Warning: Contains major SPOILERS. It is not advised you read this if you have not seen Philomena yet.

“I didn’t see that coming, Martin, not in a million years,” Philomena gushes about the cliché moment in her romance novel.

But I think it sums up my thoughts after seeing the movie.

I did NOT see that coming.

Judi Dench plays Philomena, a women who has kept a secret for fifty years and finally decides it’s time for the secret to come out. Her son was taken away from her and now she wants to know what happened to him.

Steve Cogan as Martin Six Smith, helps her on her journey to discover the secrets behind her son’s life and disappearance. At first he has ulterior motives as a journalist who has hit a hard spot in his career and is looking for a comeback, but as secrets come to light and it becomes more and more personal, the want to find the truth is just as strong to him as it is for Philomena.

My mother wanted my brother and me to see this movie. She had heard it was based on a true story and thought that we would share her interest of unrequited family bonds. It was more than either of us could have expected. I was prepared to read and use the movie as background noise, but not once did Philomena give me the opportunity to open my book. Her story captivated me and it will others as well as they experience with her the sorrows and joys of discovering the truth.