The Children Act

2018-09-21 08:45
Emma Thompson in a scene from the movie The Childr


Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is an eminent High Court judge in London presiding with wisdom and compassion over ethically complex cases of family law. But, she has paid a heavy personal price for her workload, and her marriage to American professor Jack )Stanley Tucci) is at breaking point.

In this moment of personal crisis, Fiona is asked to rule on the case of Adam, a brilliant boy who is refusing the blood transfusion that will save his life. Adam (Fionn Whitehead) is three months from his 18th birthday and still legally a child. Should Fiona force him to live?

Fiona visits Adam in hospital and their meeting has a profound emotional impact on them both, stirring strong new emotions in the boy and long-buried feelings in her.


Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own life that I forget there are people out in the universe who have to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. Doctors, fireman, police, judges – to name a few. 

The Children Act was a welcome reminder that this world we live in is a complicated one and that many different realities exist for many different people in it. 

Fiona Maye, played by Emma Thompson, is a well-respected High Court judge in London. Her high profile job means she deals with extreme ethically complex cases of family law on a daily basis. 

From deciding to separate conjoined twins, which might lead to the their death, to determining if a young boy’s religious beliefs are more important than his own life – this is Fiona’s reality on a daily basis. 

But beyond that she’s also a person with a personal life, and marital issues, and her own private demons to fight. 

Whenever a film opens a door to another world I hardly knew existed and transports me there effortlessly and wholeheartedly I know it’s done something right. 

The Children Act is a mature and intricate piece of cinema carefully crafted to capture a compelling story on the big screen. There’s a fine eye for detail in everything from the costumes to the milieu that elegantly enwraps the story and makes it must-see cinema. 

Add to this the masterful acting by Stanley Tucci (Jack) and Emma Thompson and you have a clear winner. Thompson’s nuanced performance is so good that you never for a moment don’t believe that she’s the stiff-necked high court judge with a world of worries resting firmly on her shoulders. It’s truly a delight to see her in this powerful role that she so masterfully takes on. 

Those with a keen interest in real human stories and a love for the intricacies of what it means to be alive in this world today will truly appreciate this well-made film. 

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