Written July 19, 2016
Grown up movies written with intelligence, humor and depth don't come along very often. I think Judy Dench is at her best here, which is saying a lot considering her impressive career. Steve Coogan hold up his side of the equation very well.
The story is wonderful, and even in it's heartbreaking moments it rings true. It never ventures over the line into melodrama. These feel like real people with real lives.
We all can relate to some event of loss and regret in our lives. We all hope to reconcile our actions in the end.
Beautifully shot film.
Great character development.
Not for children. Young adults will probably be bored.
No guns or car crashes or nudity or loud music or violence.
Go see it in the theater while you can.
Written October 31, 2014
And Coogan is the perfect "straight man." Saw this at the Toronto Film Festival in September, and it was my favorite of the 9 films I saw. Hard to believe the same actress who plays the steely-eyed "M" in the James Bond films can be so perfect as the sometimes dotty, sometimes surprisingly insightful, always affecting Philomena. I laughed...I cried...and I want to see it again as soon as it screens locally.
Written November 25, 2013
A delightfully well balanced and intriguing review of a real set of events. Balanced performances beautifully directed. At the same time both uplifting and reality-checking. Not one moment of drift and your attention is both warranted and fulfilled
Written November 30, 2013
My partner and I really enjoyed Philomena. We both are fans of Judy Dench, who is exquisite as Philomena. Cinematography, script, sound, music are expertly crafted. We highly recommend this movie. It's an Academy Award contender.
Written December 01, 2013
I laughed, cried and felt fear in my heart with the balcony scene. I also felt pity and shame that our society could treat young girls this way. Judi Dench is perhaps the most fulfilling actress of our day and pairing her with Steve Coogan was definitely a plus. I loved his balanced and normal opinion of Ms. Dench. As the mother of an adopted child, I've often felt sad that the birth Mother missed so much of my son's life. The feelings I've had, Philomena showed in her face watching the video of her son's life.
To truly enjoy this movie, I think you need to be old enough to know some of life's pains and joys. Martin's lack of understanding of the mentality of Philomena was priceless and the wisdom she showed in being able to handle the situation the way she did was priceless as well. This is a MUST SEE MOVIE.