4 Oscar Nominations, including: Best Picture, Best Actress (Judi Dench), Best Screenplay
“A terrific, sophisticated comedy that tackles serious issues with a lightness of touch and a spirit of steel, PHILOMENA is the British film to beat come awards time”—Empire. A world-weary political journalist (Steve Coogan) picks up the story of a woman’s (Judi Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. “Is it funny? Emphatically yes, not simply in Coogan’s understated quips but also in Dame Judi’s dotty delivery. But is it profound? Yes to that too. Though it will be remembered as a feelgood mismatched-buddy movie, Stephen Frears’ (THE QUEEN, DANGEROUS LIAISONS) film contains a rich seam of anger that starts with Magdalene homes and finally takes us across the Atlantic to one of the great shames of Ronald Reagan’s administration. That it can do so and leave us smiling is why PHILOMENA will be the dark horse of the awards season. Nominations are assured for Frears and Dame Judi, but most importantly the film is vindication of the underrated Steve Coogan, not only for his refined performance, a masterclass in restraint, but also for his effortless, subtle script, perhaps the most subversive British blend of social comment and comedy since the heyday of Ealing Studios”—Empire. PG-13. 98 Min.
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