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PHILOMENA

PHILOMENA

Judi Dench ignites the screen with her performance as “Philomena Lee”; the true story a young, Catholic, Irish girl, who has a son out of wedlock in 1952;  orphaned herself, she is housed in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roscrea, Ireland; where her son, at age three, is torn from her,  adopted by an American family. For forty-seven years she carries an albatross of guilt and secrecy; eventually confiding in her daughter, who arranges an introduction to a former BBC Foreign correspondent, Martin Sixsmith; he reluctantly agrees to help Philomena in her quest to discover her lost “Anthony”.

Steve Coogan who co-wrote and produced the film is insightful, astute and insouciant in his portrayal of “Martin Sixsmith”; the pairing of this odd couple, their blossoming respect, blending of disparate educations and life styles, gifts the film a meaty enrichment, as their twisted journey is bombarded with painful vicissitudes, unexpected, emotional tests.

Philomena is the heart; Martin the conscience; but it is the punitive nature of the Catholic Church and its precepts that resonate at the core of “Philomena”; acceptance of one’s guilt and its commensurate punishment informs Philomena’s existence; her love and entrenched belief in her religion falters,  but never fades; she committed a “mortal” sin and spends her life feeling her loss and pain are warranted; the outcome of one teenage act of indiscretion. “Sister Hildegarde” is the vindictive metaphor for penance gone awry; egregious cruelty, even death,  justified by “human error”.

Scary, problematic issues were addressed in “The Catholic Church Stole My Child”, written by Martin Sixsmith, Philomena’s story of profound sadness, hypocrisy,  a prime example of “man’s inhumanity to man”. It is a story worth telling, worth rectifying.

THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!

For Now……..Peneflix

Judi Dench ignites the screen with her performance as “Philomena Lee”; the true story a young, Catholic, Irish girl, who has a son out of wedlock in 1952;  orphaned herself, she is housed in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roscrea, Ireland; where her son, at age three, is torn from her,  adopted by …

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4 comments

  1. Lest we forget, Jesus’s mother was unwed….

  2. Really enjoyed the film. Judi Dench and Scott Coogan conveyed more with their expressions than most actors with an entire film of dialogue. Lessons to be learned!

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