Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Philomena" (2013)

In a classic case of buyer beware, “Philomena” is not what it is being sold as. If you watch the trailer (below) it looks like it is going to be a whimsical, heartwarming, funny story about a woman looking for her long-lost son. In reality, you are getting a harsh, heart-wrenching, expose of an evil convent that robbed teens of their babies and sold them for profit to Americans. Where the trailer very clearly conveys the son being found, the true story presented here is the much less inspiring discovery of a long-dead son. Every single laugh and grin is in the trailer. This is not the comedy promoted in the ad campaign.

Some may argue that it is still worthwhile as it exposes yet another evil of the institutional, Catholic church. True, but we don’t need a dower two-hour sermonizing movie to make us feel bad to know that such evils exist. Somehow, this film lacks an uplifting impulse to go with its exposé. The exemplary forgiveness of the titular character has very little if any impact.

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