Philomena ★★★★

A thoroughly British film, where the worst that can be said is that it pushes the boundaries of sentimentality. Still, it manages to become an intriguing quest, set upon by two unlikely partners, which along the way reveals some deeply powerful (and complicated) attitudes about family, religion, loss, and personal identity.

Well acted, well written, and even unfolds in a unique fashion (drama is found largely between the two main characters, rather than playing the pity card repeatedly). Though, with the exception of a few key shots and sequences, the aesthetic of the film is largely utilitarian.