Opening Weekend: $128,435
(22 November 2013)
(USA)(29 November 2013)
Did You Know?
While visiting the convent, Martin Sixsmith sees an autographed photo of an American actress on the wall and asks if it is Jayne Mansfield (it is actually Jane Russell). A character who appears later in the film, Pete Olsson, is played by Peter Hermann. Hermann is married to Jayne Mansfield's daughter, Mariska Hargitay. See more »
Though the film appears to be set in about 2002, the red Mazda MX-5 in which Pete Olsen arrives at his house is a third generation model, not launched until 2005. See more »
As several critics have observed, this wonderful film, just shown at
TIFF, is destined to become this year's King's Speech (which began its
Oscar run in Toronto too, though Philomena has already picked up
accolades in Venice). Both British films have strongly emotional
undercurrents leavened by wry humour, feature outstanding performances
from the leads and are based on true stories.
Judi Dench, as the Irish woman whose out-of-wedlock son is taken from
her by Catholic nuns and sold to a rich American couple in the 1950's,
has never been better. She imbues the role with a mix of wisdom (after
all, as she reminds us repeatedly, she was nurse for 30 years) and
naiveté that would seem to be impossible were it not so deftly handled.
While the cynical atheist portrayed by Steve Coogan rarely misses an
opportunity to poke fun at her, more often than not she enjoys the last
Despite the consummate acting, and Frears' slick directing, the
greatest treat of the film is Steve Coogan's screenplay. Given its
subject matter, the story could easily have veered into melodrama, but
just when it is on the verge of doing so Coogan pulls us back from the
edge. Thankfully, Coogan himself is there to convey precisely the
proper blend of sarcasm and compassion.