THE CHILDREN ACT
November 7 – 2PM + 7:30PM
UK, 2017 – Rated: PG – 105 minutes
Directed by Richard Eyre
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 (The Legend of Barney Thomson; Alone in Berlin) 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 (Thompson) is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, Jack (Stanley Tucci, Spotlight; Margin Call), 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 (Fionn Whitehead, Dunkirk)? Fiona finds herself taking unusual measures to determine her verdict — measures that will have far-reaching consequences.
Directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal), 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.
“The Children Act is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns.”
– Peter Debruge,