Drama | English | 98 minutes


English journalist, Martin Sixsmith, is persuaded by the daughter of Philomena Lee, to write a human-interestt story of her mother’s tragic life. In 1951, 18-year-old Philomena became pregnant by a man she hardly knew. Philomena’s parents, shamed by her condition, send her to the Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland, which cares for unwed mothers. Philomena is forced to work brutal hours in the convent laundry. Philomena has little contact with her son. When her four-year-old,  son,  now named Andrew, is sold to an American couple for 1,000 pounds, Philomena is not allowed to say goodbye. Years later, Martin convinces Philomena that, with his help, he will locate Andrew. Martin is not deterred when  his search runs into roadblocks set by the nuns who refuse to cooperate. Sister Hildegarde McNulty, justifying Philomena’s plight, stated that “losing her son was Philomena’s penance for having sex out of wedlock.”

Judi Dench (Philomena Lee) / Steve Coogan (Martin Sixsmith) / Barbara Jefford (Sister Hildegarde)
Why Stream This Film?
The film helped  outlaw the church homes where unwed mothers were forced to do slave labor, experienced abuse, and then have their babies adopted by wealthy couples wiling to make  large donations to the church.  
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 91%
  • Metacritic Score: 77
  • Academy Awards:
    Nominated, Best Motion Picture; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Judi Dench); Best Screenplay (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope)
  • BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope), Nominated, Best Film; Best Leading Actress (Judi Dench)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Performance by an Actress – Drama (Judi Dench); Best Screenplay (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope) 
  • New York Film Critics: Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
PHILOMENA is not only my favorite film of 2013, but one of the most eloquent, powerful and perfect movies I have ever seen.
Rex Reed

The Observer

PHILOMENA has many facets. It is a comedic road movie, a detective story, an infuriated anticlerical screed, and an inquiry into faith and the limitations of reason, all rolled together.
Stephen Holden

The New York Times

The African Queen

The African Queen

Samuel Sayer and his sister Rose are British Methodist missionaries in the village of Kungdu in German-controlled East Africa…

read more
A Hero

A Hero

Rahim is given a two-day leave from an Iranian debtor’s prison. Rahim borrowed money from a loan shark and was unable pay it back when it came due…

read more

If you found this site helpful, please recommend it to a friend. We also welcome your comments. / call 917-439-3364

P.O. Box 20038
New York, N.Y. 10075

Follow us on social media:


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Get weekly streaming recommendations delivered directly to your inbox

Kanbar Recommends—join our mailing list to receive weekly selections of the best TV shows and movies available.

You have Successfully Subscribed!