Starring: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead, Ben Chaplin, Jason Watkins, Eileen Walsh, Marina Green
Director: Richard Eyre
Release date: 24th August 2018
Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is a High Court judge in London who lives with her husband, Jack (Stanley Tucci). A high profile case is in the news about a young boy called Adam (Fionn Whitehead), who is dying and needs a blood transfusion. Only problem is, is that his family are strict Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe that blood transfusions are wrong and go against God. Currently refusing treatment, Adam is just a few months shy of his 18th birthday and so under the law, he is still a child. Fiona must make the judgement on whether Adam should be made to have the transfusion to save his life or be left to die. She decides, against much advice to go and visit Adam in his hospital bed. Using all her knowledge and expertise, Fiona must make a huge and life changing decision that will ultimately save or end Adam’s life. With her own problems happening at home, can she stay focused and do what’s right?
There always seems to be cases in the news about the Jehovah’s Witnesses refusing blood, but I don’t think it’s ever really been looked at this way before. The devout parents of Adam have brought him up to share their beliefs but ultimately it boils down to the question of going against your faith or saving your only child. For you or I, I would guess that it would possibly be a bit of a no-brainer but for many it must be a huge struggle.
I really enjoyed ‘The Children Act’ and with Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci in the lead roles… you pretty much know that you’re going to see something special. What starts out as a relatively straight forward story of a judge with a huge dilemma, soon snowballs into something totally different. Even though she is a high profile High Court judge, Fiona still has an air of vulnerability and Emma Thompson plays this brilliantly. She must keep her private life and job totally separate and cannot let one affect the other.
The young actor, Fionn Whitehead, who plays Adam, is brilliant. You might recognise him from his role as Tommy in the hugely successful ‘Dunkirk’ movie from last year, and from watching that to this, it’s obvious that there are much bigger things to come from him in his acting career.
The relationship between Adam and Fiona keeps you totally entangled with this story and you can’t really guess how things are going to play out. While that’s all going on, her relationship with husband Jack is at breaking point.
I really enjoyed this movie, much more than I thought I would. Great great cast and fantastic story make this one to watch. It’s not a ‘blockbuster’ but it’s nice in this day and age to be able to see some realistic drama, played out really well.