Martin Sixsmith is depressed at losing his job as a Party Adviser under controversial circumstances. While he copes with the shock, he bumps into Sally Mitchell who is willing to employ Martin if he has a human interest story. Incidentally he meets Philomena, a retired Nurse who has been separated from her son Anthony 50 years ago in Roscrea, Ireland at the hands of Catholic Nuns who raised him. He decides to turn in Philomena’s story to Sally and embarks on a journey to track down Anthony. The interesting events encountered by Martin and Philomena form the rest of the story.
Running Time:
98 min
Release date:
27 November 2013
Directed by:
Stephen Frears
Produced by:
Gabrielle Tana
Steve Coogan
Tracey Seaward
Written by:
Steve Coogan
Jeff Pope
Judi Dench
Steve Coogan
Barbara Jefford
Sophie Kennedy Clark
Kate Fleetwood
Music by:
Alexandre Desplat
Shot by:
Robbie Ryan
Editing by:
Valerio Bonelli
Distributed by:
The Weinstein Company

What’s Hot

  • The multi talented Judi Dench is ever so graceful as Philomena, who broods over not being there to raise her son. Her emotions on display when she is at war with her religious beliefs and maternal feelings are heart wrenching to say the least.
  • Steve Coogan as the smart and confident Martin Sixsmith, makes his presence felt in spite of a strong performance by Judi. His mild humour doesn’t strike a chord with Philomena due to her background as an orthodox catholic, but provides enough comic relief to the audience. The constant disagreements between Martin and Judi are surprisingly enjoyable.
  • Though the script inspired by true events, the intelligent approach by Stephen Frears ensures that the tragedies associated with true events do not drown viewers the in sorrow. An element of hope and fulfilment is maintained to overcome the sense of despair.
  • The cast selected for recreation of events from Philomena’s troubled past, need to commended for their commitment to deliver the intended emotions even though they relatively miniscule roles.
  • The movie hints that the Gay community is not to be looked away from and that being Gay is not a limitation to achieve success. It also subtly suggests that they need to be accepted on a larger scale to spare them from reclusion.

What’s Not

  • Joining the ranks of numerous films that accuse Catholics and Republicans to be responsible for misfortunes of the society, the movie provides ample space to stir up unwarranted controversies as the Church is shown to hold pregnant teens as sinners and the Republicans as suppressors of gay rights.
  • Portrayal of Martin being desperate to land a job by taking a normal human interest piece, is not convincing enough considering his prior designation.



Verdict Stamp

This is one heartfelt search by a mother to trace her estranged son in an attempt to find solace for her troubled soul.