Today was my first trip to the London Film Festival this year. I promised to write about those films that inspired me and this one most certainly did! I am booked to see eight films over the course of the Festival. This is the first film I have seen and I am going to stick my neck out and say it will be the best film that I will see at the Festival (even though I am seeing the new Benedict Cumberbatch film and the new Ralph Fiennes film). So what was it?
The film was 50/50, which is billed as an original story of friendship, love and survival - and finding humour in the most unlikely places. It is here:
This is another "Cancer" film. Unlike Third Star, which focuses on friendship and stays away from hospitals and all the associated paraphernalia, this film is most definitely about Cancer - diagnosis, treatment, doctors, patients, hospitals, chemotherapy, surgery, therapy etc. 50/50 refers to the chances of surviving this type of Cancer. It focuses very much on what it is like to get a Cancer diagnosis, how it makes you feel, and how others react to the diagnosis. It looks at the devastating impact it can have on your life, your relationships, your friendships and all those who care about you. It follows the male lead through the whole process from diagnosis, to treatment, to negative news, to recovery and hope. It looks at the support networks that you need to get you through this sort of experience - a best friend, family, and even a dog! This being Hollywood, there is a positive outcome, and we are left at the end of the film with a feeling of hope and optimism. This film is not dark or depressing to watch in any way - it is funny, very emotional, moving and deeply touching.
I will declare a personal interest here. I had a similar experience(s) a few years back. I had a much easier break than cancer. But I went pretty much overnight from being a busy professional civil servant to a professional patient. I would describe the whole experience as a nightmare and the road back to normality was long and hard but I made it - twice! So yes I connected with the film and it spoke to me.
This film was excellent - it reaches the parts other films do not reach - and I am highly highly highly recommending it.
London Film Festival. Browse the full programme and book tickets here: