Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 45m
Emma Thompson’s Justice Fiona Maye weighs lives and loves in the balance in this restrained drama, adapted by Ian McEwan from his own novel and consummately directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris).
Fiona is asked to rule on the matter of parents (played by Ben Chaplin and Eileen Walsh) of a boy, Adam (Fionn Whitehead of Dunkirk fame) just shy of 18 years old and adulthood, who is suffering from cancer. As Jehovah’s Witnesses they cannot permit him to undertake the blood transfusion to save his life.
Because Adam is a legal minor, Fiona can make decisions in his interests which would go against the parents’ religious scruples – which Adam appears to share.
Adding to this delicate moral and emotional dilemma is Fiona’s own marriage with Jack (Stanley Tucci). Clearly a brilliant and conscientious judge, her unstinting devotion to the demands of her work takes its toll on their relationship.
As with this year’s excellent On Chesil Beach, McEwan’s novel has been skilfully crafted into film. Given particular poignancy with its parallels to the recent Charlie Gard case; where a court judgement similarly determined an individual’s fate.