125 user 119 critic

The Children Act (2017)

2:27 | Trailer
As her marriage crumbles, a judge must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle.


Richard Eyre


Ian McEwan (screenplay by), Ian McEwan (based on the novel by)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Emma Thompson ... Fiona Maye
Stanley Tucci ... Jack Maye
Jason Watkins ... Nigel Pauling
Fionn Whitehead ... Adam Henry
Ben Chaplin ... Kevin Henry
Nikki Amuka-Bird ... Amadia Kalu QC
Rupert Vansittart ... Sherwood Runcie
Rosie Cavaliero ... Marina Green
Paul Jesson ... Humphrey
Anthony Calf ... Mark Berner
Eileen Walsh ... Naomi Henry
Nicholas Jones ... Professor Rodney Carter
Karl Farrer ... Family uncle at funeral
Honey Holmes ... Director / Producer (as Angela Holmes)
Andrew Havill ... George


As her marriage to Jack Faye (Stanley Tucci) flounders, eminent High Court judge Fiona Maye (Dame Emma Thompson) has a life-changing decision to make at work - should she force a teenage boy, Adam Henry (Fionn Whitehead), to have the blood transfusion that will save his life? Her unorthodox visit to his hospital bedside has a profound impact on them both, stirring strong new emotions in the boy and long-buried feelings in her. Written by Duncan Kenworthy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


We all make choices. Hers make history.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Original literary source: ""The Children Act", novel by Ian McEwan, published by Jonathan Cape, London, 2-9-2014, 224 pp., ISBN: 9780224101998. See more »


Maye has a Fazioli baby grand piano in her home. The least expensive piano made by Fazioli has a price tag of $120,000.00. She clearly must have independent means or it would be impossible for a judge to be able to afford such a piano, especially considering her large and extremely expensive London home.

She also plays a Fazioli grand at the concert. Faziolis were introduced in the 1980s and, while being exceptionally well-made and extremely expensive, they are rare, which makes it odd to find one in both locations. This makes no sense for this story and is clearly a product placement. See more »


Adam Henry: When I had the blood, my parents were there. I saw them, hugging each other, and crying, really sobbing. They'd lost the case and they'd tried *so* hard. But then I realized, no. No, they were crying for joy. 'coz they'd always wanted me to live and they'd never told me. It wasn't about god at all. I felt cheated, like I'd been really stupid. The whole thing was a fraud.
See more »


Featured in Front Row Late: Episode #3.6 (2018) See more »


Partita No 2 in C Minor
written by Johann Sebastian Bach
(at the beginning of the film when Fiona Maye Emma Thompson is sitting at the desk in her study)
See more »

User Reviews

Outstanding, incredible storytelling, unrelenting.
12 September 2018 | by Glenn_K9See all my reviews

I am and always have been an Emma Thompson fan however when an actor such as Fionn Whitehead can show a fresh new face on the screen and totally steel it from Emma Thompson that's one mean feat! The blood transfusion for Mormons has always been a sore sport for me. I believe we all have the right to our own spirituality and belief system, sincerely I believe if something empowers you to the degree it can actually heal you (emotionally and physically) than so be it. I don't believe in the right, when a perfect outcome is like a practical sure thing, that taking that life is right. Its murder period. The Performance of Fionn Whitehold certainly taught me otherwise! A truly gifted actor with a bright brilliant career ahead of him. I think this film brought something different to us. It also teaches that ultimately it is our choice that matters most. Hats off, totally enjoyed this.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Children Act See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,108, 16 September 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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