7.6/10
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Philomena (2013)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 27 November 2013 (USA)
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ON DISC
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 »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 77 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Philomena
... Martin Sixsmith
... Young Philomena
... Mary
... Sister Hildegarde
... Mother Barbara
... Pete Olsson
... Michael
... Jane
... Sally Mitchell
... Young Nun
... Sister Anunciata
... Kathleen
... Sister Claire
... 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

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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:

£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
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Martin and Philomena are driving, she asks to stop at a Catholic Church for confession. The name of the church is St. Anthony's Catholic Church. See more »

Goofs

The church in the end scene is obviously in England. Even if a church of this appearance existed in Ireland it would not be in Catholic ownership as all pre reformation churches were given to the Anglicans. They should have found a credible church while filming in Ireland. See more »

Quotes

Martin Sixsmith: [about Philomena] She told four people today that they're one in a million. What are the chances of that?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #19.58 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Panis Angelicus
Written by Thomas Aquinas (as Saint Thomas Aquinas) and César Franck
Choir Mistress: Mags Shepherd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This Year's King's Speech
11 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

As several critics have observed, this wonderful film, just shown at TIFF, is destined to become this year's King's Speech (which began its Oscar run in Toronto too, though Philomena has already picked up accolades in Venice). Both British films have strongly emotional undercurrents leavened by wry humour, feature outstanding performances from the leads and are based on true stories.

Judi Dench, as the Irish woman whose out-of-wedlock son is taken from her by Catholic nuns and sold to a rich American couple in the 1950's, has never been better. She imbues the role with a mix of wisdom (after all, as she reminds us repeatedly, she was nurse for 30 years) and naiveté that would seem to be impossible were it not so deftly handled. While the cynical atheist portrayed by Steve Coogan rarely misses an opportunity to poke fun at her, more often than not she enjoys the last laugh.

Despite the consummate acting, and Frears' slick directing, the greatest treat of the film is Steve Coogan's screenplay. Given its subject matter, the story could easily have veered into melodrama, but just when it is on the verge of doing so Coogan pulls us back from the edge. Thankfully, Coogan himself is there to convey precisely the proper blend of sarcasm and compassion.


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