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Recommended by Lindsey Alexander

I wasn’t keen to watch this film given the horrible history of the Magdalene Sisters but I’m glad that I did.

While the basis of the story is the very sad tale of Philomena Lee’s 50 year search for her son and the help she received from former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, there is lots of humour in it too - most of it at Martin’s expense.

The somewhat out of touch and out of work reporter certainly meets his match when he decides to take up Philomena’s story and find her son Anthony, who was adopted - or sold - to an American couple by nuns at the convent where the ‘disgraced’ teenager was sent after she got preganant.

Steve Coogan is excellent as the pompous Sixsmith who very quickly learns that Lee is much more than a silly old Irish mammy.

Judi Dench is also perfectly cast as Philomena and, without wishing to give anything away, is brilliant at conveying the mixed emotions during her search of America for the son she hopes may have carried a piece of Ireland with him.