Philomena

Philomena

Philomena

Judi Dench leads this UK drama directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), the true story of a single mother in search for her adult son, separated after a Christian community forced them apart decades ago. Co-starring and co-written by Steve Coogan, adapting the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith.

Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee (Dench) was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a "fallen woman". When her baby was only a toddler, he was whisked away by the nuns to America for adoption. Philomena spent the next 50 years searching for him in vain. Then she met Martin Sixsmith (Coogan), a world-weary BBC journalist as cynical as Philomena was trusting. Together they set off for America, forging a bond themselves, to try and find Philomena's son.

Best Adapted Screenplay, BAFTAs 2014; Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2013
2013Rating: M, Coarse language and mature themes94 minsUK
DramaTrue Story & Biography
92%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Matt Glasby

Flicks, Matt Glasby

flicks

Weepies can be risky territory. Get them wrong and you've made bad TV, but get them right and the rewards are yours for the taking. All of which makes Philomena a particularly brave move for Steve Coogan. Never the most natural of straight-men, he gives his most dignified performance yet, in a film he co-scripted, co-produced and generally shepherded to the screen.

4.0
0

A class act...

And a true story worth telling well. Judi Dench hits the mark with her character perfectly, and both leads generate a good balance of humour and pathos. Steve Coogan shows he's capable of delivering restraint and nuance in both acting and his role as co-writer, and gives a fine performance too. - One that could be considered diametrically opposed to that of...

4.0
0

Spirit of forgiving

Remarkable story line. Powerful. Dench does it again, brilliant performance. Tenacious. May God have mercy on their Souls..

4.0
0

A stunning example of the power of love and forgiveness in this true story with outstanding performances from Dench and Coogan.

5.0
0

Awesome acting

Sad and funny Well acted and great story. The real life Philomena approved of this movie.

5.0
0

The perfect balance of emotions

A fantastic film which pulls at every cord of your emotions with Judy Dench performing a perfect mix between comedy and heart warming emotion. This film is a powerful story with stellar performances from both leading cast members. It keeps you gripped right from beginning to end and I can see no flaws in it.

4.0
0

A movie that works perfect for those with a caring heart.

A high level of emotional intelligence is required to enjoy this brilliant film. Alan Partridge plays out of his usual character showing how brilliant he can really be and Judy Dench underlines again that she is the best actress the planet has to offer.

5.0
0

Poignant but not a tear-jerker

What could have been a real OTT tear-jerker is made into a very compelling and poignant tale of just how badly the Catholic Church treated young pregnant girls in the 1950s and 60s and how a cone of silence descended over who babies were farmed out to and, on the other side, who the parents of these adopted babies were. The movie also holds your attention...

5.0
0

A Refreshing Human Story

This movie is based around true events and shows just how many twists and turns can happen in real life.It Is well told with just the right blend of humor and story.The story is retold from the past of a young girl in a Catholic Church in Ireland,and shows just how brutal and unrealistic it was only a generation ago.It moves along well with never a dull...

4.0
0

Funny and sad

It was great to see Steve Coogan in a serious role and Judy Dench was fantastic (as always). The film had just enough humour, to stop it being too dreary, and didn't take away from the main storyline.

4.0
0

Wonderful

A thoroughly enjoyable movie about a terrible true story that manages to avoid turning into saccharine crap by being truly, genuinely funny in al the right places. Really enjoyed it.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A howl of anti-clerical outrage wrapped in a tea cozy... applies amusing banter and a sheen of good taste to the real-life quest of Philomena Lee.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Odd-couple chemistry from Dench and Coogan, a smart script and honed direction make this real-life story highly compelling.

4.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Watch both actors lean into characters seeking redemption; their clash is invigorating, with a mature payoff that has two minds meeting and getting further along.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Judi Dench's portrayal ... so quietly moving that it feels lit from within.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A moving and exhilarating film, and the strange chemistry between Dench and Coogan ferments into a 120-degree proof emotional drama.

4.0
0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

Lets viewers spend time with its characters and get to know exactly who's getting hurt. It arrives at an inevitable destination, but the journey is what makes it moving.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Stephen Frears returns to top form in a touching, at times funny true story of grave injustice and a mother's search for closure.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A terrific, sophisticated comedy that tackles serious issues with a lightness of touch and a spirit of steel.

0
Flicks, Matt Glasby

Flicks, Matt Glasby

flicks

Weepies can be risky territory. Get them wrong and you've made bad TV, but get them right and the rewards are yours for the taking. All of which makes Philomena a particularly brave move for Steve Coogan. Never the most natural of straight-men, he gives his most dignified performance yet, in a film he co-scripted, co-produced and generally shepherded to the screen.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A howl of anti-clerical outrage wrapped in a tea cozy... applies amusing banter and a sheen of good taste to the real-life quest of Philomena Lee.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Odd-couple chemistry from Dench and Coogan, a smart script and honed direction make this real-life story highly compelling.

4.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Watch both actors lean into characters seeking redemption; their clash is invigorating, with a mature payoff that has two minds meeting and getting further along.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Judi Dench's portrayal ... so quietly moving that it feels lit from within.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A moving and exhilarating film, and the strange chemistry between Dench and Coogan ferments into a 120-degree proof emotional drama.

4.0
0
The Dissolve

The Dissolve

press

Lets viewers spend time with its characters and get to know exactly who's getting hurt. It arrives at an inevitable destination, but the journey is what makes it moving.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Stephen Frears returns to top form in a touching, at times funny true story of grave injustice and a mother's search for closure.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A terrific, sophisticated comedy that tackles serious issues with a lightness of touch and a spirit of steel.

0

A class act...

And a true story worth telling well. Judi Dench hits the mark with her character perfectly, and both leads generate a good balance of humour and pathos. Steve Coogan shows he's capable of delivering restraint and nuance in both acting and his role as co-writer, and gives a fine performance too. - One that could be considered diametrically opposed to that...

4.0
0

Spirit of forgiving

Remarkable story line. Powerful. Dench does it again, brilliant performance. Tenacious. May God have mercy on their Souls..

4.0
0

A stunning example of the power of love and forgiveness in this true story with outstanding performances from Dench and Coogan.

5.0
0

Awesome acting

Sad and funny Well acted and great story. The real life Philomena approved of this movie.

5.0
0

The perfect balance of emotions

A fantastic film which pulls at every cord of your emotions with Judy Dench performing a perfect mix between comedy and heart warming emotion. This film is a powerful story with stellar performances from both leading cast members. It keeps you gripped right from beginning to end and I can see no flaws in it.

4.0
0

A movie that works perfect for those with a caring heart.

A high level of emotional intelligence is required to enjoy this brilliant film. Alan Partridge plays out of his usual character showing how brilliant he can really be and Judy Dench underlines again that she is the best actress the planet has to offer.

5.0
0

Poignant but not a tear-jerker

What could have been a real OTT tear-jerker is made into a very compelling and poignant tale of just how badly the Catholic Church treated young pregnant girls in the 1950s and 60s and how a cone of silence descended over who babies were farmed out to and, on the other side, who the parents of these adopted babies were. The movie also holds your attention...

5.0
0

A Refreshing Human Story

This movie is based around true events and shows just how many twists and turns can happen in real life.It Is well told with just the right blend of humor and story.The story is retold from the past of a young girl in a Catholic Church in Ireland,and shows just how brutal and unrealistic it was only a generation ago.It moves along well with never a dull...

4.0
0

Funny and sad

It was great to see Steve Coogan in a serious role and Judy Dench was fantastic (as always). The film had just enough humour, to stop it being too dreary, and didn't take away from the main storyline.

4.0
0

Wonderful

A thoroughly enjoyable movie about a terrible true story that manages to avoid turning into saccharine crap by being truly, genuinely funny in al the right places. Really enjoyed it.

4.0
0