Philomena movie still
Philomena movie poster

Philomena (2013)

Drama, Biography

Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Martin Sixsmith
Starring: Steve Coogan, Judi Dench, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham

"These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son."

Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, 24 Hour Party People) make an unforgettable on-screen team in this heartfelt, based-on-a-true-story British film.

Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) is a political journalist who gets persuaded into writing a "human interest story" after being contacted by the daughter of an elderly Irish woman called Philomena Lee (Dench), who's been unsuccessfully searching for the past 50 years for her son whom she lost to a forced adoption after giving birth at a Catholic convent in the the 1950s. Together, they travel to the United States after hearing that the boy was adopted by a wealthy American family.

The film was based on the 2009 book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by the real Martin Sixsmith, and, on a screenplay co-written by Coogan with Jeff Pope, directed by award-winning British filmmaker Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen). You'll see an extraordinary performance from Dame Judy Dench, but also from her co-star, comedian Steve Coogan.

While taking some artistic license from the real-life events it portrays, Philomena is a well-told bitter-sweet human interest story that manages to cover some truly heavy topics and still feel like a light-hearted and surprisingly entertaining crowd-pleaser.

Plot summary from IMDb: When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son's fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged.

Awards: Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 60 nominations.
Runtime: 98 min



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