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UK, 2017, Drama, 105 minutes, English
Director: Richard Eyre
Principal Cast: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead
Adapted by Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan from his own novel, this riveting drama stars two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as a British High Court judge tasked with making a decision that will speak to our most fraught questions regarding religious tolerance — and could mean life or death for an innocent young man. Judge Fiona Maye is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, Jack, 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. Fiona finds herself taking unusual measures to determine her verdict – measures that will have far-reaching consequences.
The Children Act brims with intelligence, sophistication, and intrigue. The elevated tension places unusual focus on its protagonist’s every word and gesture – a challenge Thompson meets with virtuosity. Her Fiona is a cauldron of conflicted feelings bubbling beneath a veneer of composure. As she finds herself sliding deeper into a mire of professional compromise and personal desperation, we come to empathize with her singular burden… and wait for the outcome with keen anticipation.
Review from variety.com