The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
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
Three wheelchairs were made by Teddy Hall, he named them the 'Cavendish' wheelchair. Teddy Hall built the original chairs with his own money. He had a considerable amount of money because his grandfather discovered the largest lump of gold to be found at the time in Australia. See more »
They have a scene of them driving down the road in the van that shows the date 1965 and the song in the background is of Lee Marvin singing "I was born under a Wandering Star". That song came out with the movie Paint My Wagon in 1969 four years later. See more »
[Diana is wheeling Robin out of the hospital in his chair]
It isn't kind to let them out like that.
On the street, where everyone can see?
Believe me, ladies, my distress is far greater than yours.
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Breathing is the most natural thing on earth, right? But when British tea broker Robin Cavendish contracted polio in Kenya in 1958, he found that he was paralysed from the neck down and could not breathe without the constant support of a mechanical ventilator. This true story is told with Andrew Garfield as Robin and Claire Foy as his wife Diana, both of whom give fine performances of nuanced emotion.
Inevitably the film will be compared with "The Theory Of Everything" but it is no bad thing to be reminded that people with disabilities can achieve remarkable things. In Stephen Hawking's case, he was still able to make great contributions to theoretical physics; in the instance of Robin Cavendish, he transformed the treatment of those with paralysis, both in the UK and much wider.
For first time director Andy Serkis, this is clearly a very personal project. His professional partner and producer on the film is Jonathan Cavendish, the son of Robin and Diana, while Serkis's sister has multiple sclerosis. Serkis is known for his acclaimed acting in performance-capture roles, but the only major use of special effects here is to enable Tom Hollander to represent both of Diana's identical twin brothers.
At the end especially, the heart strings are well and truly plucked, but it is gratifying to see such a well-made and life-affirming work on our screens.
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