EMMA Thompson - a star acclaimed for roles as versatile as Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Harry Potter’s Sybill Trelawney - returns to screens this week in Richard Eyre’s The Children Act.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, The Children Act explores the dilemma faced by a High Court judge (Thompson) asked to to rule in the case of a child whose parents refuse to allow him to undergo a life-saving blood transfusion. The family are Jehovah’s Witnesses and believe that Christians should not accept the blood of others into their bodies.

Though not based on a true story, both book and film represent an amalgamation of real life circumstances. The film is, in any case, as much about the omniscience of the bench as any familial crisis. McEwan was inspired for his novel by observing the likeness of a judge to an author; both of whom have many of story to tell.

The Children Act is just one of many McEwan works to be translated to cinema - see also: Atonement and this year’s On Chesil Beach - and, once again, it is the writer himself who has produced the film’s screenplay.

Alongside Thompson, Fionn Whitehead stars as the film’s dying protagonist, Henry, with Ben Chaplin and Eileen Walsh as his parents. The film is heartbreaking, eloquent and ethically complex.

Also out this week is BlackKkKlansman, a Spike Lee film inspired by the 2014 memoir of Ron Stallworth. In the 1970s, Stallworth, formerly the first and only African-American police officer in Colorado Springs, infiltrated the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan. A remarkable feat for a black man, albeit achieved through a white surrogate.

The film has been co-produced by Jordan Peele, the Oscar winning writer-director of Get Out. BlackKkKlansman is a much broader film but has been similarly termed a headline film for the Trump era of American politics.

Nods here to Gone with the Wind and Birth of a Nation are striking examples of the nation’s chequered history in cinema too.

John David Washington - son of Denzel - leads the film as Stallworth, with Star Wars’ Adam Driver playing his white detective colleague.

Watch out also for a terrific cameo by Alec Baldwin - well known for lambasting President Trump in Saturday Night Live sketches - as an academic who claims to have a scientific explanation for why white is better than black.

- Toby Symonds