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Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Tom Riley, Michele Dotrice, Phoebe Nicholls, Ellie Copping

Director: Bill Clark

The problems wrought by a debilitating and life-changing illness are tackled head-on in this unashamed (true-life) tear-jerker, a tough watch full of look-away moments and long, anguished speeches.

Racked with pain, caused he thinks by eating out-of-date sausages, happily-married Tom Ray (Riley) is rushed to hospital and diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of sepsis. In no time, his feet, his hands and even his face turn gangrenous.

The fact that the sausages had nothing to do with it is of little consolation to Tom and wife Nic (another 'stressful' role for Froggatt), as his hands and feet have to be amputated and parts of his face removed.

Despite some reconstructive surgery, he emerges looking horrifyingly akin to the Elephant Man, with a twisted mouth he cannot bear to look at. The rest of the film concerns the efforts of Tom, Nic and their family (four-year-old daughter (Copping) and newborn son) to find some way of coming to terms with his condition, especially after they have to sell their home and move in with her mother (Dotrice).

Despite (or perhaps because of) committed performances, this is quite hard to sit through, not least because there is so little light and shade in the narrative, which could have done with more scenes like the one that ends the film.

David Quinlan

UK 2016. UK Distributor: Genesius Pictures. Colour (unspecified).
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 24 Oct 2016