Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Philomena is phantastic!

I finally had the chance to see Philomena (as a treat for my birthday getaway weekend) and what a treat it was! This is my kind of film.

I will try not to give too much away, but it is based on the true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who was "convinced" shall we say to give away her out of wedlock child to adoption by an American couple in the 1950s. A half century later, on what would be the child's 50th birthday, Philomena (played expertly by Judi Dench) admits the existence of her son for the first time to her adult daughter (Anna Maxwell Martin, whom I adore).

At times heart wrenching and then, in a moment, hilariously quirky (in the way that British films seem to do so well), it takes you on a roller coaster ride as she enlists the help of a jaded journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) to help find her lost child. It then ends on a happy note, so what more could I ask?

The girl who plays Philomena as a teenager is absolutely astoundingly talented, and Steve Coogan has much more depth than I realized. Judi Dench and Anna Maxwell Martin are always wonderful, and how they got those toddlers to act is beyond me! Kudos! Stephen Frears is a director who has given us many great films such as The Queen and Dangerous Liaisons. I also really liked the rather quirky Tamara Drewe myself.

I am glad to see that the film is getting some good word of mouth and I hope my dear readers will all see it and love it as much as I did. It may be difficult for some Catholics to watch (and some Republicans if you can believe the American press) however the real Philomena Lee is quite pleased with the film and remains a staunch Catholic to this day. Her capacity for forgiveness and optimism is truly admirable.

If you want to read the book written by Martin Sixsmith, the journalist involved, it is called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, retitled Philomena for the North American market.

Cheers and enjoy!


  1. I loved this movie too, and was impressed by the acting, moved by the story, and blown away, as you state, by Philomena's capacity to forgive.

    Excellent review of an excellent movie.

  2. This sounds rather lovely, hope we get to see it here in Germany. Otherwise I'll just have to wait for the DVD. Thanks for letting us know about it!

    All Britain Great and Small

  3. Thanks Jenny. It's definitely on my watch list.

  4. It sounds like a nice film. Happy Birthday, Jenny! :) xx

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