Magazine article Variety

Journo: Dramatic License Doesn't Give True Picture

Magazine article Variety

Journo: Dramatic License Doesn't Give True Picture

Article excerpt

Martin Sixsmith wanted to help a woman find her son; in 'Philomena,' Hollywood wanted a character arc

MARTIN SIXSMITH

Journalist, author, historian, BBC foreign correspondent and British government adviser Sixsmith was at a low point in his career when he met Philomena Lee, an Irish woman searching for the son who had been stolen from her 50 years before, when she was sent to a convent as a pregnant teenager. Their quest became a book, then a film: "Philomena." starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, which debuts Nov. 22 via the Weinstein Co. Coogan wrote the script and plays Sixsmith in a portrait that is often unflattering. Variety asked Sixsmith for his reaction to seeing himself portrayed on the screen.

HAVING YOUR LIFE spread-eagled on the bigscreen is not for the fainthearted. You won't get an easy ride, and the movie would be dull if you did. But being called a "feckin' eejit" by the world's greatest living actor is not something I'd reckoned with.

To be fair to Dame Judi Dench - for it is she who says so - there's a lot of provocation. Her pithy Irishism is addressed to a snooty, annoying character called "Martin Sixsmith" (played by Steve Coogan). …

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