Legal dramas rise and fall on their ability to capture the hearts of the audience.
The Children Act — a film about a judge who orders a blood transfusion for a 17-year-old boy whose religious forbids it — is part family drama and part about morality.
In the face of great struggles, a boy just shy of 18 is forced to have a surgery that he’s against due to his background as a Jehovah’s Witness.
The way he struggles after the procedure affects him. It affects him so greatly that he forms an attachment to the very judge who sent down the ruling.
Enter actress Emma Thompson, in all her triumphant and magnificent glory, as a work-obsessed woman who has left everything in her life on the backburner to pursue her work.
Her husband, played by Stanley Tucci, begins having affairs, which he’s transparent about, because his wife no longer has time to tend to any of his basic desires or needs.
As the two spar back and forth, you can sense the power you’re witnessing on-screen, but I regret to inform you that all the fire isn’t enough, and the flame burns out long before the credits roll.
The film isn’t as enticing or difficult as it should have been. Nonetheless, points for the two leads for giving their best to a just-average film.