Philomena: A Review

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, I am sure you are trying to get to some of those last movies you have yet to see. Or at least, this award show acts as a reasonable excuse for me to go see more movies. Today’s venture happened to be Philomena, and what a wonderful venture.

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Aside from being a truly original and honest story, I felt moved by the piece, which is really what a film should do. However, now is not the time for a discourse on my belief in the purpose of film. Philomena tells the story of a woman searching for her son, a son she gave birth to while forcibly living in a convent, a convent who sold him for adoption. The story naturally unfolds with the reveal of content, as I would imagine happened for Philomena Lee herself. The story’s emotionally gripping; I myself cried at the beginning, middle, and end. With the addition of Steve Coogan playing the journalist who helped record Philomena’s story, the comedic relief certainly created by Coogan help the story breathe amongst the weight.

Judi Dench was every bit of wonderful I hoped she would be and more. Coogan surprised me, and I thought he might be outweighed by Judi Dench (because, well, who wouldn’t be?) but he held his own and more. I would continue, but I hate spoiling the endings, or even the beginnings for people, as nearly happened with me for this movie. Of course, I immediately blocked the detail, and only remembered I heard if before, after its reveal in the movie. My near mishap aside, I recommend this movie for any day, but especially a rainy one where you just need a fulfilling, honest cry. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to pass the tissues.

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