Stephen Frears' new film Philomena stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The first picture of the film was released yesterday (Monday 16th July) and shows the two British actors in an evidently emotional scene. Coogan looks at Dench with a concerned expression as she holds a photograph.

Steve Coogan and Judi Dench

The film, directed by Frears, follows one woman's journey to discover a son she was forced to give up fifty years before. Young Philomena Lee (played by Sophie Kennedy Clark), according to the BBC's synopsis, fell pregnant in Ireland in 1952: she was then taken to a convent as a 'fallen woman'. As a consequence of her strict surroundings, Philomena was encouraged to offer her baby for adoption. 

Current day Philomena, played by Dench, is aided by journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan). They travel to the US in order to search for Dench's child. The BBC, who have produced Philomena, describe it as a 'bitter-sweet comedy, a compelling narrative of human love and loss, and a heart-breaking story that ultimately celebrates life'.

Judi Dench
Judi Dench at the premiere of Skyfall in London.

Philomena is based on a true story and adapted from Martin Sixsmith's book The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee. Steve Coogan and BAFTA Award Winner Jeff Pope wrote the screenplay. 

Alongside Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena stars Neve Gachev (About Time), Sophie Kennedy Clark (Black Mirror), Simone Lahbib (Single-Handed), Charlie Murphy (The Village) and Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey).

Director Stephen Frears has directed such films as Dangerous Liaisons, Dirty Pretty Things, Tamara Drewe and The Queen

Philomena is due to be released in UK cinemas on 1st November 2013.

Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan at The Look Of Love premiere in London.