Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this adaptation of the novel by Ian McEwan, about a high-court judge (Thompson) who finds personal and professional crises colliding when she is asked to rule in the case of a brilliant 18-year-old boy who is refusing the blood transfusion that would save his life.
Adapted by Booker Prize–winning author Ian McEwan from his own novel, this riveting drama stars two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as a British High Court judge tasked with making a decision that will speak to our most fraught questions regarding religious tolerance — and could mean life or death for an innocent young man.
Judge Fiona Maye (Thompson) is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, Jack (Stanley Tucci), who announces that he wants to have an affair. Treating the matter more as an annoyance than a life-altering crisis, Fiona kicks Jack out and focuses on her current case. The question: should a couple who are Jehovah's Witnesses be permitted to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their leukemia-stricken 17-year-old son (Fionn Whitehead)? Fiona finds herself taking unusual measures to determine her verdict — measures that will have far-reaching consequences.
Directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal), The Children Act brims with intelligence, sophistication, and intrigue. The elevated tension places unusual focus on its protagonist's every word and gesture — a challenge Thompson meets with virtuosity. Her Fiona is a cauldron of conflicted feelings bubbling beneath a veneer of composure. As she finds herself sliding deeper into a mire of professional compromise and personal desperation, we come to empathize with her singular burden… and wait for the outcome with keen anticipation.