Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman who becomes pregnant and is sent to a Catholic institution for unmarried mothers. Judi Dench plays the title character Philomena Lee who meets a BBC reporter (Steve Coogan) willing to take up her story and search for her long lost son who was adopted by an American couple. Although this is billed as a drama, it does have some amusing moments. The two lead actors play quite well off of each other.
This movie came out in 2013 and is based on the 2009 book by Martin Sixsmith. It was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Movie, Best Actress, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Now I realize that these designations are subjective and that not everyone will agree with them. It depends on the competition. I do know that I am a fan of Judi Dench and that she definitely deserved her nomination for Best Actress. I don’t know a lot about Steve Coogan (I believe he is a comedian), but he was very credible as the BBC reporter who helps Philomena in her search. He was also a producer and screenwriter for the film.
The photography and scenery of the Irish countryside was very well done. The beginning of the story takes place in 1955 when Ireland was still a very conservative country. Judi Dench as Philomena in her later years gives a portrait of a woman whose past still haunts her but she manages to live her life in spite of it. Once she realizes that it is possible that Coogan can help her locate her son, she blossoms out as a woman who can enjoy life again and who is hopeful. I have this in my collection and I give it 5 stars out of 5. Some people may find it to be a bit slow because there are no explosions in it (ha ha!), but I was drawn into the story of a woman who suffered a loss but clung to the hope that everything would come out alright.