Sarah Lancashire in Cherished (2005)

A Mother's Sorrow

When there baby dies in his cot Angela Cannings (Sarah Lancashire) and her husband Terry's (Timothy Spall) lives are turned upside down as this is their third child who has died of suspected cot death and child services become curious of what has been going on. Whilst their eldest daughter is fine Angela finds herself being arrested for the suspected murder of her three children which causes tension between Angela and her husband. During the court case an "expert witness" is called who states that after one cot death it is unlikely for a second to occur let alone a third leading to Angela's eventual imprisonment but still with her husband and family fighting for her freedom.

Somewhere in the corner of my mind I remember the case of Angela Cannings when it was in the news probably when it came to the eventual outcome of things a couple of years later which as "Cherished" is based on a true story I will say her sentence of life imprisonment ended up being over turned on appeal and the expert witness was struck off. As such "Cherished", without wanting to demean the true story, is a simple reconstruction of events whilst highlighting how the opinion of one so called expert lead to not only her imprisonment but also others where there had been multiple cot deaths in one family.

Timothy Spall in Cherished (2005)

Now this is where I find myself at a bit of a loss because "Cherished" is a very well made TV movie which not only highlights the wrong which was done but delivers the emotional drama of how this affected Angela and her husband Terry. But beyond that what is it, I would not call it entertaining because frankly the wrong which was done to the Cannings could never be classed as entertainment whilst if it was to make an example of those at wrong for the injustice which was done it doesn't succeed as it pulls its punches. So the end result is just a dramatization of a true story, informative but when it is over it is over. Of course you could say that about all true story movies but this one lacks the sensationalism of those made across the pond which in turn gives it that strange, almost what is the point feel about it.

What this all boils down to is that "Cherished" is technically a well made true story TV movie and is nicely acted by all those involved especially Sarah Lancashire and Timothy Spall but this is one of these true story dramatization which ends and you question as to why there was a need for it to be made.