Film Review | Philomena with Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

 

dvd cover Philomena with Judi Dench & Steve CooganBased on a true story, Philomena relays the tale of a mother in search of her child 50 years after his international adoption. The film revolves around two main characters, Philomena Lee, played by Judi Dench, and Martin Sixsmith, played by Steve Coogan, and the voyage they embark on together. Philomena has gotten on in years and constantly wonders about what happened to a son she gave birth to 50 years before who was taken away from her as a boy. Recently out of a job and feeling down, Sixsmith decides to hear Philomena’s story with the intention of turning it into a human interest piece for the newspaper. The two began their relationship visiting the Irish convent where Philomena gave birth and was more or less enslaved for several years after the nuns placed her son with a new family overseas against her will.

This film really impressed me. The heartfelt tale was met with superb acting, believable conflict and true insight. The story may have you in tears, but if you can handle that and want to see a great film, check out Philomena from your local library. For another layer, read the 2009 book Philomena : a mother, her son, and a fifty-year search by Martin Sixsmith, first published in Great Britain as The Lost Child of Philomena Lee

 

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Film Review | What Maisie Knew starring Onata Aprile

dvd cover What Maisie Knew starring Onata AprileI have nothing but positive things to say about What Maisie Knew. This film features great acting, beautiful camera shots, a realistic and compelling storyline and some likeable characters. Young Maisie is played excellently by Onata Aprile. She is charming, cute and has the best outfits, plus a real talent for acting. She is definitely the star of the film and this performance will likely serve as a springboard for her into many future rolls.

Based on the novel by Henry James, this film deals with a young girl who is caught between her self-interested parents (Moore & Coogan) in a custody battle. At times they are fighting over who gets her when, but most of they time they are just too tied up in their own lives to even notice that no one is left to care for her. Each parent chooses a new partner and it is these stepparents (Skarsgård & Vanderham) who step in and fill the role of loving parents. Overall, the characters are pretty well developed and the strain on Maisie is palpable. This film demonstrates how trying parental separation can be for a child. The realistic portrayal would also serve as a good introduction for those in a shaky relationship who are considering parenthood. Check it out from a library near you.