Boyle Talks Philomena Costume Design

For Dublin native Consolata Boyle, designing the costumes for the fact-based Philomena — her seventh collaboration with director Stephen Frears — took on special significance. Certainly it’s a powerful story about a mother’s search for her long-lost son, amid the appalling revelation of forced adoptions in Ireland. But its greatest artistic appeal came from the witty “Odd Couple” pairing of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

“It’s a very brave film,” Boyle contends. “There are moments of real lightheartedness and laughter and that propels the story along and reveals things about both characters during the search for her son. They reveal their inner selves through the meeting of opposites.”

And Boyle was able to convey the tone of their relationship through wardrobe: a delicate balancing act between Dench’s playful Philomena and Coogan’s uptight Martin Sixsmith. “I think we all felt very strongly to keep the costumes as simple as possible and that they must not distract from the dynamic of the story,” Boyle adds. “Philomena’s strength and wisdom and grace under pressure needed to be always there. On the surface, in her simplicity, she seems naive but isn’t. He’s not a conventional character but is vain and opinionated. That was why choices were made in the quietness of the costumes.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Costume, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers

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