Review: ‘Decoding Annie’

Samantha Morton

Samantha Morton, the fine and oddly underemployed British actress, won the Best Actress prize from the Seattle International Film Festival last year. Her performance is just now emerging for a regular run, as Decoding Annie Parker finally turns up in theaters. The film is based on a true story about the search for the gene that causes breast cancer, and one woman’s experience with her cancer-riddled family. These parallel plots travel from the early 1970s to the recent past.

Morton plays Annie Parker, a young woman already anxious about cancer — her mother and sister (Marley Shelton) have contracted the disease. Eventually (this is not much of a spoiler) she is diagnosed with breast cancer herself; the struggle takes a toll on her marriage to a cheerful but immature musician (Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad, quite good here).

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