- 1 hr 35 min
Philomena is a 2013 British drama film directed by Stephen Frears and stars Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, and Sophie Kennedy Clark. The film is based on the true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who was forced to give up her son for adoption in the 1950s and her search for him 50 years later. The film begins with Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) living a quiet life in a small Irish village. She is introduced as a devout Catholic who is keeping a secret from her family and the community. The secret, we soon find out, is that when she was a teenager, she became pregnant and was sent to a Catholic convent where she was forced to give up her son for adoption.
Fifty years later, Philomena meets Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a journalist who has just been fired from his job as a political advisor after a scandal. Martin is initially hesitant to take on a "human interest" story, but soon becomes intrigued by Philomena's story and decides to help her find her son.
Together, they travel to the United States where her son was adopted and begin the search for him. Along the way, they encounter obstacles and resistance from the Catholic Church, who holds records of the adoption but refuses to release them.
As they delve deeper into the story, Martin and Philomena's relationship deepens and they develop an unlikely friendship. Through their journey, they uncover shocking truths about Philomena's son and the Catholic Church's treatment of unwed mothers and their children.
Judi Dench plays Philomena with grace and authenticity, capturing the character's strength and pain. Coogan, known for his comedic roles, shows his dramatic range in his portrayal of Martin, as he struggles to find his place in the world after losing his job and being humiliated by the press.
Sophie Kennedy Clark plays a younger version of Philomena in flashbacks, providing insight into the character's past and the events that led up to her giving up her son. Clark gives a touching performance and provides a window into the life of a young woman dealing with shame and guilt after falling pregnant out of wedlock.
The film tackles themes of adoption, faith, forgiveness, and redemption. It raises questions about the power of institutions, the treatment of unwed mothers and their children, and the role of faith in people's lives. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, as the search for Philomena's son takes unexpected turns and reveals long-buried secrets.
Overall, Philomena is a moving film that tells a powerful true story with sensitivity and care. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love and forgiveness. Dench, Coogan, and Kennedy Clark deliver strong performances, making this film a must-see for anyone interested in the human experience.
Philomena is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 77.