Sometimes simple is best and PHILOMENA, the latest film from Academy Award-nominated director, Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN), embodies this concept brilliantly. Sometime in the 1950’s, a teenage Philomena met a boy at a fair and found herself pregnant with his child not too long afterwards. Abandoned by the boy and her own family, she found herself at a convent in Ireland. This is where her horror began. What Philomena went through and lived with for the next fifty years would be more than most people could ever handle. Had the film based on her struggles focused solely on how horrifying her experience was, it would also be too unbearable to sit through. In Frears’s hands, Philomena’s story is always told with respect and does not shy away from the darker elements, but Frears consistently finds a way to reassure the viewer that everything will turn out fine, no matter what happens. In that regard, his film is as forgiving as the person whose story he is telling.
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