Tom dePerto’s review published on Letterboxd:
I never liked the concept of Religion. It may give people hope and faith, but it also leads them to believe in something that forces them to give up being themselves. I don't believe in God. I used to, but I don't anymore. I'm perfectly fine with people believing, and I respect that. But come on, you can't act in a certain way in fear of going to hell? People should be punished by having sex, using curse words, or expressing their own opinions? This is what I hate about Religion. In the end, it's all bullshit.
Words can't describe how much Philomena Lee suffered because of what I just told you. It was such an disgusting, inhuman act what the nuns did to her. And why did it happen? Because Religion made them think that what they were doing was anything but unholy, that it was the right thing to do - a well-deserved punishment for a serious offence against The Bible -, when really what they were doing was something that was supposedly against the whole Catholic concept. One selfish, ignorant mindset caused a poor lonely woman over 50 years of suffering and counting. And don't forget the fact that they basically enslaved young girls at the convent...
I'm sorry if you are Catholic. It is not my aim to offend anyone nor create confusion amongst myself and other members of the site. It's just my opinion on it. One of the reasons why the world's becoming more ignorant every day that passes by.
As for the film itself, it is easily the worst out of all the Best Picture nominees this year. It is in no ways bad, but it isn't very spectacular either. Seeing Steve Coogan in a dramatic role was pretty surprising and, I must say that he's got what it takes to inhabit a more serious character than his previous ones. His chemistry with Judi Dench was fantastic, and seeing their relationship grow was very interesting and allowed for some funny moments. I can't think of any films where Judi Dench doesn't do a good job, but she's something completely different here.
It being based on real-life events only makes the mini-twist at the end more shocking and enfuriating. All that we've seen until said point in the film was caused solely by one aforementioned horrible act of ignorance.