Philomena is another wise and wonderful little film, though not as compelling as Her. This one was made by Stephen Frears. Judi Dench offers another brilliant performance as Philomena, a woman searching for a son she was forced to give up for adoption fifty years before. Steve Coogan is also quite good as Martin, a journalist who has just lost his job and decides to pursue the kind of human interest story he has always despised. Martin has much to learn and Philomena is ready to do some teaching.
Philomena is based on true events. While it clearly attempts to expose the abusive practices of the Irish Catholic church in the mid-19th century, I don’t think that’s what Philomena is about. And I don’t understand critics who say it is anti-religious. On the contrary, it points to some very positive elements in Christianity, exemplified by Philomena’s faith.
Despite the powerful performances, the wonderful score, the beautiful cinematography and a great ending, Philomena did not make my top ten simply because it was not compelling enough. Nevertheless, it gets a solid ***+ and I would recommend it to all.