On its surface, Breathe seems like a Hallmark movie-of-the-week. Telling the true story of wheelchair pioneer Robin Cavendish, the film certainly has the narrative beats and manipulative music cues of a tv movie, and cynics will undoubtedly be put off by director Andy Serkis’ personal connection to the Cavendish family. Look beneath its tv movie trappings, however, and you’ll find a beautiful and inspirational celebration of living life to its fullest.
Elevated by lead performers Andrew Garfield (portraying central character Robin Cavendish) and The Crown‘s Claire Foy (who plays his wife, Diana), the biopic chronicles Robin’s decades-long battle with polio and his stubborn refusal to be limited by his disease.
Serkis, best known for his brilliant motion-capture performances in the Planet of the Apes films and as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings franchise, proves himself a capable director, and his upcoming Jungle Book film will be stunning, if this film is any indication.
Watch for Garfield and Foy to be nominated for Oscars for their tour de force performances in Breathe.