Home > Film Reviews > Philomena


Posted by admin on December 6, 2013


Uncovering your past is the same as going on an adventure. You could spend years trying to figure out what kind of person you are, but have you ever wanted to find out how your family brought you here. Today’s technology has found history books full of information for last names that span back generations more then they think. Though I have not done this myself, my mother decided to hold a family reunion and thought that would be a great time to research her ancestry. Thankfully, my grandparents from that side are alive and well, so they were able to provide her plenty of photo albums and names.

I can’t fully say what find of information we found, but we were able to trace our roots back to Ireland. Now were trying to find a way to travel the to green emerald in order to learn more about ourselves. As you can see, I’m very privileged to get this opportunity. There a lot of others who have no records, due to unorthodox situations involving adoptions. You would think that things would be easier for them, but each day forward, an ink note somewhere fades faster. One woman’s search for her kin takes her to America in Philomena.

A BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith (played by Steve Coogan) has just lost his job and he’s in in therapy trying to figure out what he should do next. He considers running and writing a book about Russian history. Neither seems to interest anyone. Meanwhile, an older woman Philomena Lee (played by Judith Dench) reveals to her adult daughter about a son. Philomena apparently gave birth as a teenager and was forced to live in a convent to make up her sins to god. At a party, the adult daughter meets up with Martin and suggests this as his next story. Though he rebuffs the idea of doing a human-interest story, he changes his mind.

Martin knows he’s in for a tough ride as Philomena is a bit on the naïve side, thinking that this man will have no problem finding her son. They both take a trip to the convent to see if they can get any information. They are told that all records about adoptions were lost in a fire. Martin then hears a rumor that all the children were sold to American couples. So Steve decides to try his luck in Washington D.C. and take Philomena to use better contacts to find her son.

I liked this movie a lot better then I anticipated. I knew that it was based off a book called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, but I kept thinking that this movie would be a road trip comedy. This is certainly not the case. Philomena is a heartfelt story not only about a woman looking for her child, but also about how cruel convents were about simply selling children like a bag of corn. While I can appreciate that they went to good homes, that doesn’t excuse the nuns for not letting their original mothers know of what became of their children, simply because of a mistake.

Steve Coogan and Judith Dench work off each other very nicely. You can understand how stressful traveling with an older person, but it is cute to see this journalist goes as far as this to make a person happy and try and get his job back. Philomena starts off making you think your in for a lite story of family findings, but evolves pleasantly as a larger story of political secrets and conflicts with god and the church.


I’ll give this five Irish harps out of five. Philomena’s story comes as a bigger supposes then most of the summer blockbusters this year. 


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