The Children Act

Certificate 12A

(2017) 105 mins

Director: Richard Eyre
Writer: Ian McEwan, based on his own novel
Cinematography: Andrew Dunn
Production Design: Peter Francis
Music: Stephen Warbeck


As her marriage to Jack (Stanley Tucci) flounders, eminent High Court judge Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) has a life-changing decision to make at work – should she force a teenage boy, Adam (Fionn Whitehead), to have the blood transfusion that will save his life? Her unorthodox visit to his hospital bedside has a profound impact on them both, stirring strong new emotions in the boy and long-buried feelings in her.

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Richard Eyre’s direction is as delicate as a June morning and Thompson gives a performance that deserves a standing ovation. Forget the early days of Tutti Frutti and the fun stuff, she has emerged as Meryl Streep’s equal at the top of the actors’ pinnacle. As Judge Maye she carries herself with dignity and her audience with gratitude.”  Eye for Film

The Children Act is concerned with love, intimacy and moral responsibility and it is refreshing to see a movie which sets itself standards of this sort. But there is also something a little too neat in the way all these things are wrapped up. Emma Thompson’s performance, so elegant and vulnerable, carries the picture.”  The Guardian

“Adapted by McEwan from his own novel and bolstered by an expressive performance by Emma Thompson (astounding even by her consistently high standards), The Children Act is perhaps a bit stilted in the overt way it sometimes attempts to spell out its arguments. But director Richard Eyre’s film still poses sophisticated questions around family, religion, marriage, law and the delicate boundaries that can or cannot be crossed in each institution.”

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