The revolutionary discovery that breast cancer can be passed from mother to daughter through the BRCA1 gene gets the big-screen treatment in Decoding Annie Parker. Samantha Morton plays the titular character, a breast-cancer patient who has lost her mother and sister to the disease. Naturally, she intuits that breast cancer has a genetic basis, an idea that goes against the scientific conventional wisdom of the 1980s.
The only medical expert to agree with Annie is Dr. Mary-Claire King, whose research team would go on to prove that BRCA1 infects family trees. Based on real events, the film criss-crosses between patient and doctor’s separate and joint efforts to make institutional medicine listen to what they have to say about women’s bodies.
Aaron Paul co-stars as Annie’s ne’er-do-well husband, as does Rashida Jones, who plays Annie’s friend.
Decoding Annie Parker will be released on May 2.