Smart, elegant, and deeply moving, The Children Act stars two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson in a powerful and riveting performance as Fiona Maye, a British High Court judge who, in the midst of a marital crisis, must rule on a life-changing legal case concerning the survival of a teenage boy (Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead). Fiona 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. Adapted by Ian McEwan from his own novel, and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris), The Children Act is a deeply affecting and unforgettable portrait of strength, devotion, and love.
Every aspect of this fine movie shines. The writing is so well-done. The acting is impeccable. The young boy was looking for someone to guide him– perhaps a teacher.
I had a hard time getting past the law and more specifically the case itself though. In the United States, certainly in Chicago, this would be an open-and-shut case as a parent cannot sign away the rights of a minor. I saw a most competent judge routinely grant a hospital's request for blood transfusions in spite of the parents' Jehovah Witness religious beliefs, ruling in favor of the hospital and the child. The matter certainly would not have attracted any press coverage unless, I suppose, a jurist ruled in favour of organized religion. So as far back as forty years ago, I couldn’t see that happening!
Emma Thompson is such a fine actress!
This is a good film and an absolutely perfect vehicle for each of the four main actors, all of whom do a fantastic job.
A person who is extraordinarily responsible, conscientious, and tenacious in her profession, yet who takes no responsibility for making a good marriage, encounters a situation that takes her from her reasoned and dispassionate life and forces her to confront the feelings that she has stubbornly denied for many years.
It is not a fast-paced story but is meaningful and very well-done.
I was so misled by the reviews saying this is "brilliant," "intelligent," and "amazing." The description of the film regards itself as an ode to "strength," "devotion," and "love." This is wrong on all counts. All of the central characters lack any substantive integrity. None of the characters are devoted to anything in particular except themselves. And, there is no love to be found beyond the immature and superficial. This leaves the movie hollow and wanting of any meaning or purpose whatsoever. Too bad I bought it and will have to forever skip past it in my movie collection only to be reminded of the hundreds of other movies I COULD HAVE purchased if someone would have taken the time to write the review that I'm finally writing right now. Be warned. You will not be enlightened by this film--unless you have a warped view of "strength," "devotion," and "love."
Adolescent angst versus being shunned versus protecting royal blood versus what life makes all of us after our prime and can we break these walls we build around us. Emma Thompson at her best. Buy it and watch it again regularly.
I’ve always been a big fan of British cinema and television... Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead both give outstanding performances. It is a lesson in how the US and UK apply the law on the refusal of treatment for a child based on religious beliefs. In the US the law is absolute, a parent or guardian cannot refuse life-sustaining treatment or deny medical care for a child. This includes those with religious beliefs that discourage certain medical treatments. In the UK, a judge reviews the facts of the case and makes a decision one way or the other. I like Stanley Tucci as an actor, but not for this role. I feel Thompson’s character should have had a British husband. This is a must see movie and a great addition to my collection.
Something I learned from this movie, Dont waste your live being cruel. Fantastic movie that taught me many things. So worth watching. Emma Thompson at her best.
Excelente filme e interpretação.
Good enough story and writing. Too cold of a lead of character — not moving or inspiring as I hoped. Focused too much on duty and was void of compassion it was almost absurd.
One of the best films I’ve seen in years. Acting and Writing is superb!
Surprised this was released on digital in the US and playing in the cinemas in the UK. Totally Worth the buy!