Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark
Director: Stephen Frears
Running Time: 98 mins
Philomena is a British film about an old woman, looking for her long-lost son, whose story is picked up by a journalist, and together, the two set out about doing everything they can to find what happened to this woman’s son.
This film was very good. It may not have had a particularly startling plot, or fantastic writing, but it was definitely a brilliantly emotional story with one of the most likeable central characters I’ve ever seen in a film, making it a joy to watch.
At the start, you’re thrown immediately into the world of this journalist (played by Steve Coogan), giving you a perfect footing from which to look at the whole plot, i.e. from his point of view.
However, it’s once you meet Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) when your emotions suddenly turn, and leave you confused as to who is really in the right and who’s in the wrong. This conflict between the two sides goes on for the entire film, and by the end, it leaves you emotionally torn, so much so that I was on the verge of crying, not a mean feat for a film to do.
Another fantastic thing about this story was that there was real tension and drama involved. Initially, during Philomena’s time at the convent is full of really quite brutal emotional turmoil, looking at the effects of losing a child for a woman in real depth. Also, as the story goes on, the whole uncertainty of her son’s identity and situation: Will they find him? What will he be like? Will he remember her?, makes this on the surface easy-going story actually quite tense to watch.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.6, because although I wasn’t necessarily blown away by any of its qualities, it’s a solid emotional, true story that gets to the core of your emotions and those of its characters.