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The Children Act

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, United States
·
2017

Rated R · 1h 45m

Director Richard Eyre
Starring Emma Thompson, Fionn Whitehead, Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin

Genre Drama

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In the midst of a marital crisis, Fiona Maye, a High Court judge in the Family Division, is brought before a contentious case. 17 year old Adam is suffering from leukemia, and his doctors want to perform a blood transfusion; however, Adam's parents are Jehovah Witnesses and believe that blood transfusions go against their religious principles. Now, Fiona must make a pivotal decision.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

If Emma Thompson can’t make The Children Act...into something interesting and meaningful, then no one can. And she can’t.
75

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

No matter how iffy the story gets, or how clinical Eyre’s direction becomes, Thompson makes it absolutely heartrending to watch Fiona’s veneer crack one line at a time.
80

Screen International by Fionnuala Halligan

The Children Act is a cerebral piece, for sure, and a disturbing one by the end, but Thompson’s performance brings life to the complex moral questions it attempts to examine.
60

Empire by Ian Freer

If it lacks filmmaking fireworks and emotional wallop, The Children Act delivers a sensitive, thoughtful drama about complicated issues. And it is another reminder, if one were needed, of the subtlety and skill of Emma Thompson’s stratospheric talent.
75

Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

Even the cast’s uniform excellence can’t quite crack Children’s outer carapace, or bring full life to Fiona’s emotional struggle as she’s forced to confront her own failings. Instead the story drifts iceberg-like toward its carefully muted conclusion, only a small part of its true scope visible above a beautiful, chilly surface.
80

CineVue by Lucy Popescu

The Children Act brilliantly recreates the measured mind and language of a judge. But McEwan and Eyre are also interested in conveying the tumultuous emotional currents that operate below the surface in a person – often unrecognised until it is too late.
60

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

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.
80

Variety by Peter Debruge

The Children Act is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns.
60

The Observer (UK) by Wendy Ide

There is no questioning the angular complexity of the central character study, with all its unexpected harmonics and discords.

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