By Maureen Lee Lenker
June 13, 2018 at 11:00 AM EDT

The Children Act (2018)

  • Movie

As judge Fiona Maye, Emma Thompson must face a heartbreakingly difficult decision in The Children Act — whether to force a 17-year-old boy to receive a life-saving blood transfusion he is refusing on religious grounds.

In the new trailer for the film, which will be released Sept. 14, Thompson’s Maye grapples with this decision in parallel to her marital strife with American husband Jack (Stanley Tucci).

Fiona decides that before she makes her decision she must speak to the teen in question, Adam (Fionn Whitehead), in person. Their meeting at his hospital bedside upends both of their lives, stirring up profound emotions in them both as they must decide who rightfully holds the power to decide whether someone might live or die.

EW debuted a first look at the film back in 2017, speaking to stars Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead about the project. “It’s such an extraordinary story,” Thompson told EW. “And the greatest glory of this particular job for me has been meeting judges, specifically female judges of the Family Court. When I came to know these female judges and spent time watching them and shadowing them, I began to get a sense of the enormity of their task. And how incredible they are. It really is the cold face of justice because they’re dealing with real people. The fact is that Family Courts deal with domestic crises — and at the center of those crises is often a child.”

“She’s a lovely human being and a safe pair of hands,” Whitehead said of Thompson. “I felt so comfortable around her and we got along like a house on fire. Both the book and the film are at the most basic level about human connection. That was the easiest thing to do with Emma because she’s so giving and open.”

The Children Act is the second film to be released in 2018 based on an Ian McEwan novel. On Chesil Beach hit theaters in May and stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle. Based on the 2014 novel of the same nameThe Children Act was adapted by novelist McEwan himself, and he produced both this and On Chesil Beach simultaneously. British director Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) helmed The Children Act.

Watch the trailer above for more. The Children Act is available exclusively on DIRECTV August 16 and in theaters Sept. 14.

The Children Act (2018)

  • Movie
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release date
  • 09/14/18
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  • The Children Act (2018)