THE BEST CHRISTIAN MOVIE you’ve never seen (even though it was Oscar-nominated for best picture!) turns 10 this year. That movie is Philomena, adapted from The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and A Fifty-Year Search, by British journalist Martin Sixsmith. The film stars Dame Judi Dench as the titular mother and Steve Coogan as Sixsmith. While the book primarily focuses on Philomena’s son Michael Hess, the film more closely traces the mother’s story. As a pregnant teenager, Philomena was abandoned to a convent of nuns who forced young women to work without pay and sold their children to wealthy Americans looking to adopt.
On her son’s 50th birthday, Philomena weeps, clutching the only pictures she has of him. Despite her efforts, she has never been able to learn his fate. When Sixsmith, a disgraced journalist, learns of Philomena’s plight, he agrees to help her. What began as a distraction from his own troubles soon shifts to captivation. Despite Philomena’s assurances that the sisters of the convent have done their best to care for the women and children in their charge, Sixsmith uncovers a devilish conspiracy of silence.