Philomena ★★★½

A sweet tale about forgiveness, journalism, and gay Republicans.

But seriously, the plot is about a kindly old Irish lady who wants to find the son she lost 50 years earlier. She was a teen mother who was given to the Catholic Church, who then proceeded to sell her child and force her into a decade of servitude. Now she would like to try and track him down so she enlists the aid of a recently fired (and dejected) BBC journalist. He a cynical, wise-cracking atheist, and her a devout, life affirming, optimist.

The movie works on nearly every level. It is smart, well shot, fantastically acted, and passively manipulative. This is a great movie to watch with your mother-in-law. She will enjoy the saucy Judi Dench, and you can take pleasure in watching a movie made for seniors that still feels authentic and not pandering in the slightest.

This shouldn't have been anywhere near the Best Oscar race, but it's not every day you see a movie so well considered and crafted.

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