Ireland, 1952. Philomena Lee, still in her teens, becomes pregnant. Rejected by her family, she is sent to the Roscrea Convent. She works in the convent laundry to cover her board and the nuns' care before and during the birth of her son, Anthony. After he's born, she is only allowed to see the child one hour a day, and when Anthony is three years old, he is taken from her and adopted out to an American couple. For years, Philomena tries to find her son. Fifty years later, she encounters Martin Sixmith, a disillusioned journalist. When she tells him her story, Martin persuades her to accompany him to the United States to look for Anthony.
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