This movie has a lot of potential to make you angry at the Catholic Church (or angrier), but remember, it’s a movie, so they use dramatic license. It’s based on a true story, but just keep this in perspective as you’re watching it. I try to box in my feelings so I can avoid the anger.

Dame Judy co-stars in this gut-wrenching story of love and loss along with co-star/writer Steve Coogan. Dench plays Philomena Lee, who had her son taken from her by the nuns at an Irish convent so he could be adopted by an American family. Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith, who wrote the book on it.

The NYT rooted through and tried to find some of the facts on her son. It’s a tragedy. Sad stuff but Philomena handles it beautifully. That’s the lesson in all of this, you can’t decide what exactly happens in your life, but you can decide how to react to it. Where did I hear that? Who said that? I need to look into that.

It’s a great story that strategically mixes in bouts of humor amongst the stronger emotions. I actually felt uplifted after it was over, despite the subject matter.