The true story of Philomena Lee, who went in search of her long
lost son who was taken from her after she gave birth in a convent.
Directed by Stephen Frears
Written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Michelle Fairley,
Anna Maxwell Martin, Sophie Kennedy Clark,
Peter Hermann, Sean Mahon, Barbara Jefford
Based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee
by Martin Sixsmith
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress (Judi Dench),
Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat)
Philomena is a touching story about the strength of the human spirit, and about one woman's determination to find the son she lost after fifty years of wondering what had happened to him. This film is simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking, thanks to the superb script and chemistry between Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Philomena Lee is a strong and admirable woman. She became pregnant at a young age and gave birth in the strict confines of a convent, who then used her for cheap labor under the guise of penance. Her son was then sold to an American family when he was a toddler and she never heard anything about him again, until one day she decided to stop waiting and start looking with the help of a disgraced journalist.
Ultimately, it's Judi Dench that turns this movie from good to great, delivering a powerful portrayal of a woman who suffered so much injustice, yet refused to let her faith waver. Her emotional journey to find her long lost child is touching to say the least, but there were definitely tears coming from my eyes when the truth finally came out. What those nuns did to her is just another example of corruption in the church that must be brought into the light. It's horrific what Philomena and many other young woman were forced into by authority figures who called it "God's will."
I was touched by this film and I have nothing but the utmost respect for Philomena Lee. To come so close to the breaking point only to instead show forgiveness is something few people could ever do earnestly. Philomena shows that family is never forgotten and no matter what, it is always worth fighting for. Despite the eventual news she received, she never let it destroy her faith in God or her faith in her son. Stories like that always get to me.