Starfish: actor Tom Riley gives a harrowingly convincing portrayal
Not entirely sure when this review was posted by the Radio Times, but the original review for the film has been replaced by a slightly different, more detailed one, with very kind things to say about the film, and Tom's performance.
This true-life medical saga chronicles the struggle faced by Rutland couple Tom and Nicola Ray when he was suddenly struck down by sepsis, an often fatal response to infection which sends the body's immune system haywire. After quadruple amputation and the removal of part of his face, Tom survived to confront a future he never anticipated. Thanks to convincing prosthetics (and Ray himself as a body double) actor Tom Riley gives a harrowingly convincing portrayal of a man battling understandable bitterness and self-pity. Riley is complemented by a heart-rending Joanne Froggatt as the wife and mother buckling under the strain of keeping their young family together. Evidently assembled on modest resources, writer/director Bill Clark's film treats bracing subject matter with honesty and often startling intimacy but never loses sight of the courage shown by this particular family and the many others in the country affected by a truly horrifying condition. The heroic cast certainly play their parts by raising awareness through an undeniably affecting drama. 4****