Movies based on books are often a crapshoot. They can be either amazing or a gross misconstruction of the original story and the intent to it. I haven’t read the book, but the content of it would be hard-pressed to be turned into something else and in that perfect union comes a self-enclosed story that tells the rather tragic tale of a woman, at the latter years of her life, realises that a mystery that she knew as a girl needed to be solved.
The true story of Philomena follows an elderly Irish woman who admits to her daughter that she had a son when she was a girl and he was taken from her while she stayed in a convent. The other half of the story pairs her with recently sacked BBC journalist who decides to take on her story and try to discover the truth about her son. The story twists and turns, but what makes the story come to life is the performances of Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The two portray a pair of people that could not be any more different, yet it is in this dichotomy that makes the story pop in a way that it might not have with two lesser actors. I have seen Coogan in a handful of things, but I felt like he brought his performance up greatly by playing across from the amazingly talented Dench.
The ending is almost expected when you get there, but that doesn’t lessen the journey. This is one of those movies that will play at your emotions, doing so in a way that makes you feel better, not worse, at the end. This movie is well worth seeing.