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
3,116 ( 360)
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

The Daughters of Charity now own the business side of St Anne's / Roscrea Abbey. The nuns were quickly taken away from the care of the intellectually disabled in the region. See more »

Goofs

Though the film appears to be set in 2004, the red Mazda MX-5 in which Pete Olsson arrives at his house is a third-generation model, not launched until 2005. See more »

Quotes

Sister Claire: Hello.
Martin Sixsmith: Oh hello.
Sister Claire: I'm Sister Claire.
Martin Sixsmith: Yes, hello... I was just admiring your picture of Jayne Mansfield.
Sister Claire: No, that's Jane Russell. Jayne Mansfield was the blonde one.
Martin Sixsmith: Yes, of course. They were both very big... I mean, the two of them... huge... their careers.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jonah Hill/Bastille (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne In F-Sharp, Op. 15, No. 2
(uncredited)
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
Superb storytelling, perfectly balanced tone
22 October 2013 | by rabbitmoonSee all my reviews

Steve Coogan deserves utmost respect for producing and writing this film. His script is excellent, consistently witty and engaging on the surface whilst spinning many more layers beneath the surface which became unconsciously stirring. Normally with these kinds of films I find the humour becomes contrived, forced or inappropriate, like the writers/director buckle under a need to impress and please the audience. You won't find those jarring moments here - Philomena is expertly judged and balanced. The story itself is fascinating, and again Coogan's script steers clear from overt sentimentality to allow the humanity to speak for itself. A gentle, funny, heartbreaking and unforgettable film. I actually much prefer it to the Kings Speech.


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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
See full technical specs »

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