THE CHILDREN ACT
hopscotchee: ben chaplin score: 73.5 rating: R time: 105 minutes
we will reserve our chuckles throughout this review but, just know, ben chaplin being fionn's papa again!! c'mon that's so sweet and a bit chuckle-worthy. hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe
to begin, the children act is a 105 minute, plot-twisty, orchestrated collision course on love and justice. like holy cow!! in all honesty, this isn't the first time we watched this film. so that's saying something that we were adamant on pulling it into batch 3!! however, when we watched it the first time, we were completely gobsmackeled. yes, we know gobsmackeled isn't a word. it's gobsmacked. but watching this felt like whatever gobsmackeled sounds like it means. truly seating us down with the moral complexities that justice maye (emma thompson) deals with on the daily, this flick's viewpoint makes you rattle and root for the plot 'til the very end. so buckle up, 'cause you are in for a treat of motion picture ethics!!
*also kinda a SPOILER: this story is from the same guy who wrote atonement (ian mcewan), therefore you might want to have some tissues nearby. though we will tell you, despite what you think, you won't see what's coming.* ANYWAYS,
BANG BANG BANG!! in this case, we are banging the gavel to start this shindig, but the real bangin' came from the bang up job of the actors. as can be seen in the trailer, provided below, the hollywood reporter even called this "one of the most moving performances of [emma's] career", and, here at twinsAF, we wholeheartedly agree with that statement!! sure, it can be noticed in her phenomenal delivery of her lines, making her such a bada$$, but we found our wowed-ness to be in the little things (hashtag one direction, although the vamps do a better cover). for instance, the subtle nuances that emma incorporated in her performance (ex. laser focus eyes at the beginning to a look more maternal and sympathetic) helped depict her eventual shift in character. another act which wowed us and frequented the screen was emma walking around her house barefoot. now, whether this be her decision, the decision of the costume designer, or the director's decision, we applaud emma for her comfortability. it seems so low-key to point out based on her entire performance, however this fine addition deepened the personal feel of the movie. lastly, the cry. ohmygoodness!! her cry at the end when (spoiler) she is sobbing by her husband (stanley tucci) after adam refuses necessary treatment and dies - it is just brutal!! at the same time, emotionally wrecking as it is, her execution is the exact opposite. emma properly lets herself cry, and we witness, once again, a beautiful and authentic snotty cry. and if you think about how self-centered a lot of hollywood is, the fact that she gave us an ugly, snotty cry is gold stars worthy!! yet, all in all, emma never disappoints and definitely makes this movie by just slaying like usual.
moving to the next case, the background score was effortlessly magnificent. melodically moving in unison with its main character, justice maye, this music helped enfold the overall story. easily seen as when (spoiler) justice maye is walking back to her swanky and lovely apartment (total props to the set&design crew btw), taking with her the elegant score, but when she stops to she her hubby after his affair-trip, the music stops too!! obviously, this isn't the only example, however it is quite telling and helpful to our point that justice maye is the score. this may be overly analyzing with our film-loving eyes, but the fact that the score stopped exactly when she did, in the example above, you can't say that was just by accident. likewise, this lil' edit allowed for the audience to feel at one with the story and go along with the plot like it was second nature.
all this said, there was one moment that we found guilty. and that was with (spoiler) adam's sickly makeup at the end. it's just excessively grey!! yeah, he is sick, and, yeah, he is sadly (spoiler) dying - but for real!! we'll say it again, he looks like the freakin' tin man!! in another perspective, this should be a sincere and non-comical moment, yet, the severity of his lack of color is too jarring and distracting to embrace this scene as it is. plus, it is just too monochromatic with everything else in the room that the focus of this intimate moment is lost.
adjourning this review, the children act is a fascinating watch for those who love a good mind thinker. the simplicity in its orderly plot mixed with its layered complicated decrees is too unique to pass up. for some reason, when we tell our fam this, they don't seem to want to watch it (🤷♀️), however we hope that you will take our word and enjoy this film. thanks again for reading.
-- thanks, ben xo