OK for kids 15+
Smart, wrenching, deeply moving drama fine for older teens.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Philomena is a moving, gracefully filmed drama that's somewhat teen-friendly, though younger teens may find the subjects -- teen pregnancy resulting in a traumatic stay at a nunnery, deep religious guilt, death from AIDS, abandonment, and guilt -- quite heavy. Expect some infrequent swearing, including one "f--k."
- Families can talk about why Philomena kept her story for so long and why she decided to share it decades later. Why does she respond to the nuns the way she chooses to in the end? What is the ultimate message of the movie?
- Does the film shed light on any real-life injustices you didn't know about before? What do you think of what happened to Philomena?
The good stuff
Messages: Guilt will devour you if you let it. Instead, consider forgiving yourself, which can lead you to forgive others who have wronged you. Also, persistence pays off. And there is always an option for a second (or third) act in life.
Role models: Philomena is an interesting lead, harboring a secret she finds shameful but still giving, honest, inquisitive, adventurous, and, important considering the situation, brave. Martin may be more cagey and cynical, but in the end, he acts out of a generosity in spirit.
What to watch for
Violence: Some scenes of a teenager being held down brusquely while giving birth, spoken to by nuns who are ostensibly helping her with little compassion.
Sex: References to a girl meeting a boy at a fair and having sex, but we see nothing more than kissing in flashbacks. A brief discussion about female genitals, bisexuality, and homosexuality.
Language: Some choice words, including "s--t" and "f--k," though they're used rarely.
Consumerism: A Sony Vaio is prominently displayed in one scene, a Guinness in another. Also, a discussion about BMW cars (the logo is also visible) as well as a Mazda.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Fairly frequent drinking, usually beer but also hard liquor, in pubs and parties.
Fan Reviews provided by
Martin and Philomena - amazing depth. by lovefilmIDO
I am so thankful that Philomena was willing to share her story with the world. This is a deeply touching story and film. One that leaves you wanting to improve all choices for women and children. Martin was beautifully played by Steve Coogan. I don't really know how he did it. The cold man turned deeply in tune with himself was a wonderful metamorphosis to watch. Dame Judi Dench never flinches from her difficult, confusing role. She has to be so many things, loyal, broken, outspoken, soft, gentle, bold, so many things, and all at the same time. Being forced to live ones life in a way that seems so foreign, can make or break a soul. It did not completely destroy Philomena. I am glad! Judi brings her to full life, makes her story very real, her son, almost found, and the very real loss of him, very painful. While I don't like sappy, this never comes close to going there. It is real. It is gripping, and one is witnessing real love all the way through. Excellent in every way.
Philomena by nchaley
Excellent file. Great character development due to the actors and to the director. Small moments of intimate conversion between the two main characters are simple, but at the same time meaningful, an appropriate way to develop the story and connect to the hearts' of the audience.
Philomena by helenevictor
This was a wonderful movie. Judi Dench was Philomena with all the emotions and real feelings of a heartbroken mother and a brainwashed Catholic. I cried and laughed and forgot my own life. The cinematography was done well with pictures of Ireland and Washington to set the mood. It is definitely not for kids. It is a true story which makes it more enjoyable.
Extremely Moving, Judi Dench & Steve Coogan are outstanding by TexasViewer
As an adoptive parent of a child from Russia it gave me an enormous look at the other side. I don't know what my son's birth mother's experiences are but I am sure that if she is looking for information about her son she too is hitting a brick wall.
This movie was incredibly moving. Philomena Lee is a remarkable and brave woman and Judi Dench is an incredible actress portraying this woman . Steve Coogan is marvelous. A hard news reporter out of his element working a human interest story. He brings just the right amount of justified indignation and righteous anger to an unbelievably cruel philosophy towards unwed mothers. I was raised Catholic and while I never met one, indeed there were and possibly still are wickedly, evil nuns.
An incredible movie.
Virtuoso Work of Art by Bbrothen
A two character movie with deeply poignant and intelligent pathos and humor. Steve Coogan was one of the two starring actors, co-wrote the screen play and was the Executive Producer. He deserves our ever lasting gratitude for his brilliance. Judi Dench was as good as I have ever seen her in a movie or on the stage. Do I have to say any more about her or him in this film ? Do I have to say anymore about this movie ?
Another cover up by the Catholic Church; award winning performances by Tom494
Brilliant performances by the lead actress and actor. Another chilling expose on the activities of the Catholic church about their history of power, control and greed.
Outstanding by fanofgoodfilm77
This film was beautifully done, it deserves awards and accolades ! One of the best films of the year. The story was heart-wrenching and wonderfully done.
Terrific movie by mrcuteleo
I loved this film. It was original, thoughtful and creative. This is the perfect example of a great film. Words can't express how I felt while I watched. I felt empathy, humor, sadness, and a wide array of emotions during the film. Such a refreshing break from all of the violent and empty movies that we have today. This is truly a piece of art.
Powerful with enough humor to keep it watchable by sbloomwood
Judy Dench commands the screen again, although this time as a simple Irish woman who has suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church. Powerful and moving and maddening but not a screed either. Masterful
Philomena by tress220
Heartwarming story told through a solidly written screenplay and great acting. I enjoyed this movie more than most others I've seen in the last few months.