One of the great things about having been to both the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals is I can venture into hyperbole such as the above headline and believe it actually means something. I’ve see several of the year’s upcoming films and by comparison feel I can confidently say Stephen Frears‘ Philomena is one of 2013’s best films and it is also one of the year’s most unexpected gems.
Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (who also co-wrote the screenplay), the film tells the story of Philomena Lee (Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption in the U.S. in 1952. Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary journalist who helps Philomena on her way.
I caught the film in Toronto and really enjoyed it. It’s been described as a bittersweet comedy, but I’d prefer to say it’s a straight-forward drama with doses of humor peppered throughout, but nothing that would make it necessary to classify it as a comedy. Here’s a snippet from my “A” review:
As for its awards prospects, a Best Actress nomination is definitely on the way. Count on it. And there may be a lot more than that as well.
Philomena is slated for a November 22 release. Check out the new trailer below and you can read my full review right here.