Special Cinema Spotlight: Philomena


From the moment I saw the preview to this film I knew I had to see it. Philomena is film about a woman who gave up her child in the 1950's and then many years later began searching for him. But after watching this film I learned it was so much more than that.

The film is loosely based on a book called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith. The book focuses more on Philomena and her child but the film includes her special connection and relationship with Martin Sixsmith who is played by Steve Coogan.

The actor Steve Coogan actually purchased the rights to the book and co-wrote the screenplay for the film.



Philomena Lee was a young and inexperienced girl from Ireland who had a fling with a man in which she fell pregnant. Her family disowned her and she was sent to Sean Ross Abbey, a convent in order to give birth. Afterwards she was forced to work their laundry for four years to pay back her stay. One day she discovers that her son who was named Anthony Lee, was taken away and given up for adoption.

I was nervous about watching those scenes but oh they filmed and edited them so well. They were created to be flashbacks to the elderly Philomena played by the great Dame Judi Dench. They were done so tastefully and not dragged out or over dramatized. 


Martin Sixsmith (who is a journalist) is going through a shift of his career when he hears about Philomena's story from her daughter. There they both begin a journey that brings them full circle, literally.

Philomena has searched at the convent numerous times searching for her son and Martin helps her continue that search that leads them traveling from Ireland to America.

It is there that we find out the story of Anthony and Philomena has to decided whether or not she should carry the burden of shame, guilt, and anger or learn to forgive herself and possibly the nuns at the convent.

There are a few twists to the tale that I will share more in tomorrow's post when I share with you who the real Philomena Lee is. That post will contain spoilers to this film because I will share with you how her story ends which was included in the film.

After watching this film all I wanted to do is scoop up my three babies and just hold them really tight. Alas, they were already sleeping in their beds when I finished watching it but the next day I sure did hold them tight. Why you may wonder? Because I cannot imagine being pregnant and having my family throw me away, I cannot imagine not having any loving support, and I cannot imagine have my child taken away from me because someone else sees me unfit for whatever reason.

In Philomena's case she was seen as unfit by the nuns at the convent because she had a child out of wedlock and therefore losing her son was seen by them as penance. Yes, you just read that.

Tune in tomorrow if you would like to learn more about Philomena Lee and her story.

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