You see, Saturday afternoon my mom and I went and saw Philomena.
In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s the story of Philomena Lee—a woman who sets out to find her son, forty-some years after she was forced to give him up for adoption. Part of the penitence for her sin, you know. It’s based on true events, based on the book by Martin Sixsmith (The Lost Child of Philomena Lee), and it’s heartrendingly good.
First of all, Judi Dench plays the title role. I’ve yet to see anything with Dame Judi that I didn’t like; I love her to bits. So that part is pretty much a given.
What surprised me, however, was Steve Coogan’s role. And it’s quite a role. He plays Martin Sixsmith—the atheistic ex-journalist who takes up Philomena’s cause, despite the fact it’s a human interest story (and he’s much too good for those). He’s also one of the producers and a co-writer (along with Jeff Pope).
Their writing, coupled with Stephen Frears’ direction (and more than likely, some pretty great editings as well) have created something of a masterpiece. You may be laughing one minute, crying the next, and it all feels perfectly natural. It’s a seamless weaving of life. And despite the haunting subject matter, it manages to leave a sense of hope.
So if you’re like me, and a bit behind on your movie watching, don’t miss Philomena!