Road to the Oscars continues with a look at Philomena, a movie directed by Stephen Frears and written by Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan which has been nominated for four Oscars at the 86th Academy Awards, including: Best Actress for Judi Dench, Best Screenplay for Pope and Coogan, Best Score for Alexandre Desplat and an overall Best Picture nomination.
What’s it About?
After losing his job, Political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) struggles with what to do with his career next until he reluctantly takes on a human interest story about Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) a kind-hearted Irish woman who is desperate to find her young child that was taken from her 50 years ago. They embark on a troublesome search, but will Philomena like the answers she finds?
The critics and audience are in love with Philomena and so am I. The film’s plot itself takes only about 10 minutes to begin and it’s a steady trail of interest from start to finish, most of this is helped by Alexandre Desplat’s incredible score, that adds life and emotion into every scene.
Judi Dench gives a much deserved Oscar nominated performance for her role as the title character, she is ultimately our anchor within this story and Dench not only showcases her talent for the more emotional scenes but she also gives the audience a natural humour and light that makes you instantly like her. I liked the chemistry she had with Steve Coogan, who entertainingly bounces off our Philomena’s many layers.
The film itself has a certain charm that benefits the quirky characters and also helps lighten the tragic story at heart, whilst also giving you a great amount of sympathy for our Philomena.
Probably my biggest criticism of the movie is that the film does all it can to sugarcoat and giftwrap Philomena as a character that can do no wrong in our eyes, a character that seems to be factory-made and this takes out the realism that the story depends upon.
Philomena is a sweet, funny and sometimes heartbreaking story of injustice and love with flawless performances and a well written screenplay, although it’s safe to say this Britflick has unfortunately been subjected to Hollywood cliche’s that affect its integrity in some respect, although despite this, it’s an interesting movie worth seeing that you and your parents will appreciate.