The Children Act

The Children Act


Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead star in this morally complex legal drama based on Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel about a judge forced to determine a child’s fate.... More

"Judge Fiona Maye (Thompson) is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, Jack (Tucci), who announces that he wants to have an affair. Treating the matter more as an annoyance than a life-altering crisis, Fiona kicks Jack out and focuses on her current case. The question: should a couple who are Jehovah's Witnesses be permitted to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their leukemia-stricken 17-year-old son (Whitehead)? Fiona finds herself taking unusual measures to determine her verdict — measures that will have far-reaching consequences." (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • The two central performances could hardly be better. Thompson works here with remarkable subtlety. Full Review

  • The Children Act is a cerebral piece, for sure, and a disturbing one by the end, but Thompson's performance brings life to the complex moral questions it attempts to examine. Full Review

  • ... "The Children Act" is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns... Full Review

  • It's always rewarding to watch Thompson bring her lucid wit and deep emotional reserves to bear on a meaty role. Full Review

  • This film adaptation never reaches the intimate heights of Ian McEwan's novel, but Emma Thompson's portrait of a family court judge who lets the world in at the cost of losing her own judgment is acting of the highest order. Full Review

  • No one gives better pensive gaze here than Thompson; the drama lies in the fallibility of even the most competent and well-intentioned among us. Full Review

  • A beautifully internalised performance from Ms. Thompson and the various efforts to highlight the cinematic potential in Fiona's anguish... can't override the tidy ironies of Mr. McEwan's design. Full Review

  • Another reminder, if one were needed, of the subtlety and skill of Emma Thompson's stratospheric talent. Full Review

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