Screening: Wednesday, April 29
Genre: UK drama/romance
Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) are like many other couples who have basked for a very long time in marital sunny skies: comfortable with their daily routines, appreciative of each other’s little kindnesses, tolerant of each other’s foibles and quietly affectionate with each other. However one day, storm clouds roll in when Joan discovers a lump in her breast -- a cyst or tumour? It is a tumour: the skies darken and heavy winds sweep through. Joan must undergo a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Now the couple faces cancer’s full force gale.
At first Tom is impatient and wants to take some kind of direct action to protect Joan from the ravages of her illness. Although she is engaged in a life and death fight, he soon realizes that there is no heroic action that he can possibly take to save her. Only empathy, humour and compassion, can dispel Joan’s pain, the couple’s fear of their future prospects, and the depressing realities of Joan’s cancer care (monotonous hospital visits and depersonalized treatment.)
Drawing on his own insights after his wife battled cancer, screenwriter Owen McCafferty shows us that Joan and Tom’s ordinary love for each other is in the end, extraordinary: it is the only force that can truly make them strong enough to withstand cancer’s destructive blast.