memento_mori's Movie Review of Philomena

Rating of


A bad aftertaste of sentimentality.
memento_mori - wrote on 02/12/14

To be perfectly truthful, I really wanted to like this film. I mean, I want to like every film and give everything a chance, but the amount of uninteresting plot lines and things we've seen before, including Steven Frears' uninspired direction and the lazy screenplay absolutely overwhelm this movie, and trust me when I say: it's been a long time since I have seen a movie as cheap and unwarranted as Philomena.

It's by no means a terrible movie, but by even lesser means a good one.
I didn't precisely mean to say it was an unwarranted movie, there is plenty of interesting material in the story itself, which I bet is heartbreaking, but the way the director and screenwriter present it makes it as interesting as the shuffle function on my iPod.

A practically empty movie which once again wallows in its own self-indulgence and sentimentality. Oh, feel sorry for these deeply troubled characters. That's important.
It felt like it was a film Frears didn't even want to make. Every single detail of this film is as minimal and half-a**ed as it could possibly be. The basics of professionalism are there, but it bears absolutely no heart and no other ambition than making you go 'Oh, that's too bad' for five minutes.
Tell me if you remember something memorable in this movie. Which lines have you been quoting? Which shots were impressive?

Judi Dench is the highlight of the movie. She isn't as great as she is made out to be by the Academy, but it is easy to give her performance a pass if she had so little to work with in the first place.
Steve Coogan was boring in his journalist role with less than zero chemistry or insightful conversations going on between him and his co-star.

This movie is exactly like what Steve Coogan's character describes Philomena's life to be: A human interest story. And it definitely wasn't worth telling if the director saw so little to tell so stoically.
Philomena is the definition of a movie that was made for a buck and a half and shot and edited in a day and a half in a poor and obvious attempt at making the audience feel sorry for characters we learn so little about, other than the fact that a mother hasn't seen her child for fifty years. There is nothing in it and just thinking of it makes me more tired and indolent by the minute.
Judi Dench was admittedly good, but in the end, polishing a turd is still not enough.

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