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UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Lindsay Duncan, Paula Sage, Kevin McKidd, Shirley Henderson, James Laurenson, Fiona Bell, Isla Blair, Anthony Strachan, Julie Austin, Maureen Carr, Emma D'Inverno, Eddie Marsan, Stuart Davids, Molly Innes, Isabelle Joss, Julie Wilson Nimmo, Alison Peebles
Director: Alison Peebles
UK: 104 mins
UK Release Date: 15 contains strong language, sex and euthanasia theme
UK Release Date: 13 August 2004 (Limited Release - London, Sheffield and Scotland)
Kenny's (Kevin McKidd) budding journalist career is really beginning to take off in Glasgow, Scotland, aided in no small part by his ambition and guile for getting the grittiest story. He enjoys his life in Glasgow but is drawn to the possibility of a promotion in the US. His shot at the promotion lies in getting the scoop on a controversial doctor who has been cited as practising euthanasia on the mentally ill.
Living a very different lifestyle in Ayrshire, Kenny's mother May (Lindsay Duncan) spends her days looking after her pride and joy: her daughter Roberta (Paula Sage). Roberta is a bright, sassy and artistically gifted girl with Down's Syndrome. She has a penchant for chocolate and a knack for winning at Bingo. Roberta is content in her life with her mother and her felt tip pen art.
The two lives converge when May sprains her ankle while out at the beach with Roberta. Kenny is otherwise indisposed (aka in bed with a rival journalist) when he gets the call from May to come back home. Kenny and his mother spar over his lack of commitment and responsibility to the family, especially when May asks him to look after Roberta while she goes to a doctor's appointment. The appointment clashes with Kenny's big interview with Dr George Wilkinshaw (James Laurenson) and he challenges his mother to change the day so he doesn't have to look after Roberta. May explains the appointment is not flexible and concerns a different health ailment from her foot. She has been diagnosed with progressive cancer and the appointment is to see how far her condition has deteriorated.
Grudgingly, Kenny and Roberta take off to see Dr Wilkinshaw. His long distant and long suffering girlfriend, Ruby (Shirley Henderson) will not help Kenny look after Roberta and announces that she doesn't want to hear from him again. Arriving late at the interview, the doctor and Roberta quickly hit it off much to the chagrin of Kenny but the meeting leads to another invitation to speak with Dr Wilkinshaw which will give Kenny an opportunity see how the doctor operates....
Back in Ayrshire, May's news is not good and she is racked with worry over Roberta's future after she has died. Will her son rise up to his familial responsibilities to Roberta as she has done for the last 20 years or will he walk away?