“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.