Friday, May 17, 2019

Review of The Children Act

Another slow emotional film, with Emma Thompson as the judge who must decide whether to force a blood transfusion on an unwilling 17-year-old Jehovah's Witness boy who will otherwise die. Nice depiction of the dilemma, and great acting from all the cast. Screenplay by Ian McEwan who wrote the book, but very cinematic...lots of powerful close-ups.

Two really trivial thoughts. Firstly, we see the judge distracted and disengaged from her marriage, but she mainly does this by working late on her laptop. She has a smartphone but the only thing she does with it is make and receive phone calls...which is not the way that modern people really are disengaged and distracted; they spend all their time checking their phones and browsing social media, and so on. I know she's a bit old that for that but the taking phone calls thing felt wrong.

Secondly, there is a good supporting performance from Jason Watkins as the devoted and self-effacing judge's clerk. But I was really aware of the other actors' eyes in the film - Thompson's eyes, and the eyes of Fionn Whitehead who plays the boy, in particular. Jason Watkins has very distinctive dark eyes, that seem to be all black pupil, and I couldn't help noticing them and remembering his performance as the vampire policeman William Herrick in Being Human.

Watched on Amazon Prime.

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