I saw this film yesterday and I am still thinking about it. The story it is based on is true which has greater impact on my thoughts and emotions . The film is based on the story of Philomena Lee who got pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in the early 1950’s out of wedlock and was sent to a convent. There she gave birth. She was basically indentured to servitude to the nuns as her son was cared for there and she lived on site.
She was allowed to see her son for one hour a day.
The nuns were ultra disciplinarian and had that self righteous non-forgiving attitude towards the girls, badgering them about their loss of chastity all the time.One day, Philomena’s son was forcibly taken away from her and was put up for adoption when he was three years old. That was the practice and we later find out in the film that it had even darker elements.
Fifty years later, Philomena is searching for her son and a discredited political journalist named, Martin, decides to assist her to get the story. Their journey to find her son takes them on a quest that unravels institutions, exposes horrible practices, tests faith and brings them across to another continent. It also shows how forgiveness can occur even in the most evil of offenses.
The film used humor, sadness, happiness , anger, to wonder and admiration for Philomena to move me skillfully from opening scene to the fade out of the closing scene. I felt like I experienced the film.
Judi Dench, turns in a stellar performance as Pilomena and is worthy of every available award nomination given to an actress on the planet. He talent is just amazing.
Steve Coogan, is also pitch perfect as Martin Sixsmith, a man scarred by a the realities and dirtiness of political life, the ruthlessness of journalism and his non-belief in God. Yet he finds companionship and humanity through his journey with Philomena.
We do, too.
This is a must see movie. It is simply great film.
- Video Interview: Steve Coogan on “Philomena” (rogerebert.com)
- Review Round-Up: ‘Philomena’ Receives High Praise From Critics (contactmusic.com)
- Philomena defends film against anti-Catholic charge (theguardian.com)
- Seek and Ye Shall Find: Philomena Is The Most Powerful Movie of the Year (observer.com)
- ‘Philomena’ Review (sroutledge.wordpress.com)
- The Philadelphia Inquirer On Movies column (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Critics Agree, ‘Philomena’ Is A “Serious” Comedy That Needs To Be Seen (contactmusic.com)
- ‘Philomena’ Actors Shortlisted For British Independent Film Awards (contactmusic.com)
- Philomena is a heartbreaking masterpiece, with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan on top form (metro.co.uk)
- A familiar scenario with a twist (boomerbroadcast.net)