Philomena

2013, Drama, 1h 37m

200 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Based on a powerful true story and led by note-perfect performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena offers a profoundly affecting drama for adult filmgoers of all ages. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1952, Irish teenager Philomena (Judi Dench) became pregnant out of wedlock and was sent to a convent. When her baby, Anthony, was a toddler, the nuns took Philomena's child away from her and put him up for adoption in the United States. For the next 50 years, she searched tirelessly for her son. When former BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) learns of the story, he becomes her ally. They travel together to America to find Anthony and become unexpectedly close in the process.

Cast & Crew

Judi Dench
Philomena Lee
Steve Coogan
Martin Sixsmith
Michelle Fairley
Sally Mitchell
Barbara Jefford
Sister Hildegarde
Peter Hermann
Pete Olsson
Ruth McCabe
Mother Barbara
Steve Coogan
Screenwriter
Jeff Pope
Screenwriter
Henry Normal
Executive Producer
Christine Langan
Executive Producer
Cameron McCracken
Executive Producer
François Ivernel
Executive Producer
Carolyn Marks Blackwood
Executive Producer
Robbie Ryan
Cinematographer
Alexandre Desplat
Original Music
Alan MacDonald
Production Design
Rod McLean
Production Design
Rod McLean
Supervising Art Direction
Sarah Stuart
Art Director
Consolata Boyle
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for Philomena

Audience Reviews for Philomena

  • Mar 12, 2021
    First of all, it's a road movie with two contradictory characters; I like those movies, so it's already got me there. As for the premise itself, the fascinating thing about it is despite a dark and frankly evil starting off point for their journey, the film itself is surprisingly quirky and charming. That really comes down to Philomena herself. Not just how wonderfully she is played by Judi Dench, but how great the real life character is. Despite all that has happened to her, she keeps her faith and optimism, and that is truly the spirit of the film. Also, she's just a godamn delight of a human being and truly funny. The chemistry between Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is spot on, and his cynicism with her optimism is a delight. The movie has a simple goal in the end, but it does so with great character and charming leads. It's heartwarming and fun and I really liked it.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2019
    Loved this film to bits!
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2017
    an alternative to the magdalene sisters. i was struglling to envision steeve coogan in a serious role and much to my surprise he wasnt very serious at all which, to the film-maker's credit, worked just fine. judi dench as usual was a force in of herself which leant creedence to the seriousness in which this story must be taken. most poignant was the affect the two characters had on each other.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2015
    A woman in her 60s recruits the help of a disgraced journalist to find her son she was forced to give up for adoption as a teenager by the nuns who ran the orphanage she lived in. Engrossing and the discoveries follow an unpredictable path in this true-life story, with a completely unexpected and welcome injection of humor throughout. Both Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are marvelous in their roles playing people with very different outlooks on life, particularly with regards to religion, yet united with commonness of purpose. Worth seeking out and deservedly earned Oscar nominations for Dench, picture, original music, and the adapted screenplay.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer

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