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Shirley Adams2009

  • 4.3
In this deeply affecting portrait of ordinary courage in present-day South Africa, a single mother, Shirley Adams, struggles to care for her paraplegic teenage son, Donovan, in a depressed district on the outskirts of Cape Town. Wearied but resolute, she desperately clings to him as he withdraws from the world following a suicide attempt. She is hopeful when his spirits are momentarily lifted by the appearance of Tamsin, a pretty but overeager social worker. But when the relationship between Donovan and Tamsin sours, his fragile emotional health declines and Shirley's faith and perseverance are put to the ultimate test. First-time director Oliver Hermanus's observant camera holds close to its subjects, capturing the claustrophobia, intimacy and hushed anguish surrounding the tender daily routines of a mother and her child.

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"...a penetrating study in fortitude and optimism in the face of desperate odds." - Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter


1 member likes this review

Mother and son share the empathy and burden of letting each other love and let go. Shirley Adams is the epitome of fortitude and courage. Such a beautifully, patiently, gently told story. The actors are excellent.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (2)

180311.small
top reviewer

Mother and son share the empathy and burden of letting each other love and let go. Shirley Adams is the epitome of fortitude and courage. Such a beautifully, patiently, gently told story. The actors are excellent.

1 member likes this review

Powerful story and even better acting!