The Children Act

The Children Act

DVD - 2018
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Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London ruling with wisdom and kindness over ethically complicated cases of family law. Fiona is tasked with ruling on the case of Adam, an exceptional boy who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion. He is three months from his eighteenth birthday and legally still a child. Fiona visits Adam in the hospital and it has an extreme emotional impact on them both.
Publisher: [Santa Monica, California] : Lionsgate, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 0031398293972
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (106 minutes) : sound, colour ; 4 3/4 inches
digital,optical,surround,Dolby Digital 5.1
video file,DVD video,region 1


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Dec 05, 2019

This movie can be seen in different light. When the judge visited the teen to determine if he understood that refusing treatment would lead to his slow death, she went beyond evidence gathering. She laughed at his quip and the ice broke. Then she chatted about his guitar, asked him to play the tune just learned, sang the words to it. She inspired a change in the precocious young man. She embodied legal authority as well as social approval, the whisper of something better.
By professional rules, exchanges outside that legal scope may suggest bias, self interest or other compromising motive. Did she want the process and her consideration to seem fairer ? Back in court, she confirmed precedents that the hospital can intervene with transfusions and medications to rescue the underage teen.
This script invested the judge with all the determinism and diminished other characters. It echoed elitist biases about other classes : he plays the guitar, she plays the piano ; she knew the ballad Down by Salley Gardens, he didn't know the poet Yeats ; he is imaginative, she has the power to solve his quandary. Yet responding to another person on an informal level opened fear of professional review. Outside of her role as judge, she felt obliged to do nothing to help him, or she might lose her job.
Was the writer pointing up inadequacy in the system, a mechanism to transfer him to some help ? The movie didn't even look for that remedy. The script stuck to the judge.
The young fellow visited her two more times. Although she listened, she didn't stray outside her profession and class role. When she said goodbye, he kissed her. Her clerk saw it. Professional Review would interpret that as unhealthy interest.
When the young man suffered another bout of leukemia, she visited him again in hospital. Now an adult over 18, he was free to refuse treatment.
Anguished by the “waste”, the judge read his personal letter from that previous year, that he had lost his religion, parents, hope and life. This movie made his death her tragedy.
By constricting the POV, the writer misread other obvious interpretations. Making the lad her walk-on dilemma turned her struggle into self interest and censorship. Events, characters and interpretations were manipulated to support this version.
Now think about other class exclusions in this story and wonder how awkwardly it's blocked.

Nov 13, 2019

Thought provoking!

Nov 11, 2019

I haven't read the book this movie is based on, so I don't know how closely the movie followed the book. I disliked the movie: Every situation, every word is contrived, soulless, heartless and shallow. It feels like the script was written by a ghoul who has no real comprehension of anything human.

Nov 05, 2019

Very good actors, but the storyline is very much a downer, chose not to watch it.

Nov 02, 2019

I liked Emma Thompson in this movie. I would watch this again.

Aug 23, 2019

Beauty through moments of regrets. Living not fulfilled by choices or living with consequences of decisions perhaps left unmade.

Art is what makes you pause, ponder and absorb to reflect what beholds you. So is the mastery in this movie piece.

Jul 26, 2019

A dramatic portrayal of the life of a judge.

Jun 22, 2019

A warm, heartfelt story! Well-done and beautifully acted! I really enjoyed this intriguing story and movie!
(The volume was low for some reason, though!)
Make sure to watch the Commentary, well-worth it!
I definitely recommend this movie!

Jun 11, 2019

Another brilliant BBC production. A clever drama that demonstrates some of the life issues that professional women may deal with: marriage, workaholic habits, client/coworker interactions. Also a sneak peak at what a judge for children cases has to deal with. An opportunity to see EmmaT in a serious role (vs comedy) - great job. Always nice to watch STucci. FWhitehead effectively played a confused young adult. The director did a great job moving this drama along despite no battles or car chases. Spoilers ... thought provoking take aways: controversy over blood transfusions, needy spouses, side effects of being a workaholic, how to deal with clients/coworkers who mix professionalism with intimacy, line between professionalism, friendship and intimacy, the benefits of a long separation before getting a divorce, importance of open honest spousal dialog, emotional discussions without the yelling and insults, professionals making hard decisions by employing a human-touch - not blindly following rules in a book. So many layers to this story. Life is not always a bed of roses.

Jun 02, 2019

Great actors, but didn’t want to watch.

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