The Children Act
Directed by Richard Eyre. UK. 2017. R. 1 hour 45 minutes. A24. Digital.
Fri., September 28, 2018 thru Thu., October 4, 2018
Ends Thu, Oct 4.
Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is intensely dedicated to her profession, never finding time to have her own children while fully assuming the immense responsibility of making life-and-death decisions about the children of others. As Fiona is about to embark on one of the most challenging cases of her career, Jack (Stanley Tucci) her neglected and increasingly frustrated husband, makes a shocking revelation, sending her into an emotional tailspin. The case in question concerns seventeen-year-old Adam (Fionn Whitehead), a Jehovah’s Witness suffering from leukemia, whose life could be saved by a simple blood transfusion, but who is refusing on religious grounds. Though just months shy of his eighteenth birthday, when he could legally choose for himself, Adam’s fate instead rests with Fiona, who, uncertain in her decision, makes the unusual move of leaving her courtroom to visit Adam’s hospital bedside. Their encounter forges a profound and unexpected connection, leading them both to challenge their beliefs, evaluate their choices, and grapple with the ultimate question of what constitutes right and wrong.
“Told with a depth of empathy so profound — and so British — that a rather sizable segment of the viewing public will either reject or ignore it outright, “The Children Act” is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns — not just the quite personal complexities of maintaining a 30-year relationship with no children of their own, but the more broad-reaching tension between the law and firmly held religious belief. That’s something we’ve reliably come to expect from McEwan, whose novels include “Atonement” and the newly adapted “On Chesil Beach,” which have collectively yielded some of the richest female screen roles this century.” – Peter Debruge, Variety
Access reviews at Metacritic.