Dench and Coogan star in Philomena

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Dench and Coogan star in Philomena

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Dame Judi Dench and British comic actor Steve Coogan share top billing in Stephen Frears’ new film Philomena. It’s a drama about an Irish Catholic woman whose baby was sold by nuns for adoption in the 1950s.

The movie is a true story by British journalist Martin Sixsmith, whose book was adapted for the big screen by Coogan and screenwriter Jeff Pope:

“We were very careful, the first wrong is the child being taken away from the mother back in the ’50s, but we were very careful not to judge what happened in the ’50s by modern standards. By far the bigger wrong was the covering up of what had happened to Anthony, the son, through the rest of his life and the next 50 years of Philomena’s life,” said Pope.

Dame Judi Dench plays Philomena Lee, who kept her out-of-wedlock birth secret for 50 years but never stopped trying to find her son.

Coogan is the cynical Sixsmith. He and Dench form a great on-screen pair, with Dame Judi Dench once again delivering a flawless performance.

“I can only say that I can’t imagine myself being in that position and being about to forgive, I don’t have that scope of humanity that she has,” said the Oscar-winning actress.

Philomena has already received 11 awards including Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival.

The movie is out now in the UK and Ireland and on worldwide release soon.