The two of them communicate absolute trust in each other, and inspire the same in the audience. And that's why despite the good and credible performances of Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, the film never manages to overcome the same barrier that its story imposes on it because although it doesn't cease to be a good subject, there's little they can extract that it feels like something new or different. David Holmes and Brian Irvine’s score is melodic and insistent, and it knows when to fall away into silence to let the audience appreciate Neeson and Manville’s superb chemistry.

© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Tom feeds the fish in his aquarium, and he and Joan take daily power walks and squabble about nutrition, but any cultural interests or political opinions they might have remain unspoken.

The narrative of “Ordinary Love,” which stretches between two Christmases, deals with what happens after Joan finds a lump in her left breast. Or has their existing grief somehow partly numbed, or inoculated them against the more commonplace pain of getting cancer in your 60s?

Now their fragile relationship is further tested when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.

It almost works, but as persuasive as the performers can be, Tom and Joan seem less real the more time you spend with them.
An everyday couple with a remarkable love…

When her hair starts to come out in clumps, it is time for Tom to cut it all off and shave her head.

He was a teacher who once had Joan's daughter Debbie in his class.

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There are, arguably, scenes in this film which are less than subtle – and there were times when I wanted something more indirect. A difficult but impactful watch, Ordinary Love successfully portrays love and loss in a way that feels entirely human.

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