Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I love it. I just love it. It's Philomena (2013, PG-13, Available On DVD).
Based on a true story, young Philomena, an Irish lass, got pregnant. Her father turned her over to some evil nuns––the kind who enslaved girls and forced them to work in laundries to pay back the nuns for the "care" they received. Adult Philomena (Dame Judi Dench) eventually reveals her long-ago tragic loss to her daughter. Her little boy, Anthony, had been taken away from her, and the nuns sold him to wealthy Americans, as was their practice.
Philomena's daughter meets former journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) and asks him to investigate Philomena and Anthony's story. The results are astonishing. Though we learn what happened to Anthony, the movie focuses on the relationship between Philomena and Martin as they seek the man who was re-named Michael.
Judi Dench's performance is beautiful. Nuanced. Tender. Never too much drama. The entire movie manages to be poignant, yet have amusing moments as Philomena and Martin get to know each other. Martin often becomes annoyed with "typical old lady" Philomena, but Philomena does just fine for herself. She's nobody's fool, though her forgiveness almost defies credibility.
I guessed it before and now I know it to be true: Judi Dench should have won the Best Actress Academy Award. Cate Blanchett, I'm sorry, but I knew you didn't deserve the win. I didn't like Blue Jasmine very much. Judi Dench conveys so much with a look, with a slight tremble of her lip. Dame Judi, how do you do it? I suspect you'd say, Practice makes perfect, darling.
Philomena earns The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval. I have ordered the book on which it is based. I read reviews that say the book is based more on Anthony/Michael's life. No doubt I'll find it interesting.
I felt quite moved when I learned that some of the footage of Michael used in the movie is real home movies of Michael. Philomena also has one photo of him as a child.
Happy Viewing! But you might have a tear in your eye with Philomena.
Infinities of love,
Loved the film.... But I didn't quite love Judi DenchReplyDelete
I think she's marvelous. Are you blind, John?Delete
I shall enjoy that film.ReplyDelete
Yes, I believe you will.Delete
This movie gets the highest lauds from our house, too. So achingly sad in parts, but then such a wonderful story.ReplyDelete
I love it when someone manages to tell a sad story, but I get a chuckle out of it.Delete
I totally loved it! Judy Dench is such a treasure and the story was poignant and never dissolved into cliches.ReplyDelete
Yes. She's a treasure, and it wasn't the sobfest cliche it could have been.Delete
Good timing. This movie is next on my queue. I'm sure I'll like it. I liked Cate B.'s clothes in Blue Jasmine . . . and how she talked to herself . . .ReplyDelete
I look forward to hearing what you think about Philomena. Cate was good in her part, for what it was. By that I mean I didn't think Blue Jasmine was good overall and that Cate carried on well in spite of it. I think she's had much better parts in better movies. I usually like Woody Allen movies, so I was surprised that I didn't care for Blue Jasmine. I think the twist at the end is interesting. Cate has some funny lines because her character is so lacking in self-awareness. I don't think Jasmine admits the truth to herself.Delete
I WAS OUTRAGED when I left the theatre. Being raised Catholic, I knew many of the horror stories. But THIS was INSANE. I wanted to take the nun and slap her into next week. So much for Christian values. HOW DARE those nuns play God.
But the movie, acting, and emotion was excellent! I throughly enjoyed the feel, but I still get hot under the collar when I think about the end. He son dying right under her nose and she never knew... OUTRAGEOUS.
Have you ever seen The Magdalene Laundries (hope I have the title right)? If you were outraged by Philomena, The Magdalene Laundries would really piss you off.Delete
This sounds like a movie I would truly love.ReplyDelete
You might be pleased to hear that Smarticus and I have turned Saturday evenings into move night at our house, complete with a big bowl of popcorn. We've seen some really terrific movies, and I'll be sure to put this one on our list of movies we've gotta see.
That's cool. Willy Dunne Wooters and I usually watch a movie on Saturday evening. When we're watching our movie, I'll think of you and Smarticus watching your movie.Delete
Wow I am visiting you after a while as I was away and realized I have missed a lot of posts!!! I think I would enjoy this story specially since it is a true story. Will watch it soon.ReplyDelete
It's been a long time, PAPS. I hope you're okay.Delete
Philomena sounds like my kind of movie!ReplyDelete
I think you'll appreciate it. The acting is so good.Delete
LOVED this movie and I agree with you that she should have won. I watched Blue Jasmine and it felt like a kind of Woody Allen rip-off of Streetcar Named Deisire--only she was MUCH less likable than Blanche.ReplyDelete
Anyways, Dame Judi was wonderful. I give it two thumbs up!! :):)
I didn't even think about Jasmine and Streetcar, but you're absolutely right.Delete
Hi Janie - it's a good movie isn't it .. I loved it: but it does highlight an earlier way of life .. where we put people into institutions for various reasons .. insanity, oddity, disability even, having children out of wedlock ... there were people who were more enlightened .. and as we know today it's quite difficult to go against accepted thinking.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed it .. and I agree I didn't like the Blue Jasmine film ... but I'm glad Philomena was noiminated for the Oscars and thus got highlighted.
Another point for my side because you didn't like Blue Jasmine. Score!Delete
Okay, now I feel bad, because my friend told me she was going to watch this and wanted me to come over and I laughed at her, because I thought it was a boring old lady movie. I don't even know why I had that impression! Now I'm going to have to tell my friend that she was right and I was wrong. Dang it.ReplyDelete
There's no such thing as a boring old lady movie. No one is more fascinating than an old lady.Delete
55 minutes into this. Hard to watch. Well, that was the hardest part. I definitely liked the Martin character the best. Loved their conversations. Loved the rant to the nun at the end. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete