Philomena.

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I like the human scale of this film — Philomena — and recommend it to you. It’s the story of a young, Irish teenager who gives birth to a son, lives at a convent with her baby, and then, as was often the practice, the baby is sent away to a more “suitable home” against the mother’s wishes. (The cruelty of institutional Irish religion is almost unbearable to watch.) The mother, Philomena, would then spend the rest of her life looking for her son, and the movie portrays her remarkable search. The movie never lapses into sentimentality, and in the end, there is a redeeming vision of forgiveness that  I will not soon forget. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, the film is a reminder of the power and perseverance of love, not Valentines Day-romantic-sexy kind of love, but the kind of love that is relentless in its search for reunion.

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