The nice people at Virgin Media offered us two preview tickets to see Philomena, Judi Dench’s latest flick. The advanced screening was at our local Odeon Multiplex which isn’t my venue of choice – too Las Vegas lounge for my liking. I prefer Cinema City, a nice bar-restaurant with a picture house attached. But, it would have been rude to refuse a freebie. Based on true events, the film is about an elderly Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up to the nasty nuns following a quickie with handsome young buck at a village fair. Well, it was the buttoned-up no-thrills Fifties and unmarried mothers were the whores of Babylon. The film co-stars Steve Coogan (who also produced it and co-wrote the screenplay) as the real-like Martin Sixthsmith, former BBC journalist and Blairite spin doctor who wrote the book upon which the film is based. The movie went on general release today so I won’t add a spoiler. Suffice it to say it ain’t The Sound of Music but it isn’t Angela’s Ashes either. The subtle, gentle and often funny script allows the harrowing story to unfold and take centre stage without the outrage slapping the audience about the face. Dame Judi is, as always, superb and Steve Googan (who is more famous as Norwich’s very own fictitious DJ, Alan Partridge) is surprisingly good. It’s well worth shelling out a few shillings for.