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Review Philomena (2013): Judi Dench in master form!

 genre: drama

When it comes to movies that are in the running for the Oscars  I have become very skeptic and critical since often they are not nearly  the cinematic masterpieces as presented. And for this reason I very happily welcome  titles that prove me wrong. Philomena in my opinion is a little gem that definitely comes close. Not knowing what it was about I braced myself for  a pretentious story filled with dramatic elements  and a concluding  paternalistic message  to make us aware of it’s importance. My sarcasm completely disappeared when Judi Dench showed what her character Philomena was about. Judi Dench mesmerizes as an adorable unsophisticated  woman with a past. Putting  her against Steve Coogan as a critical journalist in my  eyes worked like a charm. The subject of the film screams for rage and anger. Instead we get a lighter approach to a topic  that is infuriating to say the least. Both Coogan and Dench take you on a trip that compels right from the start to finish. Now this does not mean Philomena is flawless. Naturally for dramatic purposes aspects of the true story have been altered and raises more questions than answers. Which I thought was a shame but in case of the story perfectly understandable. A too pragmatic approach without details of the facts would have diminished the human component. However why not take this dramatic license a step further and portray the emotions that is being felt by the majority of the viewers?  It would have made much more sense. The one time I actually want a film to make a stand against discussed subject they opt out.  Granted it would make the film a little heavy and would not mash with the overall lighter tone. Still it would have give the audience the release they had been waiting for ever since we are introduced to the evil in this film. But thinking about it some further I think Philomena should be commended and applauded for being consistent and staying true to it’s tone and style. Overall I found the viewing experience to be very touching and extremely enjoyable in large part because of Judi Dench. If the topic discussed won’t win you over it is her portrayal that will. Definitely a must watch!

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