Caty Alexandre’s review published on Letterboxd:
I knew that I almost certainly would like this film but I had a different idea of what it would be. I didn't expect such a wonderful, sweet and heartbreaking story.
This tells the story of Philomena Lee and the jornalist who got interested in helping her in the pursuit of her lost child. This woman passed through some rough times in her life. She got pregnant, her family abandoned her in a convent for girls in the same situation of Philomena's to be punished by her sins. They were slaved by the sisters of the convent, and they just could see their children for one hour a day. Posteriorly they sold their babies to American families.
The catholic issues addressed in this story are very controversial and unfortunately all very real. What can be more suffocating than keeping a painful secret during 50 years? What can be more arduous than taking away a child from her mother? What can be more disturbing than telling someone that the consequences of their misfortune of loosing a child to a stranger and never hear about him anymore, was their punishment because they had sin by having sex? This is very sad.
Judi Dench is wonderful in here. She brings the right humour and the right emotion for the story and her performance feels so true. Steven Coogan is very good also in a much more engaging and serious role.
Philomena is the simple yet painful story of a wonderful woman. At the end you just wanna give Philomena Lee a big hug!
Bigger than the religious matter around the story this film has a much important question to ask us: Are we capable of forgiving? I think that is the strong message that it wants to transmit.