Posts Tagged ‘“The Children Act”’

Emma Thompson

“THE CHILDREN ACT”  My rating:C+

105 minutes | MPAA rating: R 

“The Children Act” is part probing characters study, part  melodrama.

The first part works better than the second.

Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is a family court judge who gets all the tough cases. As Richard Eyre’s film begins she is deciding whether conjoined twins should be surgically separated…even if it means one of them will die (they have only one heart).

Fiona deals with her emotionally taxing work by building an aura of professional detachment.  Unfortunately, that detachment has spread to her private life.

One day her husband Jack (Stanley Tucci) announces that he’s thinking about having an affair.  He points out that he and Fiona haven’t had sex in almost a year — she just isn’t interested.  Jack isn’t willing to announce an official end to his sex life.

Fiona blows up and throws him out of the house. All this domestic turmoil comes as she  faces a news-generating trial over a teenaged Jehovah’s Witness whose leukemia cannot be treated until he receives a blood transfusion.

The kid’s doctors are suing to be allowed to perform the transfusion.  The boy’s parents (Ben Chaplin, Eileen Walsh) maintain that this violates their religious beliefs; if their son dies, then it’s God’s will.

All this pressure is making Fiona a snappish wreck; she makes life miserable for her  dutiful law clerk (Jason Watkins).


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