The Children Act 

Judging Emma

A British family court judge (Emma Thompson, once again demonstrating that she is one of our most skilled actors working today) while dealing with her crumbling marriage (to Stanley Tucci) is called on to adjudicate the case of a 17-year-old boy (Fionn Whitehead) with leukemia who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion on Jehovah’s Witnesses religious grounds. 

She takes the unusual step of going to see the dying boy in hospital, and subsequently rules that the hospital can go ahead with the procedure. The boy lives, but a profound connection is formed. The encounter has had a profound effect on both boy and judge, leading them to question the boundaries of law, religion and the very basics of right and wrong, morality and legality. Pretty cerebral, yes, but riveting. 

Directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Stage Beauty) from a script by Ian McEwan based on his own novel. (105 min)