The first trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Philomena has landed online. Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption. Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped Lee locate her son. While Frears’ most recent directorial effort Lay the Favorite was pretty much universally panned, Philomena looks to be a nice, simple return to form for the director. It’s nice to see Dench stretching her comedic side, and Coogan gets a chance to shine as the straight man for once. There is a chance that the film could be a tad overly sentimental, but this trailer is nevertheless promising. Moreover, Dench makes a wonderfully off-color joke at the end.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Philomena will play at the Toronto Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival and is slated to open in the UK on November 1st. A U.S. release date has yet to be set.
Via The Film Stage.
Here’s the synopsis for Philomena:
Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, this film focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something Philomena’s Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. Following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow for any sort of inquiry into her son’s whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Philomena meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to track down her long-lost son.