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).