Wrestling with the idea of finding a new direction, former BBC correspondent and recently ousted Labour government advisor, Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), has a chance encounter with a woman whose mother - the God-fearing Catholic, Philomena Lee (Dame Judi Dench) - had her baby taken away from her nearly fifty years ago. Still feeling the pain of giving up her only child as an unmarried teenage mother, Philomena and Martin set off on a quest to find her son, starting off from her hometown of Washington, D.C., and then, to the convent where Philomena spent four years of her life. Will the two unlikely companions get to the bottom of this complex, fifty-year-old case?