Over the next 36 years, the Cavendish family, along with friend Teddy Hall, not only managed to find radical ways to improve their situation but campaign to better the lives of fellow sufferers across the world.
Breathe is their story, their incredible journey and their undying love for each other against all odds.
Who’s in it?
Andrew Garfield stars as Robin, fresh from his critically acclaimed roles in Silence and Hacksaw Ridge earlier this year, with The Crown’s Claire Foy as Diana – who is still going strong at 83. Their son Jonathan is played by Dean-Charles Chapman.
Hugh Bonneville (Paddington, Viceroy’s House)supports, in the amiable way only he can, as Teddy, with the marvellous Tom Hollander (In the Loop) doubling up as Diana’s twin brothers Bloggs and David Blacker.
Stephen Mangan plays a Polio-supporting charity man, with Miranda Raison and Ed Speleers as family friends, Mary and Colin.
In a smaller role, Dame Diana Rigg also appears.
Who’s made it?
Breathe is a product of The Imaginarium, the production company launched in 2011 by Andy Serkis, who makes his directorial debut here, and Jonathan Cavendish himself, who produces the film as a project quite clearly close to his heart.
The film’s script comes from, Everest and Gladiator writer, William Nicholson, with a music arrangement composed by Nitin Sawhney, who will score Serkis’ and The Imaginarium’s next project too – next year’s motion-capture The Jungle Book.
The cinematography for Breathe has been done by Robert Richardson, a man whose pedigree has seen him become one of only three living persons who have won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography a stunning three times – for JFK, The Aviator and Hugo.
When’s it out?
Breathe kicked off this year’s London Film Festival as the Opening Night Gala Presentation on October 2nd but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the wide release.
The film is to open in the UK and Ireland on October 27th.
Watch the trailer here: