Philomena is based on a true story. Starring Judi Dench, the movie dramatizes the events of Philomena’s life. In a series of flashbacks, we learn that the retired RN and Irish country bumpkin had her child taken from her by “evil” nuns (not her word).
Martin, played by Steve Coogan, has been sacked and is floundering around, trying to find something to do. He gets recruited as a journalist to help Philomena find her son, whom she had taken from her about 50 years ago.
The movie looks at themes like faith, religion and those who run its physical manifestations. It also addresses family and questions about how best to deal with it when a person has been grievously wronged – not just once, but throughout a period of no less than 50 years.
Dench delivers a masterful performance, but the characters fall a little flat, possibly because of the analytical tone of the film. It’s as if every piece was thought out, which made the story more sterile than the life that it was trying to show. Things fell together too easily.
Americans will know Mare Winningham, even though she has a bit part. Anna Maxwell Martin, who can be seen in the Bletchley Circle, is a pleasant surprise in this film.
However, the strength on the film rests on the relationship between the characters betrayed by Dench and Coogan.
There were humorous parts. In the end, it wouldn’t be a sin for you to see Philomena.
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