I’m not on Harvey’s payroll, but I tell you this: you could make a strong argument that the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role’ the past 12 months was done by Judi Dench. I can’t help but wonder how much more we’d be talking about Dame Judi if she was out here kissing the babies and shaking the hands to the same degree some of her fellow nominees are.
Philomena is based on a true story of an Irish woman who loses her son to adoption at an early age, and with the help of a reporter (played by Steve Coogan brilliantly here) tracks him to America for a possible reunion. Like probably all of you, I can’t remember movies without Judi Dench. In recent years, she’s most famous for being M in the reboot of James Bond. So carrying that ‘image’ end, it’s really incredible/enlightening to see her play funny and sensitive and charming (not that there was any doubt she could play it to be clear). But this character is a departure from how we know her in big Hollywood movies as of late.
I don’t want to ruin the several twists and turns of the story if you haven’t seen it yet, but if you just want to see a good film about ‘real people’ dealing with a situation, this is one you should check out. To borrow the phrase used by the journalists in the film, a very good ‘human interest’ film.