“What follows is true” flashes on the screen in the opening shot, that truth is revealed to be a clean, easily digestible replica bathed in honeyed cinematography and sentimentalised adulation.
A tea-broker who contracted polio in Kenya in the late 1950s, just a year into married life, the paralysed Robin Cavendish was put on a respirator and given months to live. But more than 20 years later, thanks to a wholegrain blend of resourcefulness, gumption and an upper lip so stiff it could have supported his own bodyweight, he is still going strong.
Andy Serkis takes time out from mo-capping goblins and apes to direct this non-prescription pick-me-up about overcoming adversity. It may all sound like Oscar bait, there’s a sneaking suspicion that any able-bodied actor playing a disabled role has hidden an acceptance speech somewhere about the wheelchair, but Andrew Garfield's performance is so obviously sincere that it blasts away such scepticism. It's hard not to be moved by a man's selfless actions to help thousands of people in need and to provide them with the mobility they need. (research Jack Whiting) Come and breathe it in.