7.6/10
81,657
242 user 334 critic

Philomena (2013)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 27 November 2013 (USA)
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A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,743 ( 281)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruth McCabe ...
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Young Nun
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Kathleen
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Sister Claire
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Young Sister Hildegarde

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Storyline

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. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a search for a lost son. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Filomena  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$128,435 (USA) (22 November 2013)

Gross:

$37,707,719 (USA) (16 May 2014)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Decades later, partly due to the original book, it became apparent just how common stories like Philomena's were in Ireland before, during, and after the 1950s. Revelations about widespread forced adoptions, and abuse of children by the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations, have given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended. See more »

Goofs

The BMW hire car in Ireland has Republic of Ireland registration plates and a Northern Ireland tax disc. See more »

Quotes

Martin Sixsmith: [frustrated] I asked a question.
Sister Claire: You're a journalist.
Martin Sixsmith: Yes. Well, I used to be.
Philomena: He's a Roman Catholic.
Martin Sixsmith: Yes. Well, I used to be.
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Crazy Credits

Real footage of Anthony/Michael is shown at the ending credits See more »

Connections

Featured in Making of Philomena (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother of God Here I Stand
Composed by John Tavener and Mikhail Lermontov
Published by Chester Music Ltd.
By kind permission of Music Sales Creative
Performed by The Tiffin Boys' Choir
Choir Director: Simon Toyne
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User Reviews

 
Much more subtle and interesting than I predicted
1 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The film starts with the message that it is based on true events. Although you might wonder what was changed for the film, you soon forget that and accept it as a whole. In short it was brilliant. It could have been a predictable story but instead it had other dimensions and took unexpected directions with strong characters and some humour. I thought I knew an outline beforehand and was pleasantly surprised when that part was covered in the first twenty minutes. It was intriguing where the story would take us and that happened a few more times later. In addition to Philomena's journey, there was also Martin Sixsmith's journey from the beginning as just a detached journalist doing a human interest story on someone, whom he thought was beneath him, to being totally involved and offering not to publish it. To illustrate the depths of this film you can see how it attacks cruel, narrow-minded, sanctimonious Catholicism and at the same time shows how the faith gave strength to Philomena and the ability to forgive rather than to wreak vengeance. The acting was totally convincing. It is going to be a competitive year but Judy must be up for another Oscar. Just watching Steve Coogan's almost imperceptible expressions of irritation as Philomena told him the interminable plot of the book she had just been reading, was wonderful. This is definitely the best film I have seen all year. After writing this I read the interview with Martin Sixsmith on the Guardian web-site. It fills in more detail about Michael Hess (Anthony Lee) but confirms the whole truth of the story.


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