|Ratings||UK: 12A, USA: PG-13, most countries 12 or 13|
|Source of story||A book of the same name by Martin Sixsmith|
|Writers/Script||Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope|
|Starring||Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Barbara Jefford, Peter Hermann, Charlie Murphy, Anna Maxwell Martin|
|Ratings||IMDb: 7.6 by 92,997 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 90% by 198 reviewers|
Elevator Pitch: When Martin Sixsmith, a former BBC Moscow correspondent and Labour spin doctor, is looking for a new project he meet Philomena a middle aged lady who as a teenager had had a child in Ireland and had been sent to a religious establishment who employed her and many girls like her in a laundry. Without her agreement her child had been up for adoption. She had spent many years searching for her son, but with Sixsmith’s help, despite being obstructed by the nuns of The Sacred Heart, manages to find him in America. However, it is not all good news.
Content: There is one sexual event, discreetly presented. Sixsmith drinks quite a bit of Guinness. The young Irish girls who have had children are working in the laundry and visiting their children for an hour a day, then we see two of them taken away. Sixsmith and Philomena meet in UK and he takes the job on. They visit the Sacred Heart establishment more than once and go to the local pub. Then travel a lot, planes to America and cars in Washington and around bits of the country. Philomena is uncertain as to whether she wants her story to be out there in the public domain.
A View: The critics loved this, and why not, it is a distressing story well told, Judi Dench always great and Steven Coogan terrific and, I think, usually underrated. I was really impressed that an amateur reviewer on IMDb who had been born in a Sacred Heart home in 1960 and trafficked to America in 1961, thought it was well presented. It was nominated for four Oscars, has an estimated production cost of $12 million and made $100 million at the box office; we voted with our wallets. So, if you are not already familiar with the story, well worth the cost of a download.
Additional Info: In the final moments of the film Sixsmith is given a speech, which is a dramatic addition to the story, but even so he is probably speaking on behalf of all of us.