BAFTA for Philomena

Judi Dench as Philomena Lee

By Madeline O’Connor

MICHAEL Fassbender, the German-Irish actor taking Hollywood by storm, went home without a Best Supporting Actor gong at Sunday’s BAFTAs, but there was some good news for Irish films at the glitzy ceremony.

Philomena, the story of an Irish woman’s five-decade search for her son, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, won the award for best adapted screenplay.

But the writers of Good Vibrations – about the life story of larger-than-life Belfast record shop owner Terri Hooley – missed out on the award for outstanding debut.

The Philomena screenplay was based on the true story of Philomena Lee, who spent fifty years of her adult life trying to find the son she was made to give up for adoption.

Coogan praised the “real Philomena Lee” in his acceptance speech: “Her story has been told and her story finished in the Vatican. She has been heard but there are 60,000 other women who have yet to trace their children, and their story isn’t over.”

Philomena has also been nominated for four Oscars, including best picture.

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