Emily Watson is super in this real-life tale of a British social worker who unearths an Australian child abuse scandal.
Jim Loach, son of legendary director Ken Loach, proves a chip off the old block with his impressive feature-film debut, which tells the desperately moving true story of thousands of British children who were separated from their families and sent to Australia in the decades after World War Two.
Promised ‘oranges and sunshine’, these unwilling migrants instead faced years of mistreatment and abuse, as Watson’s Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys discovered when she stumbled across the story in the 1980s.
It’s a shocking tale, but Loach tells it soberly, refusing to go in for over-the-top hysteria. You’ll still be left reeling in outrage, though, as the enormity of this miscarriage of justice slowly emerges.
Providing the film’s moral compass, Watson blazes with compassion and integrity, while Hugo Weaving and David Wenham are deeply affecting as two of the now-adult migrants she encounters in her quest to uncover the truth.