Living in a convent as a young woman, Philomema commits a sin, the result of which is a son called Anthony. Because the church doesn’t approve of her antics, she loses all rights to her son and eventually sees him snatched away and sold to an American family. 50 years later Philomema, encouraged by her daughter, decides she wants to take her story public and with the help of recently sacked journalist Martin Sixsmith she goes in search of her long lost little boy.
Philomema is an odd and very clever blend of gut wrenching sadness and laugh out loud, uplifting humour. Judi Dench is on another level in her performance as the sweet yet feisty old Irish woman and Steve Coogan actually manages to not be incredibly irritating like normal so there’s that.
Based on an incredible true story Philomema is one of those brilliant dramas that really makes you think and immerses you in the intricate web of the characters lives. The character of Philomema is so brilliantly constructed and so well portrayed by Judi Dench that it is impossible not to fall in love with her. Her witty remarks and unexpectedly cheeky sense of humour really shape her into a three dimensional character with whom we can all relate in one way or another.
It’s a story that will make you feel every feeling known to man; sadness, happiness and even anger. It is so cleverly written and so beautifully executed and a fine example of brilliant British film.