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Film Description

Film Description



Director Stephen Frears (The Queen) teams with Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Steve Coogan (The Trip) for this powerful true story of an unmarried Irish-Catholic woman who, decades after being forced by her community to give up her newbornson, embarks on a search to find him with the aid of a BBC reporter.

In 1950s Ireland, Catholic authorities shamed thousands of “fallen” Irish women into giving their children up for adoption. Philomena Lee (Dench) was one of these women. After 50 years of fruitless searching for her son’s whereabouts, she solicits the help of recently unemployed—and unapologetically cynical—journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan). Determined to be positive despite the answers and obstacles that may lie ahead, the talkative Philomena shares stories from her past, savouring every moment on her journey to meet her child. While her quirks may test Sixmith’s patience, he will ultimately prove her biggest supporter.

Showing us her softer side, Dench gives a tour-de-force performance as Philomena, one that is perfectly complemented by Coogan. True masters of their craft, both share a natural chemistry onscreen, and their wry humour lifts the film’s more sombre moments. Frears beautifully balances these competing tones, crafting a film that illustrates the complexity of the human character. While revealing some of the darkest deeds the Catholic Church is capable of, Philomena also reminds us of one of its greatest virtues: forgiveness.


"Philomena is a real delight. Funny, moving, beautifully performed and directed with restraint and a wonderfully delicate touch." - Mark Adams, Screen International

"A howl of anti-clerical outrage wrapped in a tea cozy, "Philomena" applies amusing banter and a sheen of good taste to the real-life quest of Philomena Lee." - Justin Chang, Variety

"Stephen Frears returns to top form in a touching, at times funny true story of grave injustice and a mother's search for closure." - Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Michelle Fairley
Year: 2013
Runtime: 98 minutes
Country: UK
Language: English
Distributor: Entertainment One

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


Date Circuit Centre Location
April 24, 2014 Markham at the Movies
Markham Museum
Markham, ON
April 25, 2014 Brandon Film Festival
Evans Theatre
Brandon, MB
May 07, 2014 Film Night International
Full Circle Theatre
Perth, ON
May 08, 2014 Film Night International Smiths Falls
Rideau Canal Museum
Smiths Falls, ON
May 13, 2014 North of Seven Film Festival
Bancroft Village Playhouse
Bancroft, ON
May 25, 2014 Arts Council of New Westminster
New West Cinemas
New Westminster, BC
June 23, 2014 Reel Alternatives
Cowichan Theatre
Duncan, BC
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