Philomena is heart-wrenching story about an Irish woman who looks for her son many years after he was adopted into an American family. Between nuns, journalists and all other types of people spinning stories, we see not only the worst, but the best in people. Director Stephen Frears teams up with Judi Dench again (Mrs Henderson Presents) for what will hopefully be another Oscar-nominated performance.
We start with Martin, played by Steve Coogan, who was recently laid off from the British government. He decides to pursue journalism, through a human interest story. Through him, we find out how Philomena was born and raised by nuns, how she got pregnant and what she had to go through to keep the baby. After all that pain, the nuns take her son away without any warning. Martin begins this story as a cynical atheist, but by the end, he better understands those of religious faith by seeing the power of forgiveness.
Judi Dench strays from her more common robust character and plays the role of an uneducated, goofy, warm-hearted woman. To my surprise, there was no difficulty accepting Dench as Philomena. The rest of the cast was great as well, but Dench really steals the show.
The movie has religious themes to it, however I would say that people is the real focus of the film. Philomena is not one for the kids, but if you are really looking for an amazing story with high quality performances, this is definitely a film to see during the holidays!