Philomena ★★★★½

This movie made me cry and I'm not gonna deny that.

A truly heartbreaking, absorbing drama that celebrates a mother’s unconditional love for her son. Philomena is based on a true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman searching for her baby that was taken away from her by the “evil nuns” fifty years ago. Stephen Frears manages to effectively tell Philomena’s heartwrenching past in the first twenty minutes through flashbacks. The last twenty minutes is also very poignant.

The acting is top-notch. Judi Dench gives a tremendous performance as a woman who relives the past in order to come to terms with the present. It’s heartbreaking to think that it’s through the search fifty years later that a mother can finally forge a sense of identity of her own son. Is he a homeless man now? Is he rich? All those questions that beg for answers. Dench’s performance runs a gamut from unfathomable pain to profound joy. Steve Coogan also turns in a great performance as a journalist who gets so involved in finding Philomena’s long-lost son.

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