Director: Stephen Frears
Runtime: 98 minutes
Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan
Description: World-weary political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) picks up the story of Philomena Lee’s (Judi Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.
Review: After fifty years Philomena Lee decides to tell her deepest secret. When she was very young, Philomena became pregnant. Because she didn’t know where to go, she went to an Irish convent. The nuns see it as a sin, so right after the birth of Philomena’s son the two are separated. They are allowed to see each other one hour a day. The child is then taken from her completely, when he joins another family. Fifty years later Philomena tells this story to her daughter, who enlists the help of journalist Martin Sixsmith. Together they try to find Philomena’s long lost son.
Even though Dame Judi Dench is close to 80, she’s still one of the finest actresses in the field. Dench proves that as Philomena, where she can show a bitter side but also manages to give her a humoristic edge. Dench is not the only one worth watching. Journalist Sixsmith is portrayed by Steve Coogan, who also wrote the script for the film. Coogan is a comedian and it’s great to see a heartfelt and more serious performance by him.
Especially the combination of the two characters is what makes this movie interesting. They both have a different way of thinking, but get a stronger band while they get closer to their goal. While Philomena still blames herself and not the nuns, Sixsmith sees hypercriticism and corruption from the Irish convent.
“Philomena” is based on a book by Martin Sixsmith: ‘The Lost Child of Philomena Lee’, from 2009. He wrote it based on actual facts. The movie keeps surprising you and has some funny twist and unexpected anecdotes. Keep your tissues ready, because it’s one of those films.
Rating: 4,5/ 5