Philomena is the true story of one lady's fifty year struggle to find her son, who was forcibly stolen from her when she was a very young woman. ( Based on the book 'The Lost Child of Philomena Lee' by Martin Sixsmith). Following a teenage fling with a young man in a local fairground, Philomena ( Dench ) was forced to give up her baby boy for adoption by the Catholic nuns with whom she was forced to live and work. They also convinced (!) her of the shame she should feel at being an unmarried mother and that the child trafficking was part of her religious duty. On the boy's 50th birthday, Philomena breaks the tragic news to her daughter and together they make contact with Martin Sixsmith ( Coogan ), a BBC correspondent, to ask him if he would be interested in telling Philomena's story. Judi Dench gives one of her best and most emotional performances, slipping effortlessly between laugh-out-loud comedy, heart wrenching drama and humbling guilt. Steve Coogan perfectly judges his performance to display both his character's disdain for the church and his journey from chasing a story to personal involvement. The screenplay is heart-breaking, tragic and anger inducing, the script is beautifully balanced between comedy and pathos and the acting is of the highest quality. All of these elements produce a memorable and highly effecting & effective film that tells the appalling tale of religious, institutional abuse and misery. Philomena was one victim amongst thousands. There is no excuse for what happened. Nun.
8.5 out of 10.
Cert 12A (UK)