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.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Steve Coogan (screenplay), Jeff Pope (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,756 ( 1,042)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 81 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judi Dench ... Philomena Lee
Steve Coogan ... Martin Sixsmith
Sophie Kennedy Clark ... Young Philomena
Mare Winningham ... Mary
Barbara Jefford ... Sister Hildegarde
Ruth McCabe ... Mother Barbara
Peter Hermann ... Pete Olsson
Sean Mahon ... Michael
Anna Maxwell Martin ... Jane
Michelle Fairley ... Sally Mitchell
Wunmi Mosaku ... Young Nun
Amy McAllister ... Sister Anunciata
Charlie Murphy ... Kathleen
Cathy Belton ... Sister Claire
Kate Fleetwood ... Young Sister Hildegarde
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Jefford is Dame Judi Dench's long-time co-star in William Shakespeare plays on stage and screen. See more »

Goofs

Stephen said that Anthony was snatched at birth, but he was several years old. See more »

Quotes

Philomena: I just hope God isn't listening to you.
Martin Sixsmith: Well I don't believe in God, so.
[gestures]
Martin Sixsmith: Look, no thunderbolt.
Philomena: What are you trying to prove?
Martin Sixsmith: Nothing, just that you don't need religion to lead a happy and balanced life.
Philomena: And you're happy and balanced, are you?
Martin Sixsmith: I'm a journalist, Philomena. We ask questions. We don't believe something just because we're told it's the truth. Yet what does the Bible say? "Happy are those who do not see, yet believe." Hooray for blind faith and ignorance.
Philomena: And what do you believe ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

 
Very moving film
24 November 2013 | by talentgirlSee all my reviews

This was a great film. I haven't stopped thinking and talking about it since I saw it earlier today. This is a story that needed to be told: so much better than the typical blockbusters we are force-fed day by day. A very meaningful and poignant tale about what goes on in the heart of man and the secrets that can change lives if only known. My husband and I hugely enjoy the British style of acting with its dry humour and evident realism. A movie which portrays a reality that would be very close to home for thousands of people. Steve Coogan played his part very well. Judi Dench has excellent comic timing, which I haven't forgotten, having watched her in UK sitcoms in the old days. A must see. Well done to all involved.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

UK | USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Philomena See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$128,435, 24 November 2013

Gross USA:

$37,709,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,129,872
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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