STARRING: Judy Dench, Steve Coogan
DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears
This wonderful drama, based on the true story of Philomena Lee's search for the son taken from her by the Irish/Catholic convent, is a masterpiece in acting and direction. Locked away in a convent following her pregnancy and childbirth, the young and single Philomena is forced to work off her ‘sins’ for years, during which her son is adopted out to a family who paid the church for the child. Decades of guilt, shame and frustration find her resigned to the fact she will never find her boy until journalist Martin Sixmith (Steve Coogan) takes on the task of helping her. Whilst his motives are purely selfish, in that his publisher smells a lucrative Human Interest expose’, Martin finds himself captivated by both the chase and his ever-growing affection for the aged Philomena.
This tale shines yet another light into corners of the Catholic Church history that they would prefer to remain cloaked in darkness. The cruel enslaving of ‘wayward’ girls, the selling off of their children and the manipulation and secrecy practiced in the name of God is certainly confronting stuff.
Dame Judy Dench plays the charmingly Irish and simple Philomena perfectly. Her acting is a ’tour de force’ tugging the viewer from one emotion to another as we take her journey. Her lifelong grief at the loss of her son seems almost unbearable, a heartache that all mothers will empathise with. Steve Coogan is also excellent as the down on his luck writer, but his good performance takes a back seat to the wonderful Judy who dominates the screen.
It's a great film - but make sure your girlfriend has a box of tissues handy. Don’t be surprised if this one gets best Screenplay and maybe sneaks the best Actress at the Oscars.
RATING: 4 1/2 beanbags
Ambient Lounge is the number one Cinema Bean Bag furniture for both home and commercial use in Australia, Asia and now the UK. We love movies and we watch a LOT of them! Every month Ambient Lounge acclaimed author and movie critic Gary Morris, will review his picks of latest release and up-and-coming rental flicks. Please note that movies are subjective and the views portrayed are the opinion of the author only. Enjoy your movies this season in Ambient Lounge Gold Class comfort!