‘The Child in Time’ Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Finds Hope in This Woeful, Worthwhile Tale

“The Child in Time” is a challenge to watch, especially in the beginning as it spins its tale of loss by shuttling back and forth chronologically.

We see the emotionally spare present-day life of children’s author Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch) juxtaposed with flashbacks to the despair of the previous year, when his young daughter Kate goes missing while she’s out with him.Read More:‘The Child in Time’: Kelly Macdonald on Benedict Cumberbatch’s Heartbreaking Performance That Left Her ‘Tearful’As brutal as it is, dipping back in time over and over again serves several purposes.

It clues viewers in to the breakdown of Stephen’s marriage with grieving wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald), it keeps the pain fresh for viewers so that we understand Stephen’s daily purgatory in the present, and it also introduces the concept of how time is not merely a linear experience when it comes to emotions.

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