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Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of
Philomena Lee, PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee, mother to a boy
conceived out of wedlock -- something her Irish-Catholic community didn't have the highest
opinion of -- and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine,
she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn't allow for any sort of inquiry into the son's
whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on
with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith, a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover
her long-lost son.
Drama - This fact-based drama with comedic moments is aimed at older adults
and is basically a two-character showcase for leads Judi Dench and
Steve Coogan. There is some mild language and some gay themes that
may be of concern to parents, but kids would not be interested anyhow.
"Philomena" is a story I believe most will find somewhat interesting but not especially entertaining or memorable. And, despite what they say, this is NOT a comedy by any stretch of the imagination. There are, at best, several slightly humorous scenes in the entire film. Much of the time the story is sad and a little depressing, especially when you remember that this is based on true events. Would I (a 50+ male) recommend that you spend ten bucks on a ticket to see this movie? NO, and neither would my wife (I can't tell you her age) who tends to enjoy this type of movie much more than I do. She did feel it would be worth a matinee price for those of you who feel this is a movie you might enjoy.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good Philomena's tale is repeatedly referred to as a "human interest story" and, indeed, that's what it proves to be.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good What appears to be a simple sob fest eventually reveals itself to be a multi-faceted affair: part buddy comedy built upon class distinctions, part road trip adventure, and even part intriguing mystery.
USA TodayFull Review Good Well-written, fascinating story and deft performances make this well worth seeing.
Entertainment WeeklyFull Review Very Good But at its core, this clever, wrenching, profound story underscores the tenacity of faith in the face of unfathomable cruelty.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 49 moviegoers:
Half the males and females loved "PHILOMENA." Almost all the remaining half indicated they enjoyed it very much, rating it above average. A small percentage of the ladies only rated it "Average."