These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son.
Judi Dench leads this UK drama directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), the true story of a single mother in search for her adult son, separated after a Christian community forced them apart decades ago. Co-starring and co-written by Steve Coogan, adapting the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith.
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee (Dench) was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was whisked away by the nuns to America for adoption. Philomena spent the next 50 years searching for him in vain. Then she met Martin Sixsmith (Coogan), a world-weary BBC journalist as cynical as Philomena was trusting. Together they set off for America, forging a bond themselves, to try and find Philomena’s son.
The Selfish Giant (R13)
“Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story… tells the tale of Arbor and Swifty, two young boys growing up in an underprivileged town in Yorkshire. Struggling to fit in at school, and each facing their own challenges at home, the two friends find their seemingly directionless lives given dubious purpose when they meet local scrapdealer Kitten, from whom they learn of the lucrative demand for copper wire. Kitten allows the boys to use his horse and cart to collect scrap metal, but as the pair start getting to grips with the trade, a divide is formed when their mentor starts showing favour towards Swifty, leaving the cocky Arbor feeling excluded and increasingly irresponsible in his actions…
“Recalls the social realism of Ken Loach’s Kes, and the allegorical poetry of Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank.” (London Film Festival)
Wadjda, a young Saudi Arabian girl, challenges her country’s conservative traditions by facing off against her neighbour in a bike race. With bike-riding frowned upon for Saudi girls (it is also illegal for women to vote or drive), her mother refuses to buy it for her, so Wadjda finds other ways of getting the money. This is the first feature to be directed both entirely in Saudi Arabia and by a Saudi woman (Haifaa Al Monsour), no small feat for a country that banned cinemas for over 30 years.
The Brats (M)
French comedy following Thomas (YouTube sensation Max Boublil) as he meets his future father-in-law Gilbert (Alain Chabat), who – disillusioned with his own marriage – persuades the groom-to-be not to marry his daughter. Instead, he is encouraged to start a new life of parties and loose women. Soon the bride and her mother have had enough, and the lads realise the price of their newly won freedom.