Benedict Cumberbatch uses stardom to carry 'The Child in Time'

It's good to be Benedict Cumberbatch, whose very busy, eclectic spring schedule includes the Showtime miniseries "Pat...

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 4:46 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 4:46 PM

It's good to be Benedict Cumberbatch, whose very busy, eclectic spring schedule includes the Showtime miniseries "Patrick Melrose" and "Avengers: Infinity War." Add to that "The Child in Time," a strange, lyrical "Masterpiece" production, steeped in the crippling pain that surrounds the loss of a child.

Foremost, the movie -- adapted from Ian McEwan's 1987 novel -- provides a showcase for Cumberbatch, and to a lesser degree the always-splendid Kelly Macdonald as his wife. Their relationship is fractured by the sudden disappearance of their four-year-old daughter, during a fleeting moment of inattentiveness by Cumberbatch's character, a noted children's book author named Stephen.

That moment, of course, represents every parent's nightmare (and, not incidentally, closely resembles the Starz series "The Missing"). Still, the PBS film proceeds to unfold in unexpected, not-wholly-satisfying directions, exploring deeper themes about memories, childhood and the hope for reconciliation in vaguely surreal ways.

The main focus is on the central couple, who are met a few years after those agonizing events. Yet there's also a subplot involving Stephen's friend Charles (Stephen Campbell Moore), who has experienced a breakdown causing him to regress into a childlike state, a thread that can't adequately be fleshed out or done proper justice within this 90-minute format.

The movie is nevertheless compelling, thanks largely to the interplay between Cumberbatch and Macdonald, in what amounts to a peculiar twist on a love story within the up-close-and-personal contours of a stage play. The film also bends the notion of time -- moving between the past and present in a disorienting but, ultimately, affecting manner, as the missing girl remains a presence in Stephen's life, even if she's gone.

Cumberbatch is one of the executive producers, and it's fair to say this somewhat unorthodox addition to the "Masterpiece" lineup likely wouldn't have been made without the actor -- already affiliated with the PBS franchise via "Sherlock" -- having lent his name, considerable star power and committed fan base (a group that even enjoys its own colorful nickname) to the enterprise.

As vanity projects go, though, "The Child in Time" is the sort that reflects well on its champion -- a guy who moves seamlessly between big splashy productions and small prestige ones. Viewed that way, "The Child in Time" falls squarely in the latter category, while offering Cumberbatch completists a performance that conjures a different sort of quiet magic.

"Masterpiece: The Child in Time" premieres April 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS.

West Lafayette
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 65°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events