Thursday, February 20, 2014


PHILOMENA Online Poster


Religion has always been a debatable topic. So spare me.

This Reviewer is a devout Buddhist and knows little about the Catholic faith by way of choice.

Every religion has its own set of principles. We have to respect this.

And for all it’s worth, the Reviewer is here to write an impartial review, unbiased.

Let’s begins with the lead character who’s former journalist Martin Sixsmith.

He has been fired from the British Labour Party, a job he loves, and is now unsure of his next career move.

His luck changes when a young Irish woman approaches him to work on a story about her mother, Philomena.

Philomena had her son forcibly taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent some fifty years ago. It’s been a pretty long time.

Martin sees a scoop here, bagged a magazine sponsorship and goes on a manhunt (the search for her long, lost son).

This journey eventually leads them to America.

Along the way, Martin and Philomena discovers a better understanding between them, leading to an affable friendship.

They also uncovers the truth about her son’s fate. He’s dead. How did he die?

The film is “based on a true story,” and we are shown those chapters that highlights the Church’s harsh treatment of its titular character.

Flashback to year 1952 where an impressionistic teenager Philomena Lee (Sophie Kennedy Clark) had unprotected sex and got herself pregnant.

Being unwedded, the act of coitus is not bliss.

So her parents whisked her off to a convent in Roscrea, Ireland to atone for “her sin.”

Young Philomena gave birth soon after and is then put into a viritable servitude program to serve her penance.

She is only allowed to see her infant son once a week.

The nuns there treat their wards with disdain, contempt and intolerance. So much for the Catholic faith.

That particular convent even sell babies in their care to wealthy Americans for profits. Bless these nuns.

We later discover how Philamena loses her precious little Anthony.

He has been sold to an American family and shipped to the US.

Judi Dench as the older Philamena is awesome for her pitch perfect acting.

Her emotional stance wavers from holding the Church responsible for her emotional and physical damage as she is a God fearing woman.

Steve Coogan as the former political journalist Martin Sixsmith is marvelous.

 There’s an engaging chemistry between the two leads.

Martin uncovers clues to Philomena’s long lost son without much ado when she is unable to do so for five solid decades.

This is a lilting film that raises questions about love, religion, endurance and forgiveness paying homage to an old adage “love thy enemies”.

I ask myself, “Can you love your enemies?”

Maybe not.

A leopard never changes his spot, people often say.

 Martin Sixsmith’s book was published in 2009 as The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee.

The story was said to have inspired thousands of adopted Irish children and their mothers to come forward with their own stories.

This film will surely expose those horrific acts by relentless nuns, who had thrived for decades to keep the mother and son apart.

Watch it for Judi Dench’s compelling performance. She’s brilliant.

 ”PHILOMENA” is a cinematic gem not to be missed. Go see it!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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