Miller's 'true story' medical drama is based on the case of the Odones, an economist and his linguist wife, whose five-year-old son Lorenzo was diagnosed as having ALD, a degenerative, quickly fatal, and little understood brain disease. The couple (Nolte and Sarandon) refuse to accept the inevitable, abandon work to care for their son at home, and set about learning biochemistry to find a cure, in so doing taking on the medical profession and the received wisdom of the charity organisations. The film comes over as a tour de force version of the disease-of-the-week TV movie: half scientific detective story, half domestic drama, replete with scenes of suffering. Throughout, Miller points up every least thing: religious symbolism, snow-dusted Christmas windows for pathos, spinning news headlines, and swirling, diving camera movements. Finally, it begins to seem a little dishonest and self-conscious, as if Miller were trying to make an AIDS movie with hope and a positive ending. The night of San Lorenzo, after all, is the night when wishes come true.