Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

Philomena comes good at the Oscars

A film tackling the torrid behaviour of a religious order in Ireland is gaining traction.

Fri, Jan 17, 2014, 10:37


With four Oscar nominations in the bag, Philomena is becoming the little film that could. The movie is up for Best Picture, Actress in a Lead Role for Judi Dench, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay. Unfortunately, all of those categories are really tight. If I was betting, I’d have to predict 12 Years A Slave will win Best Picture, Blanchett will win for Actress, I’d say Gravity will win on sound as opposed to score though. It’s best chance is in Adapted Screenplay, although Wolf Of Wall Street is probably the favourite there, along with 12 Years.

For a film like Philomena to get nominated at all is a huge achievement. I can’t find the production budget anywhere online, but it couldn’t have been big bucks. And it’s certainly made whatever it cost back at box office – which currently stands at around $60 million. God only knows what they spent on their pre-Oscar marketing push though. Nearly every film website seemed to have a Philomena ad looming large.

The reason I’ve followed this film so closely is because I think it was truly one of the best pictures last year. It’s sweet, smart, has a great script, it’s gentle and measured, Judi Dench is absolutely stunning, and Coogan reveals a previously unseen tenderness. It’s a remarkable story. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out.