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Philomena (2013)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 27 November 2013 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer

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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,241 ( 650)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 32 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Philomena
Mother Barbara
Pete Olsson
Young Nun
Sister Anunciata
Young Sister Hildegarde


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


These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son. See more »


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:




| |


Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Filomena  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,509,726 (United Kingdom), 3 November 2013, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$128,435, 22 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$37,707,719, 16 May 2014

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,112,825, 5 May 2014
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Steve Coogan's character is a James Bond fan. Judi Dench played M in the Bond films from 1995 to 2012, with a cameo in Spectre (2015). See more »


The Ford Escape, which Pete drives in the US in 2004, is a second generation model from 2007. See more »


Mary: He wasn't too happy the last couple years of his life, working for Reagan. He was pretty messed up about it.
Martin Sixsmith: The Republicans withdrew funding for AIDS research because they blamed the epidemic on the gay lifestyle.
Philomena: Right, because some of them wouldn't wear condoms 'cause they said it spoils the feeling.
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Crazy Credits

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


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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spot on
2 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Fabulous piece of work by all concerned. We get to see all sides of a single story without excessive back flips, cartwheels and other cinematic tricks. Coogan has got the measure of this story and pulls off a truly convincing performance as Sixsmith whilst Dench almost manages to do an entire film with a dialect....occasionally lapses but you may not notice. This is a real tear-jerker at points, thought provoking at many junctures and full of ironic humour. That's quite a feat and the more enjoyable for being so. I presume the timescale is roughly ten years ago so attempts at getting tech right for the period is still possible - amazing that so recent history can seem like centuries ago when we see old technology in use. I can see this film being a 'classic' long before it reaches any real age. Its the 21st century version of a 19th century Dickens tale, that it is.

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