7.6/10
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251 user 349 critic

Philomena (2013)

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2:31 | Trailer
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 »

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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
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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 »


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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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ireland's RTE One showed this on St Patrick's Day 2016, they skipped over all of the opening animated co-production partner Production Company Credits that included The Weinstein Company, Pathe, BBC Films, The UK National Lottery, BFI (British Film Institute). Its plausible that this may have been done as a creative broadcasting choice due to such an Irish subject, being co-funded by many British companies, on a day celebrating Irishness, may have caused offence to some. See more »

Goofs

After Alex talks to Martin on flight to America, Alex leaves and goes to stairs (going to upper deck - ie like 747). When the plane is landing, the view of the landing plane is one with a single level passenger compartment. See more »

Quotes

Mary: He wasn't too happy the last couple years of his life, working for Reagan. He was pretty messed up about it.
Martin Sixsmith: The Republicans withdrew funding for AIDS research because they blamed the epidemic on the gay lifestyle.
Philomena: Right, because some of them wouldn't wear condoms 'cause they said it spoils the feeling.
See more »

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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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