It’s not often that a film jumps out at me as a “must see”, but being an adoptee, this real-life story certainly falls into that category. And, it has Dame Judi Dench.
As a teenager in the early 1950s, Philomena got pregnant. A problematic situation in itself, but in the Republic of Ireland, a nation where the Catholic Church and Government were as one, girls like Philomena were pariahs. Social outcasts. Philomena was sent off to a convent where she would have her baby, a little boy named Michael. She was allowed to see him for one hour a day. That was until, without warning, he was shipped off to the USA with a little girl who was his best friend.
Philomena never gave up hope that she would find Michael one day. Without giving too much away, she did ultimately fulfil that goal. If you see this film, you’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may even rage. If you’re a Catholic, you may well be ashamed to admit it after seeing this.
I mentioned that I’m an adoptee. Some years ago, I met my birth mother, and continued a relationship with her. I believe that doing so brought her some closure on that particular episode of her life. I told her that she had done the right thing. Of course she did, given her circumstances at the time. She passed on Friday, December 27, 2013. She is now at peace.