Judi Dench and Steve Coogan play unlikely friends in PHILOMENA, the moving, funny and at times shocking true story of one woman’s search for a lost son.
Directed by BAFTA winner Stephen Frears (The Queen), PHILOMENA will open in the UK and Ireland on 1 November 2013.
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him but with no success.
Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off to America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin.
The film is a compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life, showing that there is laughter even in the darkest places.
Sixsmith’s book “The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee” was published in 2009. It acted as a catalyst for thousands of adopted Irish children and their ‘shamed’ mothers to come forward to tell their stories. Many are still searching for their lost families.
Academy Award ® winner Dench plays the title role, with BAFTA winner Coogan as Martin Sixsmith. Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House, South Riding) plays Philomena’s daughter, Jane.
Developed by BBC Films, the film is produced by Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward and Executive Produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, Pathé’s Cameron McCracken and Francois Ivernel and Magnolia Mae Films’ Carolyn Marks Blackwood. Senior Executive representing the BFI Film Fund is Natascha Wharton.