For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
1,231 Ratings


Directed by Stephen Frears
United Kingdom, United States, 2013
Drama, Biography


A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Philomena Directed by Stephen Frears

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2013 | 3 wins including: Best Screenplay

Academy Awards

2014 | 4 nominations including: Best Motion Picture of the Year

Coogan wrote the screenplay with Jeff Pope. It’s smart and unsweetened… As Philomena, Dench has a climactic confrontation toward the end that’s remarkable for how even she remains throughout… This kind of rational acting might not be for everybody. We’ve been conditioned to expect fireworks during a showdown. Dench goes a different direction. She defuses, which makes her restraint all the more devastating.
December 06, 2013
Read full article
Even if the sociopolitical diffusion didn’t dilute Philomena’s power as a finger-pointing polemic, the tonal ping-ponging between banter and pathos would still make for an uneasy alliance. Thank heaven, then, for Dench, who makes the best of a daffy-to-tragic biddy role; you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Dame Judi casually declare, “I didn’t even know I had a clitoris.”
December 05, 2013
Read full article
Philomena" turns out to be a subtly told tale of tragedy and redemption, with much of the sentimental payoff you’re expecting but several intriguing plot twists along the way… Dench and Coogan have such wonderfully prickly chemistry together, and are so full of surprises, that their relationship never feels fake, and Frears is not a director to overmilk moments of sentiment.
November 22, 2013
Read full article

Related films