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



Study of the Upper Great Lakes: St. Clair River

In December of 2009, the International Upper Great Lakes Study released their summary report entitled Upper Great Lakes Water Levels: St. Clair River. This report conveyed findings from the first phase of a study of the upper great lakes, detailing the physical changes in the St. Clair River since 1962. Based on the findings of this study, the board recommends that no corrective action be taken in the St. Clair River at present, and that a comprehensive study be conducted to determine the need of future mitigative measures in the river due to the effects of climate change. The International Joint Commission (IJC), Canada and the United States, wrote a letter to US and Canadian government officials to inform them of the findings. The IJC also asked the committee to study what would happen to the great lakes system were the water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to be raise. The final report will be due in early 2012.

Image from the Upper Great Lakes Water Levels: St. Clair River summary report.