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Rated R · 105 minutes · 2011

Historical drama
If this earnest, heart-tugging, social problem drama had been produced as a documentary instead of as a narrative, we’d have missed Emily Watson’s dewy-eyed performance as Margaret Humphreys, an English social worker, circa 1980s, who uncovered a twin national disgrace – the forced migration of some 130,000 young children, taken away from their indigent parents in England by welfare agencies in the 1950s and 1960s “for their own good” and resettled alone in Australia, where they typically were used and abused as unpaid labor. It’s one of the few Hugo Weaving movies in which you’re actually encouraged to feel sorry for him. Screenplay by Rona Munro, adapted from Humphreys’ book, Empty Cradles. Directed by TV veteran Jim Loach, whose father Ken Loach is a paragon of similarly socially conscious filmmaking. Also with Richard Dillane and David Wenham. (105 min.)
Director: Jim Loach
Cast: Emily Watson, David Wenham, Hugo Weaving, Richard Dillane, Lorraine Ashbourne, Kate Rutter, Greg Stone, Tara Morice and Stuart Wolfenden


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