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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 »
When Martin enters the car at the monastery he has a messenger bag on his shoulder, but inside the car the bag isn't there. See more »
He doesn't want to see me, isn't it?
Some people have problem to deal with the past... not you, though. But I'm sure he'll come around.
See more »
Real footage of Anthony/Michael is shown at the ending credits See more »
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.
44 of 52 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?