Philomena: Q+A

Philomena-News

Every once and while, Grace and Mia (your current curators for Cures of Curiosity) will see a movie and ask each other five questions about the film.

This inaugural film interview post goes to Oscar nominated Philomena ::

Grace to Mia ::

1. What originally made you want to see this film?

I don’t know what it is about Judi Dench but she always draws me in. Plus, Steve Coogan is quite the handsome Brit to look at!

2.What was the overall feeling this movie left you with?

Well, I have a personal history with Catholicism and nuns (both evil and likeable) so it was an interesting journey to say the least. I actually wrote a brief essay after seeing the film and you can read it here. But overall, I was blown away by Philomena’s capacity to forgive after everything she went through.

3. What were your favorite scenes and why?

The flashbacks were great because of the context they provided to Philomena’s story and any scene at the convent was particularly entertaining because I have nuns in the family and it was fun to do a mental comparison.

4. How do you feel about the portrayal of Americans in the movie?

We’re a bit rough and country if you ask me.

5. Are you a Philomena Lee or a Martin Sixsmith?

Both, I can be both, yes? But honestly, I’m a bit more of Sixsmith. I wanted to kick that evil nun in the shin!

Mia to Grace:

1. As you were waiting in your theater seat, waiting for the film to begin, what did you think was going to happen?

Actually, funny story, the movie was sold out when my Mom and I arrived. I then tried to talk my mom into seeing the Wolf of Wall Street. My cunning mother turns to me and says, “Why can’t we buy tickets for something else and go to Philomena anyway?” I think a momment and my heart starts to pound and then that is exactly what we did. Luckily there were seats left, they were in the very front row. The first seen I saw was Philomena in the church and then the father asks if she would like to talk. I kinda cheated and looked up the synopsis so I kinda knew what was going on. I didn’t know this was based on a true story. Steve Coogan can be real funny and/or real awkward. It’s a mixed bag with him as far as I am concerned, but I think he was phenomenal in this roll. He played it very human and real.

2. Did you have any particular views of the Catholic Church before seeing this film and if so, have they changed?

Catholicism has had some bad press during my life time. It’s my opinion that the Church, and any church, is made of of people and people are human. Like Philomena said, kinda, it is not for us to judge each other, God will judge us all. I don’t always agree with the Catholic church, but I don’t agree with a lot of people. I think as a whole they do a lot of good things and bad things and that is based on the people involved. I am not going to dislike or disregard them based on one persons actions. I understood that one nun’s point of view even if I felt like she took it much to far. I don’t believe this story has changed my view of Catholicism. I do feel it was a good thing to have the story told.

3. Do you think Martin Sixsmith was right to publish Philomena’s story against her wishes?

Did he publish his book against her wishes? In the movie I thought she changed her mind. I haven’t read the book yet so I dont’ know. If he really did publish it against her wishes then I am sadden, but I feel like it if it is a true story it should definitely be told. Is it bad that when stories like this that involve the Catholic church get told published I hope the church will learn from their mistakes and try to amend them and repent not hide them. Part of me feels like they are always hiding things instead of owning up to their own mistakes.

4. Would you recommend this film? Why or why not?

I would most definitely recommend this. It’s such a heart felt tale that was very well done. The story for the movie is very well put together anyway. Judi and Steve did wonderful jobs in their roles. It really touches your heart, regardless of the religious and political notes.

5. What particular moment or moments effected you the most?

*SPOILER* When Philomena’s son’s partner would not talk to her. It was such a hopeless desperate moment. Even though Philomena didn’t leave the car right away the energy she was putting off seemed to really push Martin to be a vessel for her. He really wanted to make it happen for her, and himself too, but it felt like he wanted to do it for her. It seemed so silly that they were so close and they couldn’t get closer. Closer being, talking to the one person on the planet who probably knew her son best. The closest she could have gotten to him. Then it was like a land slide. Finding out her son had been at the church where he was adopted out and no one said anything to him on his death bed. That was a very harsh and painful moment. Then it was followed by Martin’s confrontation and Philomena’s forgiveness. They last part of the movie was really a tear-jerker, for me anyway.

PS: Has Judi Dench’s name always been spelled with an i?

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