TIFF 2017: ‘The Children Act’ Review

Emma Thompson in THE CHILDREN ACT, an Entertainment One release.


The Children Act can only be summed up as “fine”. Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this drama about a British High Court Judge who’s final ruling is a matter of literal life and death for a 17-year-old boy with leukemia who requires a blood transfusion. It’s crafted really well, but the buck stops there.

Stanley Tucci did a fairly decent job with his limited amount of screen time (even though his overacting did get slightly tedious). Emma Thompson has also proven that she is an exceptional actress, which leads to the obvious conclusion that she carries the entire film. It’s definitely Oscar bait when it comes to performances, but I doubt it will be receiving any other recognition due to how bland and uninspired it feels. The Children Act feels like the film equivalent of a 7-year-old child who reluctantly eats all of their vegetables, so they can finally eat dessert.

I feel like there is a great film in here somewhere. The film could have been phenomenal if they thoroughly developed all of their subplots and not just left it up to the will of the audience to suddenly remember it every time we need a healthy dose of melodrama. It’ll please an older crowd or anyone who’s a sucker for novel-to-screen adaptations, but for anyone else I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one.

Rating: 5/10

Public Screenings: Sept 10 8:45 am

For additional TIFF 2017 coverage, click here.

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