After years of critical success as an actor, Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut with Breathe, the inspiring biopic portrait of Robin Cavendish. After being diagnosed with polio at age 28, Cavendish served as a global advocate for people living with disabilities and assisted in the development of medical technologies that transformed the lives of paralyzed individuals everywhere.
Andrew Garfield stars as Cavendish alongside Claire Foy (The Lady in the Van, Rosewater) as devoted wife Diana Blacker in this heartwarming chronicle of a couple determined to break barriers for families facing physical challenges. Completely paralyzed from the neck down, Cavendish was put on a medical respirator but refused to be confined by his hospital bed. Against his doctors’ advice, he and Diana bravely set off on a worldwide quest with their son, Jonathan (Dean-Charles Chapman), to share their story. Not only was Cavendish a miracle of science for being one of the longest living polio survivors, but he was also a pioneer in the medical community for his innovating efforts to enhance mobility for the physically impaired. With the help of his friend, professor, and inventor Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville, TV’s Downton Abbey), Cavendish used himself as a guinea pig to test the first wheelchair with a built-in respirator. While he and Diana faced unique pressures in their relationship, their unwavering strength and spirit lies at the heart of this story.
Known for his performance capture roles in films like the The Hobbit and The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis daringly steps into a new genre in this brilliant, life-affirming love story about perseverance, courage, and human connection. Garfield masterfully pulls off a challenging performance, transforming physically and psychologically to capture Cavendish’s optimistic and resilient spirit. Written by two-time Academy Award nominee William Nicholson (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and produced by Cavendish’s son, Breathe shares one of the most hopeful and awe-inspiring tales of the season.