Oscar reviews: 'Philomena'


This year’s collection of Oscar nominees for best picture is one of the best in recent memory. All of the films are fantastic and have a wide range of stories and casts that exemplify all the best that Hollywood has to offer.

Most of the films in this year’s race have a great ensemble cast and rely on a collection of top notch actors to bring the story to life. One film that stands out with a limited cast this year was director Stephen Frears’ “Philomena.”

Based on the novel by Martin Sixsmith “Philomena” follows the story of Philomena Lee, an elderly English women who grew up in a strict Catholic community during the 1950s.

The story begins when Philomena has a child without being married and is forced to enter a convent to have the child. After years of service in the convent her son is taken from her and given up for adoption.

From there the story follows Philomena’s quest to find her long lost son with the help of a reporter who is looking to write a human interest piece about Philomena’s story. The reporter Martin Sixsmith is also the author of the original novel following the real life Philomena Lee.

Going into the film I had no idea what the story was or what kind of movie “Philomena” was going to be. Every time I have that great advantage going into a film I am almost always surprised with my feelings about the film. In the case of “Philomena” having no knowledge of the story was a big plus.

For only being an hour and 40 minutes it feels like a very long film. The film feels really slow especially in the beginning but that is not only a disadvantage. It seems slow but that is because the story does not have much going on. The film does an excellent job of focusing on the important characters and the fantastic story.

Also the acting in the film was great. Steve Coogan who played Sixsmith in the film was great. He really captured the inquisitive nature of the character and he did a fantastic job showing the evolution of Sixsmith throughout the search for the answers Philomena is searching for.

The star of the film was Judi Dench in the role of Philomena Lee. Her performance was just as good as any role she has ever had.

From beginning to end I was completely on board with Dench as Philomena. The intensely emotional role was made for Dench, and I would not be surprised if she wins the Oscar for Best actress this year.
I definitley recommend seeing this film if you can still catch it in theaters. If not, it is a perfect Red Box or Netflix movie. I really enjoyed the film and I rate it a 4 out of 5.


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