The Children Act (2018) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: As her marriage to Jack flounders, eminent High Court judge Fiona Maye has a life-changing decision to make at work - should she force a teenage boy, Adam, to have the blood transfusion that will save his life? Her unorthodox visit to his hospital bedside has a profound impact on them both,… Runtime: 105 min Release Date: 01 Aug 2018
Everything about this movie is extraordinary and engaging. Powerful direction, dialogue, acting and cinematography.
Beautiful and tragic (by tjeffsmith)
I love Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. This story is both beautiful and tragic in equal parts. But in fairness I would watch Emma Thompson paint a room. She's my favorite actress. Often times people who make weighty life decisions as a vocation are forced to insualte themselves from the weighty matters in their own lives in order to survive. Such is the case here. Who saves whom? This film is thought-provoking and calls on us to consider, and possibly reconsider, our own values and judgements. I recommend it, with a box of tissues. I'm crying as I write this.
An intelligent Thought Provoking Movie (by ucjtskl)
How does one balance a life dedicated to public service 24/7 against a personal life? The reality is that one cannot, and so must rely on the sacrifice of oneself and others.Emma Thompson plays this challenging role with superb ease while the main movie theme deals with the contradictions posed by religious belief and scientific progress via the legal system, which neatly folds back to the personal life.In character, Emma Thompson saves a boy, who in turn saves her through his death.Seek help if you come out of this movie with a dry eyes.Excellent.
Touching, intelligent film. great Emma Thompson performance (by turetskyneil)
Based on excellent writer Ian McEwan novel, this film managed to balance very nicely two themes, a troubled marriage and exploration of religious freedom in life and death health decisions. Issues of sexuality dying in middle age couples, overwork's effects on intimacy quietly and maturely looked at. No easy answers given. What to decide when a religious family refuses to permit a medically needed blood transfusion for religious reasons. A really remarkable acting tour de force by Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci very good as beloved but sexually frustrated spouse, and very amusing spot on <more>
character acting by the "clark". Interesting peeks into England's legal system, and some very good cinematography of English countryside.. Slightly flawed by some melodramatic and poorly explained plot turns, the movie is still a must see, very smart and entertaining.
Rationalism and faith face their limitations (by ayoreinf)
This is a very deep and thought provoking movie, relying on a supurb cast performance with Emma Thompson heading the list. Be careful reading the synopsis as it contains a few significant errors, might be based on the novel. I can't explain the errors without adding spoilers, and I don't do these. The basic point of this movie is a confrontation between a woman striving to be as rational as possible, being a judge, and facing the limitations of pure rationalism when she has to rule on a question of faith. While faith also struggles to come out from this confrontation unscathed, as <more>
manifest by the young boy who has to live with the ruling of the judge. Very cleverly the story doesn't end with the judges ruling but with both sides of the debate having to live with the consequences of the ruling. The story is told with very English reserve that suits it very well. That's all one needs to know, before seeing it. If you get the chance do see it.
Never before have I gone to a screening of a film just to see if it was going to be just OK, in fact I nearly didn't go. How wrong I was, I cannot remember a film that has has such an emotional impact on me. It's a very powerful intelligent and moving film with stunning performances from Emma Thompson & Fionn Whitehead and if Emma doesn't receive awards for her performance alone then there's something seriously wrong. If you like intelligent thought provoking films, go and watch this on the big screen, I promise you'll not be disappointed.
"And the Oscar goes to"... or should go to ... "Dame Emma Thompson". (by bob-the-movie-man)
Judge Maye Thompson is a childless wife to her loving husband Jack Tucci , but is also a workaholic. This is driving the long-term couple to the point of infidelity: a fact the ever-focused Fiona - whose life, to her, probably feels to be in a perfect if selfish equilibrium - is oblivious to. With Fiona's intense but comfortable world about to cave in around her, her increasing stress is not helped by the latest case she is working on: one where Adam Fionn Whitehead from "Dunkirk" , a Jehovah's Witness boy and a minor, is refusing on religious grounds the blood <more>
transfusion he desperately needs to fight his lukaemia. Fiona's decisions in the months ahead go much further than a simple judgement on the case.Two acting giants - one born in London; one born in New York - tower over this Ian McEwan adaptation like leviathons. I bandy around the phrase "national treasure" a lot in my reviews, but here Emma Thompson is simply breathtakingly powerful in the lead role of Judge Fiona Maye, exhibiting such extremes of emotion that you would like to think that an Oscar nomination would be assured. However, before I run out and put a £10 bet on her to win, the film is such a small British film that unfortunately both a nomination and a win seem unlikely! THIS IS A CRIME! Please share and lobby people, lobby! Perhaps at the very least we can hope for some BAFTA recognition . Sometimes a masterly lead performance can make a co-star performance seem unbalanced, but no such danger here. Stanley Tucci makes a perfect acting foil for Thompson: if he were a wine he would be described as "exasperation, frustration, compassion with strong notes of respect". And he carries it off with perfection.This is an incredibly intelligent film, working on so many different levels and subject to so much interpretation. Fiona's feelings for the troubled teenager feel more maternal than sexual, but when those feelings become returned and escalate the whole piece develops a queasily oedipal quality. Many films have focused on illicit attractions between teacher and pupil, but here lies a new variation, with Maye fighting against her best professional insticts to 'do the right thing'. "I'm frightened of myself" she eventually wails to a colleague. In his opening hospital scenes, not withstanding the comic similarities between the guitar scene here and a certain scene in "Airplane"! , Adam seems completely other-wordly compared to a typical teen and this comes across as utterly false. That is, until you consider the oddness of his family background and Jehovah's Witness upbringing. As such, the film just about gets away with it. Whitehead does a good job with a difficult role. If you've been in a court, you'll know that there is something regal and magical about a judge in full regalia entering a packed courtroom. So it's unusual to see the view from the other side of the door... a non-descript office corridor and a non-descript door. Helping the judge on this side of the door is her PA Nigel, played by the brilliant Jason Watkins: a TV regular e.g. "Line of Duty", "W1A" but seen far less at the movies. As a story of obsessive fixation, it borders on McEwan's disturbing earlier work "Enduring Love". And it has the potential to go in lots of interesting directions as a sort of bonkers platonic love triangle "He wants to live with US?" splutters Tucci . Where the story does end up going was not particularly to my liking, and a melodramatic concert scene was - for me - a little overdone. However it does give rise to a scene the 'sopping wet' scene that shows Thompson at her most brilliant: if she DID get Oscar or BAFTA nominated then this will be her pre-announcement snippet.It's a great film for showcasing acting talent, but beware: it's short on laughs, not remotely uplifting and takes a while to mentally recover from!
This is a small but intelligent film that will stay with you for a long time after the final credits. It is well made in all categories and addresses a number of issues that are current and important today including faith vs law, love vs life, youth vs experience. This is probably the best adaption of one of Ian McEwans novels and benefits from a strong and nuanced performance from Emma Thomson who is hardly off the screen for a minute and excellent support from Jason Watkins as her clerk and newcomer Fionn Whitehead. As one of the characters says .. I could see you listening and thinking.. <more>
and this is really the crux of the film.What decision you come to in the end may differ... but at least you have the enjoyment of being challenged!
Plenty of Pathos as both the Legal and Spiritual realms fail to deliver the answers to Human Morality (by susanna-saunders)
*WARNING - SPOILERS* This is very much an 'adult' themed movie... Sadly such movies usually fare poorly in terms of their IMDB rating - but this is one worth watching! Don't be put off by the mediocre score! It will have you pondering the meaning of the movie long after the credits have finished rolling...The Children Act is a portrait of the clash of the Legal vs Spiritual realms trying to resolve the issues of everyday Human Morality. Emma Thompson represents the Legal System in the role of Fiona 'Justice' Maye and Fionn Whitehead the representative of the Spiritual <more>
System in the role of Jehovah's Witness Adam Henry. What soon becomes apparent is that Fiona Maye's marriage is about to implode due to long term neglect with the announcement by her husband Jack Stanley Tucci that he wishes to have an affair. The marital collapse is an analogy of Maye's own internal collapsing of her dependence upon the Legal system to resolve life's moral dilemmas. Justice Maye has devoted her life to the Legal System, which addresses the core necessities of life but is unable to answer the need for spiritual dignity and a divine relationship. Conversely, the Jehovah Witness' spiritual position cannot resolve the moral complexities of life other than by leaving these to 'God's Will'. We are left considering what is 'conscience' and how this directs our knowledge of Right from Wrong. Both are left empty and bankrupt of real solutions to life - an arbitrary blowing of the wind... Justice Maye's decision to go and see Adam in Hospital is a key turning point in her deeper questioning of the ultimate value of the Legal system and its limitations to address these moral issues of life and death from a legal position, the courts always rule that the blood transfusion will take place against the patients/parents wishes - there was no need for Fiona to visit Adam in hospital... . Adam's acquiescence to the blood transfusion that will save his life but not his peace of mind is an effective divorce from his religious principles and relationships within the church and his family. Adam's attempt to reach out to Fiona and build a relationship with her is ultimately rewarded on his death bed following another relapse but neither find resolution of their deeper need for answers. There simply are none. The Children Act leaves you deeply aware of the futility of trying to resolve these deeper humanistic issues. There simply are no answers other than to chose the lesser of two evils in any given situation, which is a purely subjective process!