Thanks to eOne we had the chance to watch Stephen Frears’ BAFTA winning film and Oscar Nominee ‘Philomena’ on DVD.
Based on a true story, the film follows the story of an elderly Irish woman who after 50 years breaks her silence about his abducted son.
Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) was a young unmarried woman when she got pregnant in the 1950’s. As a punishment for bringing shame to her family, her parents sent her to a convent where the nuns would take care of her newborn baby, a boy called Anthony, in exchange for painful labour that Philomena has to do to pay for her wrongdoings. Philomena was forced to work in the convent’s laundry to pay for her sins and expenses, and was only allowed to see her child one hour per day. After almost three years, the congregation gave away her baby in adoption to a wealthy family without the mother’s consent.
On Anthony’s 50th birthday, Philomena is filled with regret for not knowing what happened to her son, and she decides to tell her secret to her daughter. She overhears an ex-BBC reporter and government spokesperson Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) talking about a theme for a new book, so she interferes to tell him about her mother’s tragic story.
The journalist is not interested in human-interest stories, but he decides to make an exception and agrees to meet Philomena. After hearing what happened at the convent he promises to write a book about her heartbreaking story. Together they try to track down Philomena’s lost son which takes them on a journey to the U.S and back to Ireland, where these two very different characters get to find out more about Anthony’s life.
Both the extraordinary leads deliver remarkable performances. Judi Dench was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe and The BAFTA awards for her impeccable performance.
‘Philomena’ is a powerful drama that goes into diverse topics such as the cruel history of the Irish Catholic church, religion versus atheism, people’s beliefs and forgiveness. The movie could easily have ended up as an intense tearjerker but instead the story is told in a refreshing way. This is mainly due to Dench’s Philomena, whose lovely personality still shines bright in spite of all the suffering that she had to endure for many years.
The home edition DVD has audio commentary and a special feature where we get to know the real Philomena Lee and her involvement in the set. There are also interviews with the cast and crew in which they explain the main purpose of the film.
If you missed ‘Philomena’ in theatres then don’t miss the chance of seeing this wonderful film in your own home, you won’t regret it!
‘Philomena’ is available on DVD and Blu-Ray 30 April 2014.