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417. Philomena

Published April 17, 2014

Background info

Title: Philomena Director: Stephen Frears Year: 2013 Run time: 1hr 38m

“Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him but with no success. Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off to America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin.”

Live blog

1:08 - The various meanings of the word ‘outstanding’. 1:54 - Second film in a row made by Canal+. Loving their work. 5:41 - Toffee apples are the worst. Yummy toffee and then just fruit! 9:03 - No one seems to be interested in the Russian history. 12:43 - Oh my god, they’re at a Harvester, 15:52 - A box brownie. Need to investigate that. 20:41 - “No, no, evil’s good.” 23:10 - Grrr, people that have Tunes when they’re not ill. 26:09 - Judy’s doing the bathroom trick of asking to go to the bathroom, then going wandering. 30:19 - She doesn’t trust him cos he’s a journalist, then sends him out on his own! 33:53 - The boredom of being omnipotent. 35:56 - Love the gossips that say they don’t gossip. 42:28 - “Just because you’re in first class, doesn’t mean you’re a first class person.” 46:47 - If being obese is the biggest concern she has, that’s not too bad! 53:56 - Oh, bless her. 1:02:28 - “Call me Anne Boleyn… oh, somebody had that.” 1:06:01 - A happy and balanced life. I have one of those. 1:12:54 - Epic product placement for Guinness in this film. 1:23:30 - Lying nuns. 1:28:01 - “It’s not just like that, it’s hard. It’s hard for me.”

Conclusions

If I hadn’t recently had something of a heart-thawing, this probably would have dropped off our radar before we got to watch it. I’m always interested in what Judy does, and Steve Coogan is great, but it’s one of those that we might never have got round to.

Instead, we opted to squeeze it in one evening, and I was very glad we did. Both Judy and Steve were on top form, and I loved the relationship that was struck between two very different people.

The subject matter was tricky, and ultimately quite sad, but it’s handled in such a way to make you feel that there is hope for life after all. Plus, there was a lot of Guinness, so who can complain?

Rating: 4/5

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