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Dir: Stephen Frears Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Charlie Murphy 98 mins, 2013, UK/USA/France Please note: this was screened in Dec 2013
After losing his job as a government spin doctor, Martin Sixsmith (the always underrated Steve Coogan, who also co-wrote the award-winning screenplay) decides to unhappily return to journalism to pay the bills. He takes on a 'human interest' story he thinks is below him: the story of Philomena (Judi Dench), a 70-something Irish woman who was forced to give up her son for adoption in the 1950s, and sent to work in a Magdalene laundry in disgrace. Bankrolled by a daily newspaper, Martin agrees to take Philomena on a journey to America to track down her long lost son - and what they discover there is far, far more complex than they ever feared. This is a true story based on the book Sixsmith wrote following their search, and to reveal more would spoil Philomena's infinite joys. This is easily Frears's best film since the Queen: a gripping, powerful, heartfelt yet really quite funny road movie-come-mystery that is that rarest of things - an intelligent crowd-pleaser.
Ticket prices: Screenings before 16:00: £5.50 full/£4.00 concs. Screenings after 16:00: £8.00 full/£6.50 concs.
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