Rating: MA15+
Length: 105 mins
Cast: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead

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Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead shine in a morally complex legal drama, based on Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel, about a judge forced to determine a child’s fate.

Fiona Maye (Thompson) is a High Court judge who specialises in family law. Overly dedicated to her work, her marriage to Jack (Tucci) suffers, and when he tells her that he would like to have an affair, they become further estranged. At the same time, she presides over a particularly complex case. Adam, a Jehovah’s Witness who’s just under 18, refuses the blood transfusion that would save his life. As he is still legally a child, Fiona can authorise the transfusion against Adam’s wishes and takes the unconventional decision to visit him in hospital before deciding. It is a meeting that will have a profound effect on both their lives in this humane, beautifully acted and riveting drama.

The Children Act is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns… something we’ve reliably come to expect from McEwan, whose novels have collectively yielded some of the richest female screen roles this century. – Peter Debruge, Variety