When former journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) 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 Lee (Dame Judi Dench), 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 (email@example.com)
When Philomena Lee (Dame Judi Dench) is asking Mary (Mare Winningham) if Michael (Sean Mahon) ever talked about Ireland, she comments "no, not really" . In the book it is stated that Michael and Mary return to Ireland and talk to the nuns about finding his mother. See more »
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 »
Having lived the mother-baby home experience in Ireland (born at another of the Sacred Heart homes, Bessboro, in Cork in 1960, and trafficked to the US in 1961) and working as an advocate for the rights of adopted people and survivors of Irish Magdalene Laundries for more than twenty years, I'm always prepared to be either underwhelmed or angry at the film industry's ineptitude with subjects like this, I have to say I have not been as pleasantly surprised since Mike Leigh's excellent 'Secrets and Lies' and Peter Mullan's superb 'The Magdalene Sisters'. Frears, Coogan, Dench et al give Philomena's very true story such punch, truth and pathos, a heady accomplishment given the subject matter.
I look forward to the film's US release and urge my fellow 'Banished Babies' to see it, although I recommend going with support as it's very triggering. Let's hope Philomena's strength and tenacity, so powerfully portrayed by Dame Judy, coax more mothers living in shame and denial to reach out to their lost children before it's too late.
149 of 168 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this