Box office surprise: Judi Dench's "Philomena"

Actor and co-writer Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears discuss their film "Philomena," and their hopes for awards season
Actor and co-writer Steve Coogan and director... 05:50

A film out in the theaters now is beating box office expectations, and generating some surprise Golden Globe and Oscar buzz. The movie, "Philomena," stars Judi Dench as an unwed Irish woman forced to give up her toddler 50 years earlier, and Steve Coogan, the reporter who decided to tell her story. 

Coogan, who co-wrote the film, told the co-hosts of "CBS This Morning" that it is based on a true story, one he read in the paper one day that moved him to tears. 

"It made me cry," Coogan said. "I was compelled to tell it because, in some ways, Philomena could be anyone’s mother, she could be anyone’s grandmother."
The real Philomena Lee talks forgiveness, wha... 01:18
"The two of them had been looking for each other for years, without each other knowing," he said. 

Coogan's character, Martin Sixsmith, joins Dench, who plays Philomena, on a journey to find her long lost child. "In some ways," he said, "it's a road movie -- a buddy movie, an odd couple."
Steve Coogan on bringing "Philomena" to life 01:26
Without giving away the ending, Coogan, who was joined by director Stephen Frears on "CBS This Morning", said it has a tragic ending, but added, "There's a lot of humor, a lot of comedy in the film, which I think people don't expect."

Coogan said he pitched the movie to Judi Dench, while sitting in her kitchen. He had to tell her the story, because her eyesight is not good these days. "She has great trouble with her eyesight," he said. But after hearing the story, "she said I want to do it."

The movie, "Philomena", has grossed more than $46 million in sales worldwide, after generating only $128,000 its opening weekend. It is nominated for three Golden Globes -- for best motion picture drama, best actress and best screenplay.