Toronto: A24, DirecTV Buy Emma Thompson’s ‘The Children Act’ for U.S.

A24 and DirecTV have bought U.S. rights on the British drama “The Children Act,” starring Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Fionn Whitehead.

“The Children Act” premiered on Sept. 10 at the Toronto Film Festival in the Special Presentations section. Directed by Richard Eyre from a script by Ian McEwan and based on McEwan’s novel, the story centers on a high-court judge who finds personal and professional crises colliding when forced to rule in the case of whether a couple who are Jehovah’s Witnesses can be permitted to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their leukemia-stricken 17-year-old son, played by Whitehead.

Thompson’s character is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, played by Tucci, who announces that he wants to have an affair — resulting in his being kicked out so she can focus on her current case.

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a strong review at Toronto: “Told with a depth of empathy so profound — and so British — that a rather sizable segment of the viewing public will either reject or ignore it outright, “The Children Act” is that rarest of things: an adult drama, written and interpreted with a sensitivity to mature human concerns — not just the quite personal complexities of maintaining a 30-year relationship with no children of their own, but the more broad-reaching tension between the law and firmly held religious belief.”

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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