Judi Dench Shines in ‘Philomena’

    November 23, 2013
    Kimberly Ripley

Judi Dench is back on the big screen in Philomena, and critics dub her the ‘best reason‘ for seeing the new film. Part comedy, part heart wrenching emotion–Philomena showcases Dench in a way she has seldom been seen.

Spanning the gamut from playing James Bond’s infamous M, to being known as a British theater icon, Judi Dench now shines as a little old Irish lady in Philomena–and she does so magnificently.

Originally rated R, Philomena was recently granted a much-needed reduction to a PG-13 rating. It did, however, take a war on Harvey Weinstein’s part–waged with the MPAA, in order to reach the new rating. Initially rated R for two ‘utterances of the F-word,’ Weinstein won the war by exhibiting clips from other films that met the PG-13 criteria while including similar–if not the same–expletives.

The L.A. Times touts Judi Dench’s performance in Philomena as ‘genius work.’

“Judi Dench’s performance in ‘Philomena‘ is genius work, propelling the film past a rocky start and into its solid, dramatic story,” their critic writes.

Twitter fans are chiming in on Judi Dench, her performance and her recent remarks about Philomena.

Philomena is about a woman named Philomena Lee (played by Judi Dench) who was forced to give her son up for adoption. Many years later–after raising her family–Lee meets and befriends a BBC reporter named Martin Sixsmith (played by Steve Coogan) and sets out to find the child she named Anthony, and whom she watched from a convent window as he was carried away by an American couple–sold for 1000 pounds.

Lest viewers fear the film is too deep, do note that bits of comedy emerge from time to time, thanks to Steve Coogan, who is one of Britain’s top comics. Some believe this gets the film off to an ‘unsteady start, while others may find it somewhat comforting–noting that the entire film won’t tear their hearts to shreds. He and Judi Dench play off one another with amazing ease.

Philomema opened November 22nd in limited release. Hopefully it will soon open nationwide, allowing Judi Dench and her fans to see her eloquent performance.

Image via Wikipedia


Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.