Kat asked me to post this for her. (If you having issues logging in to post a blog, please feel free to send it to me to post for you.)
Last weekend the hubs and I went away to a cozy spot on a small lake north and west of Syracuse. We go there often when he wants to fish and I can be alone to write without the usual interruptions of housework, laundry, dirty dishes and such. The “cottage” has all the usual amenities ex or hit the Redbox at Wegmans.
I’d been wanting to see “Philomena” for quite some time because I’m a huge fan of Dame Judy Dench; after watching this touching film, I’m so glad I did.
A word of warning, actually a couple words:
This is not the usual tear-jerker though if your heart doesn’t break at times for this intrepid character, you might consider a transplant.
If you’re expecting to see “M”, as in Dame Dench’s recurring role in the James Bond franchise, forget it. You’ll be hard pressed to find the silver-haired head of MI-6 and her sharp designer suits. The costume designer did a fabulous job in dressing M as a frump, likely shopping at the local VOA in the polyester pants and cardigan sweater section. And whomever created Philomena’s hairstyle wins the Mamie Eisenhower Award for tight curls and bangs.
The screenplay, based on a true story, tells of a retired Irish nurse who decides to search for the son she was forced to give up fifty years earlier. So if you’re looking for the standard joyous mother-son reunion type ending, kiss that hope goodbye. Though the ending is an uplifting one, and Philomena does ‘find’ her son, it is not what we would have hoped for her as we came to know her throughout the film.
Spoiler alert: the movie does not paint a favorable picture of the nuns who operated the “home” for unwed mothers, which came to be known as “the Magdeline laundries”. Though Philomena herself forgave the specific nuns for what they did to her, as a woman of the same generation, I found myself wanting to fly to Ireland and exert a bit of penance on those penguins.
This is a wonderful character study, filled with pain and remorse, joy and humor.
Try it, you might like it.