The Reel Review

B+

Emma Thompson stars in this drama about a judge deciding the case of a hospital trying to force a teenager with leukemia to receive a lifesaving blood transfusion in defiance of his family’s religious beliefs. Her decision sparks an unusual, thought-provoking chain of events.

Viewers expecting a run of the mill legal drama based on the 2014 novel from Ian McEwan (Chesil Beach, Atonement) will be in for a surprise, thanks to a clever story and beautiful performances by Thompson, Stanley Tucci as her frustrated, ignored husband, and Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) as the brilliant boy forever changed by her decision.

While not a feel good movie, it is a thought-provoking one, regarding the question of when individuals should be allowed to control their own fate.

REEL FACTS

• The Children Act is British legislation dating back to 1989 that put’s the child’s welfare before all other considerations, including the wishes of parents or religious considerations.

• Fionn Whitehead, who stars with Emma Thompson in The Children Act, worked with her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh in Dunkirk.

• The film is the only one in recent years allowed to film at the entrance and in the foyer of the actual Royal Court of Justice in London.

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