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Philomena (2013)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 27 November 2013 (USA)
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A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,938 ( 946)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Ruth McCabe ...
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Young Nun
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Kathleen
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Sister Claire
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Young Sister Hildegarde
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Storyline

When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son's fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a search for a lost son. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

27 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Filomena  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$128,435 (USA) (22 November 2013)

Gross:

$37,707,719 (USA) (16 May 2014)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Decades later, partly due to the original book, it became apparent just how common stories like Philomena's were in Ireland before, during, and after the 1950s. Revelations about widespread forced adoptions, and abuse of children by the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations, have given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended. See more »

Goofs

The church in the end scene is obviously in England. Even if a church of this appearance existed in Ireland it would not be in Catholic ownership as all pre reformation churches were given to the Anglicans. They should have found a credible church while filming in Ireland. See more »

Quotes

Martin Sixsmith: [about Philomena] She told four people today that they're one in a million. What are the chances of that?
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Crazy Credits

Real footage of Anthony/Michael is shown at the ending credits See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Panis Angelicus
Written by Thomas Aquinas (as Saint Thomas Aquinas) and César Franck
Choir Mistress: Mags Shepherd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Oscars just aren't good enough
11 November 2013 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The most remarkable thing about Stephen Frears' remarkable film "Philomena" is just how unsentimental and just how funny it actually is. Human Interest stories, the phrase Martin Sixsmith, (played superbly here by Steve Coogan), uses to describe exactly what it is he is doing in taking on the case of Philomena Lee, usually leave me cold for the very reasons Sixsmith describes in the film. But this is no ordinary 'human interest' story but a study of goodness triumphing over evil in a very real sense for surely Philomena Lee, as portrayed here, is a truly good person and the system she found herself fighting, though hardly by choice, namely the Catholic Church in Ireland, is in this instance anyway, evil. It's a heart-wrenching story but told with a good deal of natural humour and a distinct lack of lachrymation, (though you would need to have a heart of stone or no heart at all not to be moved to tears). The director is Stephen Frears who almost takes a back seat and lets the tale tell itself. The script is by Coogan and Jeff Pope and it beautifully encapsulates the book that Sixsmith wrote about Philomena Lee's search for the son who was taken away from her by Irish nuns and sold to an American couple simply because she had given birth out of wedlock at a time when such 'sins' were considered almost unforgivable. But Philomena never displays bitterness nor does she feel hatred. It simply isn't in her nature and in the end it is she who forgives rather than feel the need to ask for forgiveness. All the performances are first-rate and in the title role Judi Dench is simply phenomenal. This could so easily have become a display of actorly histrionics but Dench underplays almost to the point of invisibility. We certainly never see Dench up there on the screen but the incredible woman she is playing. Her performance is heart-breaking but then so is the whole film. Oscars are just not good enough.


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