By COLLEEN BARRY
VENICE, Italy - Director Stephen Frears is `'very keen" for Pope Francis to see his latest film, `'Philomena," the true story of a shamed Irish woman forced by nuns to give her son up for adoption in the 1950s.
Frears repeated the desire to reporters three times before the film's world premiere in competition Saturday at the Venice Film Festival.
Asked to explain, he said: `'He seems like a rather good bloke, the pope."
A 2009 book by the journalist who helped the real-life Philomena, played by Judi Dench in the film, locate her son has been a catalyst for thousands of Irish mothers who similarly lost their children to come forward.
Screenwriter Jeff Pope says the film is trying to say that `'openness ... is really the way forward."
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