Now, has this blog turned into those movie-review/promotion blogs? Nope, all posts must have something to do with Taiwan, so does this movie. Starring Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, and Keri Russell, Extraordinary Measures 愛的代價 tells a story of a Portland couple who has two children with Pompe disease, a genetic anomaly that kills before a child’s tenth birthday. The husband, John, who’s in advertising, contacts Robert Stonehill, a researcher who has a theory on an enzyme treatment. He has little money to pursue his research, and a thorny personality that drives away colleagues and funders. John and his wife Aileen raise money for to get Stonehill going, then John takes on the task full time, working with venture capitalists and then a rival team of researchers. Time is passing, Stonehill’s antics get in the way, and the profit motive may upend John’s hopes….. (Excerpt from IMDB.)
The plot was based on the book The Cure by Geeta Anand, a Wall Street Journal journalist, who interviewed the then-professor and chief of medical genetics at the Duke University Medical Center, current Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of Institute of BioMedical Sciences and Academician ofthe Academic Sinica of Taiwan – Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen 陳垣崇. Dr. Chen, a Taiwan-native and graduate of the National Taiwan University, and his research teams developed the cure for Pompe disease when he was at Duke University. His research for the cure was not easy, as with limited fund and medicine, he could only choose three human testing subjects, which not only made other patients’ parents protest, but also attracted attention from the US Congress, the White House, and the mainstream media. After 18 months of interview by Anand, the book was published, the cure was found, and the movie was up for production. Dr. Chen humbly responded that it is an honor to be portrayed by an international movie star, even though the character in the movie is only partially him, as the plot has been changed for dramatic purposes. He thought it is a good start for people to understand the Pompe disease through movie.