Director Stephen Frears talks ‘Philomena’

Director Stephen Frears recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his new drama “Philomena.”

In “Philomena,” which is now playing, Steve Coogan plays a world-weary political journalist who picks up the story of a woman’s (Judi Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Frears by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the director discusses what drew him to “Philomena” and what he hopes that audiences take away from the film.

What I liked about it is that it is a tragedy and a comedy at the same time. It is a tragedy and, on top of that, there is a romantic comedy or a road movie or a buddy movie or whatever you want to call it. That is what made it so interesting. Philomena’s story is so dreadful and then, on top of that, there is humor and lightness and I thought that those two complemented each other very well. The work was always about balancing those two elements.

I thought that the pairing [of Steve Coogan and Judi Dench] would be very good. In the old days, they used to talk about chemistry between actors and I thought that these two had very good chemistry. [Judi Dench] is constantly the most wonderful woman. She is an incredible woman. She can play joy in a way that nobody else can. She is fantastic.

Philomena sort of gets a new son [in the film], doesn’t she? It seems to me that we made it with a lot of love and there is a lot of love in the film. And there is a lot of innocence against cynicism – things like that. So I hope that [audiences] have a good time. It taught me that I am not capable of forgiveness in the same way that Philomena is.” – Stephen Frears

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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