"Philomena" is a 2013 true-story movie inspired by writer Martin Sixsmith's novel "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee." The movie, which is set to air in select venues on December 25. (Cast: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan)
"Philomena" tells the story of a woman who as a teen mom was forced to give up her illegitimate son for adoption by the nuns at a local convent. The movie follows her journey of finding her son and telling her story to an investigative journalist, who seldom takes on human interest stories. The film reflects the blossoming of their friendship that was gained through mutual trust and understanding despite the apparent differences between them.
The real story took place in Ireland in the 1950's where a woman was forced to give up her only child. The real woman spent decades secretly searching for her long lost son until she finally decided to tell her daughter about her former life as a unmarried pregnant teen.
Journalist Martin Sixsmith was convinced to investigate and write about the real story after hearing about it at a New Year's Eve party, according to The Independent. The book about Philomena Lee and her son was published in 2009. According to the BBC, both Philomena Lee and her son Anthony tried to find one another through the convent but were both refused information. Anthony Lee's name was changed to Michael Hess by the U.S. couple who adopted him.
Today, the 80-year-old woman lives in Europe. Those who know the real Philomena Lee say that she is a lovely woman with an incredibly funny personality as depicted in the film based on her story.