Philomena (Dir. Stephen Frears/2013)
On the surface, Philomena is a story of a Mother finding her long lost child - but it’s so much more. Through an expertly written script by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, adapting the story by Martin Sixsmith, Philomena transcends mediocrity and melodrama. It becomes a story of forgiveness and acceptance that is simply unbelievable, and more poignant as we realise it is true. Family bonds and faith are unwritten ties that bind us together – they cannot be proven or measured. We can be cynics – and Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) is. Sixsmith questions and asks the uncomfortable questions while Philomena Lee (Dench) holds our hand as the truth is revealed - and we only wish that our own patience, understanding and strength could be as strong as Philomena’s. In an era whereby God and Catholicism couldn’t be more despised, Philomena is a well-balanced, personal story that magnificently challenges faith and family.