Philomena was a movie I only saw because of my parents. It was at the nicer, smaller theatre that tends to show the offbeat movies. You know, the ones that are nominated for oscars but don’t have anything blowing up or aliens invading earth so they won’t make it at the big theaters.
Some of the best movies I’ve seen have been there (Once and The Queen come to mind) and Philomena did not disappoint.
It involves Ireland and the Catholic Church, two things I’m interested in, so that helped. Judy Dench is also an incredible actress, and it had unexpected hilarious bits.
Oh, and it’s based on a true story (and a book.)
Philomena is the story of an older woman who, when a teenager, got pregnant. At that time in Ireland it was incredibly incredibly shameful, and families often sent their pregnant daughters to the convent. The convent would put these girls to work, deliver the baby, and then raise it until it was adopted.
The problem – the girls only got 1 hour of time with their child each day, and never had a choice in their child begin given away.
On her child’s 50th birthday, Philomena decides she can’t hold in her secret anymore and wants to find him. A journalist who made a career ending mistake is looking for work, and decides to take on her story as a “human interest” piece. He’s determined to help Philomena find her child and correct the wrongdoings by the convent, but there are lots of lies, cover ups, crazy coincidences, and moral shaming along the way.
The movie was adorable as it was maddening, with sweet moments and lots of emotion.
I’d encourage you to see it, especially since it’s up for an Oscar!
*Full Disclosure: I am being compensated for including information about Grammerly.