Philomena tells the true story of a wily BBC journalist and an elderly lady who set out to find her long-lost son. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan excel in this warm, charming, witty and captivating variation on The Magdalene Sisters.
Greeted with an ovation by the assembled world press at the Venice Film Festival, Philomena took home the prize for Best Screenplay. (English spoken)
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a »fallen woman.« When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him but with no success. Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off to America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin.
»It is an odd couple film, an extraordinary road trip taken by a wily journalist and an elderly lady. Judi Dench is absolutely wonderful to work with and I believe gives the performance of her life, contrasting with Steve Coogan who plays with an extraordinary pitch perfect depth. He is interesting and clever with tremendous moral intelligence.«
- Stephen Frears
Born in Leicester in 1941, Frears embarked on his film career in 1965 as assistant to Karel Reisz. He made his first TV-film, the 30-minute Burning, in 1967. For the next twenty years, he dedicated himself almost exclusively to TV-films, until his 1985 cinematic breakthrough, My Beautiful Laundrette. Since then, he has been making blockbusters in Hollywood as well as small-scale, low-budget films in Great Britain