Dame Judi Dench always seems to get things right and she certainly does in the touching film Philomena. Based on true events, Philomena is the perfect movie for the holidays, tugging at the heartstrings in all the right ways.
A project by Steve Coogan, who also stars in the film, Philomena follows the efforts of a woman to find out what happened to the baby that was taken from her as a young pregnant woman forced to live in a convent.
So far, Judi Dench has received both Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress and an Oscar nomination is sure to follow. Steve Coogan has also gotten nominations for best screenplay, as he started writing the script after finding out about the real Philomena story when he read a headline in the Manchester Guardian: “The Catholic Church Sold My Child.” Coogan also appears in the story as a journalist who uses his connections to find out what happened to Philomena’s son after he was adopted as a toddler, against his mother’s wishes.
Dench has received nothing but amazing reviews, with even the oft-harsh LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan calling her performance “genius.” While categorized as a drama, the film offers moments of comedic relief and Dench handles the transitions with remarkable adroitness. In fact, she is so remarkable as a “little old Irish lady,” you can also forget that she usually plays the hard-nosed M from the James Bond epics.
While it is in limited release, Philomena is currently playing at the Pasadena Laemmle, and is strongly recommended as a must-see.
photos courtesy of O.Canada.com and Dailymail.com