Talk to your kids about…
What subtle parallels are drawn between Martin Sixsmith’s disgraced career and Philomena’s shame for being an unwed mother? In what ways are their reactions to their pasts similar, and in what ways are they different?
What allows Philomena to stop being a victim of her circumstances? What does her attitude towards the offences she has endured say about her as a person? How can holding onto past hurts affect a person? Does holding a grudge really punish anyone? Can forgiveness only be given to another when they deserve it?
What qualities do the Sisters and Philomena have that makes them each a saint and a sinner? Why is it hard to judge what is right and what is wrong? Where does the Christian attribute of mercy fit into such dilemmas? Do any of the characters exemplify this trait?
Martin has a difficult time convincing his editor that Philomena’s plight is worth publishing. What elements of her tale convince his editor to take it? Do you feel the media sometimes overlooks stories that are important yet may not contain the necessary ingredients to catch an editor’s interest?
The movie mentions the adoption of an Irish baby by actress Jane Russell.
Learn more about foreign adoptions in Ireland during the 1950-70s.
Discover the differences between the book and screenplay of this story in Philomena: The Book Versus The Movie.