Belfast Telegraph

Lee: Philomena is testament of love

Philomena Lee has denied that Stephen Frears' film Philomena is a "condemnation of Catholicism and conservative views".

A film reviewer for a New York newspaper described the movie, the story of Philomena's search for the son she was forced to give-up for adoption, as an "attack on the Catholic faith, as well as Republicans".

But Philomena, who is portrayed by Dame Judi Dench in the film, hit back, saying that the movie is "a testament to good things, not an attack", reported Deadline.

She wrote: "Your review of the movie paints its story as being a condemnation of Catholicism and conservative views. Forgive me for saying so, but you are incorrect.

"This is not a rally cry against the church or politics. In fact, despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith," she added.

Philomena said that "Stephen's movie about my story is meant to be a testament to good things, not an attack," and is "a testament to the undying bond that's exists between mothers and their children" and "a testament to the willingness to never give up on keeping that bond alive, even if all odds are pointing you against it".

Philomena, who told her story to journalist Martin Sixsmith (played by Steve Coogan in the film), revealed she is "intensely grateful" for the "warm response" she has received, which she said was "extraordinary".

The film, which was produced and written by Steve, won Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and was chosen as the People's Choice award runner-up at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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