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|Originaltitel:||The Children`s Act|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 105 Min|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Family judge Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) lives for her profession, which has earned her tremendous respect, but also her marriage to Jack (Stanley Tucci) suffers from. And just as her private life is in the throes of a crisis, Fiona is assigned an extremely difficult case: 17-year-old Adam (Fionn Whitehead) has leukemia. He'll die if he doesn't get a blood transfusion as soon as possible. But he and his parents reject them as Jehovah's Witnesses of strict faith. Since Adam is not yet of age, Fiona should now decide whether he may be treated against his will. In order to make a decision, she visits the boy in the hospital and has an intensive conversation with him. This leads to a decision that will change not only Adam's life but also Fiona's…
"Child's Well-Being" is a film adaptation of the novel by Ian McEwan ("Abbitte"), who adapted his book for the film version himself. The film was directed by Richard Eyre, who already proved a good hand for gripping dramas with "Diary of a Scandal" or "Iris". His latest film has two very strong aspects, which make it worth seeing despite some minor criticisms. The first aspect is Emma Thompson, who does a really great job. As a woman who has to put rationality above emotion in her job in order to make the right decisions, but who also loses track of emotion in her marriage, Thompson is simply great.
There are moments when Fiona is visibly struggling with her true feelings not coming to the surface. On the outside she keeps her attitude, but in her facial expressions it becomes clear which inner struggle she has to fight. In such moments it becomes clear what a good actress Emma Thompson is. The rest of the ensemble may take a back seat, but especially Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead manage to step out of Thompson's shadow and show no less good performances.
The second strong aspect is the story itself, which is not only emotionally very stirring, but also provides a lot of food for thought and discussion. How far may free will go? When does a person get to decide about his or her own life? But there's a lot more at stake here. Can a person who has lived his whole life in a certain religious dependence, which he may have felt to be protection, really be free and happy? And is Jack's reaction to Fiona's emotional distance audacious, exaggerated or perhaps absolutely comprehensible and understandable?
There are many things about "child welfare" that you have to think about long after the credits. Even though there are some moments that seem a bit constructed, the drama doesn't really leave anyone cold. And exactly this leads to a very clear conclusion in the end: Absolutely worth seeing!
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