7.6/10
89,559
250 user 349 critic

Philomena (2013)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

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.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Steve Coogan (screenplay), Jeff Pope (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 80 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith
The Queen (2006)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals - Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy
Selma (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Laura Henderson buys an old London theater and opens it up as the Windmill, a performance hall which goes down in history for, among other things, its all-nude revues.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When famous DJ Alan Partridge's radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege.

Director: Declan Lowney
Stars: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Tim Key
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

Director: John Wells
Stars: Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).

Director: Simon Curtis
Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judi Dench ... Philomena
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
Edit

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:

These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long 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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

UK | USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Filomena See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Coogan's character is a James Bond fan. Judi Dench played M in the Bond films from 1995 to 2012, with a cameo in Spectre (2015). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sister Hildegarde: Let me tell you something. I have kept my vow of chastity my whole life. Self-denial and mortification of the flesh; that's what brings us closer to God. Those girls have nobody to blame but themselves and their own carnal incompetence!
Martin Sixsmith: You mean they had sex.
Sister Hildegarde: What's done is done. What do you expect us to do about it now?
Philomena: Nothing. There's nothing to be done or said. I found my son, that's what I came here for.
[reprimanding]
Philomena: Martin.
Martin Sixsmith: Hang on, hang on, I'll tell you what you can do. Say sorry, how ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Daily Show: Steve Coogan (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne In F-Sharp, Op. 15, No. 2
(uncredited)
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Those heartless Magdalens
13 November 2013 | by davidgeeSee all my reviews

You've read the story. You may even have read the book. A few years ago former ITN reporter Martin Sixsmith took an Irish widow on a quest to find the illegitimate son she was forcibly parted from 50 years earlier. The Magdalen Sisters at the convent where she had the baby (and where he was sold on for adoption in the US) are coldly unhelpful, but Sixsmith uses his journalistic contacts to follow up the adoption. As Philomena is quick to admit, Anthony did far better in the US than he would have done in Ireland, but she longs to know that he has missed her as much as she, for all his life, has missed him. You somehow know that this story is not going to have a happy ending.

Judi Dench gives a lovely low-key performance as the painfully unsophisticated, doggedly determined Irishwoman. Steve Coogan totally casts off his comic 'baggage' to play Sixsmith, the initially reluctant Sancho Panza on this seemingly hopeless quest. As in THE QUEEN and THE KING'S SPEECH, director Stephen Frears gets the mood exactly right with a careful attention to period details and the nuances of this slight but gut-wrenching story.

Philomena's story is a circular one, which ends back at the convent where Anthony was born and then torn away from her. One of the nuns from 50 years ago is still alive and totally unrepentant at the callousness with which these sinful young mothers were treated (dozens of them, perhaps hundreds). Martin Sixsmith's rage in this scene comes across powerfully in the script Steve Coogan co-wrote.

I don't personally believe in an afterlife but I found myself thinking that perhaps women like these heartless Fundamentalist nuns are the virgin houris with which fanatics from another faith are rewarded (in Hell, obviously: it cannot possibly be Heaven) for flying planes into skyscrapers and blowing themselves up in marketplaces. They somehow deserve each other.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 250 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed