Not having done our homework, we went to the film Philomena over the weekend. We made a mistake. We shouldn’t have gone. It’s not just one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, it’s also one of the most detestable. From beginning to end, it is an attack on the Catholic Church for crimes fabricated out of “true events” involving Philomena (Phil) Lee, played by Judi Dench. The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette plays up the “true events” in “The real Philomena Lee finds Hollywood ending in adoption story.”
In the last half hour of the film, if you have achieved the necessary detachment from the offenses that it is perpetrating against decency and taste, it becomes laughable, making villains of the Republican Party and the Reagan administration in addition to the Church. Undoubtedly only constraints of time precluded cameos by George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
Those involved with this film have every bit of Leni Riefenstahl’s appetite to produce propaganda. They lack only Riefenstahl’s art.
The film is a production of BBC Films. I note the fact for future reference. You may find it a useful shortcut to discovering films from which you want to steer yourself away.
The film is pornography for left-wing haters of a certain ilk. That would be the Weinstein (Harvey) ilk, the US distributor of the movie and a major Democratic supporter, of course. Weinstein recently declared, for example, that the Benghazi-related critique of Hillary Clinton’s performance as Secretary of State is “complete bullshit.” That certainly cleared things up for me.
Doing my homework on Philomena after we saw the film, I discovered that the New York Post’s Kyle Smith has blown the whistle on it. Smith’s pieces on the film are worth reading on their own terms for their excellence. First comes Smith’s dismissive New York Post review: “‘Philomena’ another hateful and boring attack on Catholics.” Next comes his expansive column responding to Harvey Weinstein’s attack on him: “Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Philomena’ attack ad.” Smith deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his administration of justice to this rancid piece of work in these two columns.
In between his New York Post review and his column Smith posted “Denounced!” at NRO, previewing his response to Weinstein’s attack ad. Quotable quote: “There are those who see this story differently, such as those who actually know something about what really happened.”