Philomena is a true story based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith, a BBC correspondent. Philomena Lee is a shy and pious Irish Catholic who had a boy conceived out of wedlock and gave away for adoption because of her Irish Catholic upbringing.
As a teenager in rural Ireland, Philomena became pregnant after a fling with a boy she met at a fair. Being a Catholic in rural Ireland, she was sent to an institution run by nuns in order to “hide her shame”. She was forced to give-up her son for adoption where the boy was “sold” by the nuns to a well-heeled American couple.
During the adoption process, she was forced to sign a contract that would not allow for any future inquiry into her son’s whereabouts. Philomena move on with her life in England. Her attempts to search her son took decades long until she met Martin Sixsmith who at that time is in the process of writing a piece on “human interest” for a magazine after he was fired as a BBC correspondent.
Philomena and Martin Sixsmith teamed up together to search her son and started the search by visiting the convent where Philomena stayed while pregnant.
The movie is about two characters that are on opposite side of the spectrum. Philomena who has reasons to be bitter with her religion had accepted the fact that the world in which she grew up had changed and vanished unlike Sixsmith who has no interest in forgiving the nuns who made Philomena’s life a living hell and who continued to deceive her as an adult.
It stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee with Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith. Directed by Stephen Frears.