By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 5 (Out of 5 Reels)

I am an absolute fan of all things Dame Judy Dench and when I saw the trailer for Philomena I knew immediately that I wanted to see it.  A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a Catholic convent (IMDB).

I knew this film was going to be hard to watch at times because it never ceases to amaze me what harm can be done and was done to people in the name of God.  Philomena (Dench) gets pregnant is forced to live in a convent and work seven days a week until her baby is delivered.  Once delivered, if they both survive, she must continue to work seven days a week and is only allowed to see her son for one hour a day.  Until one day a family comes to the convent and pays to take two of the children away, one of them her son.

Dench is absolutely perfectly suited for this role and does an amazing job of it.  Steve Coogan is equally as wonderful as Martin Sixsmith a former political journalist looking for a new path in life who didn’t even want to explore Philomena’s story initially.  I am an adamant fan of British comedies because they are usually well thought out and are well made and this film is no exception.  This film is well made from a technical standpoint therefore I don’t have much to say about that aspect.  It is simply a wonderful human story of a woman trying to fill a whole in her heart and I definitely recommend seeing it.  As usual though I would not pay full price to see it, catch a matinee.

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