The Film

Philomena is a British-French-American drama film directed by Stephen Frears, based on the book 'The Lost Child of Philomena Lee' by journalist Martin Sixsmith. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, it tells the true story of Philomena Lee's 50-year-long search for her son.

Journalist Martin Sixsmith has lost his job as a Labour government adviser, and is contemplating writing a book. He is approached at a party by the daughter of Philomena Lee. She suggests that he write a story about her mother, who was forced to give up her baby boy, Anthony, fifty years ago. Although he initially scorns the idea of writing a human interest story, he eventually meets with Philomena and after hearing her shocking story, he decides to investigate further.

Philomena received critical acclaim from reviewers upon release: "Based on a powerful true story and led by note-perfect performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena offers a profoundly affecting drama for adult filmgoers of all ages."

The film has been recognised by several international film awards. Coogan and Jeff Pope won Best Screenplay after it was screened at the 70th Venice International Film Festival. It was also awarded the People's Choice Award Runner-Up prize at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

The film was nominated in four categories at the 86th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Dench, Best Adapted Screenplay for Coogan and Pope, and Best Original Score for Desplat. It was also nominated for four BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes.


Judi Dench as Philomena Lee
Sophie Kennedy Clark as Young Philomena
Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith
Barbara Jefford as Sister Hildegarde
Kate Fleetwood as Young Sister Hildegarde
Mare Winningham as Mary Hess
Michelle Fairley as Sally Mitchell
Ruth McCabe as Mother Barbara
Anna Maxwell Martin as Jane
Peter Hermann as Pete Olson
Simone Lahbib as Kate Sixsmith
Amy McAllister as Sister Anunciata
Cathy Belton as Sister Claire
Wunmi Mosaku as Young Nun (modern era)
Sean Mahon as Michael Hess


The score of the film is composed by Alexandre Desplat.

1. "Philomena" 2:53
2. "Martin" 1:38
3. "Birth" 3:00
4. "Laundry" 1:59
5. "Adoption" 3:37
6. "Reminiscence" 1:15
7. "Airport" 1:48
8. "Landing in USA" 3:11
9. "Dream Within a Dream" 1:35
10. "Discovering Michael" 4:52
11. "Mary" 1:56
12. "Confession" 5:48
13. "Memories" 1:16
14. "No Thought of Ireland" 2:07
15. "Quiet Time, To Pete's" 3:36
16. "Anthony's Story" 3:25
17. "Sister Hildegarde" 3:14
18. "Farewell" 2:48
19. "Fairground Carousel" 1:08