The first trailer for the much-anticipated marital drama Ordinary Love has been released, with stars Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville breaking hearts in under two minutes.

Based on a script by playwright Owen McCafferty, with the Good Vibrations duo of Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn directing, Ordinary Love tells the story of Belfast couple Joan and Tom, and the challenges they face when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Neeson told US entertainment industry website Deadline last year that he tests a script by seeing if he wants to get up and make a cup of tea within 10 minutes of starting to read it.

"I went straight through this one," he recounted to Deadline's Andreas Wiseman.

"I knew it was special. The subject matter is heavy but it's a beautiful love story. It's invested with Irish humour and it made me cry a little. I knew I had to do it."

Ordinary Love is released in cinemas on Friday, December 6

The script for Ordinary Love had been passed on to Neeson by U2 frontman Bono, with Neeson making sure that the screenplay then made its way to Phantom Thread star Manville.

"From my experience, the only other film I can think of where virtually nothing changed in the script was Schindler's List," he said.

"It was ready to shoot the next day."

Neeson said he was "very aware" of cancer, having lost a number of relatives to the disease in recent years.

"People still whisper about cancer," he continued. "But why do we speak in hushed tones about a disease which is so prevalent and attacks so many we know? We're all one degree of separation away from this experience. Millions of women go through this particular cancer."

"We're representing the story of what they go through," he explained.

"It can be ugly and brutal but there's an extraordinary love and humour channelling through their experience. It's essentially a love story about two normal people: lower middle-class, ex-civil servants."

Ordinary Love is released in cinemas on Friday, December 6.

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