“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother you are no longer the centre of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.”
~ Jessica Lange
The film is based on the life of Philomena Lee. She was forced to give up her child for adoption as a teenager as it was considered as a sin to have a child out of wedlock. The real story and her interview is available over here. (And on many other pages)
Watch the trailer here.
I consider myself pretty close to my mother. And she considers me as her friend. So as a friend of her I can understand that how she has orbited her life around me and my younger brother. Same goes with any good mother for that matter. Although Philomena is an accidental mother, she is a mother nevertheless. And that itself makes the story so intense.
When we dig deeper, although the way the nuns behaved initially by taking away Philomena’s child from her was cruelly portrayed but maybe that was the right decision for the child. The child grew up to be someone important which may not have been possible had he been with Philomena. Maybe the end result for him, as a person was better than alright. But the mother lost her child and the child lost his right to have a mother. That’s what the story is all about.
One of the most interesting points over here is the writer Steve Coogan plays the point of view character in the film. In a way making a comment on the true incident. I always prefer involving my lead actors in the story. I like it if they provide their inputs. Even if I don’t incorporate them, I know what is more convincing to the actors. Once the actor is fully convinced with each line, with each reaction we have a smooth journey ahead. In this case, we know the reason behind such a great performance.
Some trivia (because the story behind the film is always equally interesting.)
The movie incorporates some home video while tracing Philomena’s son. Some of the shots are from actual footage of her real son.
Frankly speaking there are very few “English” (movies of England) movies that I don’t like. I am a fan of Richard Curtis and his gift of turning simple stories into cinematic brilliance. We need not say anything about Sir Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan. Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen and of course Dame Judi Dench; British talent knows no bounds. I think it is the overall approach to film making that makes the difference. When I am watching an English film, I know I will not be disappointed in the end because of a predictable plot.
The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Original Score. The film won none of them. The writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope received their due recognition for their work at British Academy Film Awards.