PHILOMENA

Director Stephen Frears
Year 2013
Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Barbara Jefford
Rating PG-13
Run Time 98min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” inspired this drama about Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a former BBC correspondent  who grudgingly tackles the story of an elderly Irish Catholic woman named Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), who dreamed of locating the son she involuntarily gave up for adoption in the 1950s.

Sixsmith, who was running for cover after losing his career in a political scandal, took on the project as freelance work, not expecting to get much of it besides a sentimental human-interest piece. Instead, he and Philomena found themselves caught up in an investigation that exposed ghastly secret practices in an Irish convent, where unmarried girls who found themselves "in the family way" slaved away in laundries, sometimes for years, to "pay" for the delivery and care of their babies.

Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday wrote of PHILOMENA, "For a significant portion of the movie­going public, the words 'Judi Dench' are enough to send them straight to the closest theater where one of her films might be playing. And for good reason: At 78, the British actress has become an international treasure, able to play steely, formidable characters with as much ease as cozier, more grandmotherly roles." Under the expert direction of Stephen Frears (DANGEROUS LIAISONS, THE QUEEN), Dench has rarely been more effective than she is here, masterfully portraying a woman of faith challenged to forgive what most would see as unforgivable crimes. PHILOMENA scores as a heartwarming drama, a surprising mystery and as a subtle shocker that reminds us of the awful deeds that are sometimes committed by people trying to do "the right thing." (James Sanford)

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