A talented teenager with leukaemia needs a blood transfusion to save his life. He and his Jehovah’s Witness family refuse this but under the ‘Children Act’ in the UK, they can be overruled by the state. Emma Thompson plays the sensitive but dispassionate and scrupulous judge who must decide. One complication is that in a few months the boy will turn eighteen and be free to choose. Another is that the judge’s own family life is at breaking point due to her devotion to her work. Based on a novel by Ian McEwan, the film is ‘urbane, understated . . . and impeccably interpreted by a superb cast’ making it ‘an unmitigated pleasure to watch’ (Washington Post). Thompson’s performance, especially, has been hailed by all reviewers of this powerful film.