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Live in Chicago? Capone has seats to an early screening of PHILOMENA, with lead actor/co-writer Steve Coogan Q&A!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Now I'm going to switch things up a bit as far as the types of films I usually give away seats to see. Sure, we love our superheroes, aliens, explosions and all variety of chases. Call me old fashioned, but I'm also a sucker for a great story and even better acting. And there are few more riveting and moving stories than the true life of Philomena Lee (played in the film PHILOMENA by Judi Dench), an elderly woman who decides she wants to track down the child that was taken from her and given up for adoption while she was "in residence" at a convent in Ireland decades earlier. Through mutual friends, she enlists the investigative services of former political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan, who also co-wrote the film with Jeff Pope), who has recently been ejected from politics and is looking to get back into writing.

Directed by the great Stephen Frears, PHILOMENA is part road trip movie, part pulling he veil back on the horrific practices of the Catholic church in the last century, part mystery, and part emotional roller-coaster as the pair go halfway around the world in search of this missing man. I feel fairly certain that Dench's name will be spoken at many an awards ceremonies (as a nominee, at least) in the coming months, and now I'd like to give you a chance to see this gripping new film, with a little bonus guest, if you're willing and worthy.

I have a handful of seats for an early screening of PHILOMENA on Monday, November 18 at 7:00pm (please note the later starting time), at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). As an added treat, lead actor, co-writer and comic genius Steve Coogan will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. Here's how to win seats…

To win, send me an email at (please note the new email address) with the subject line "Unlikely Companions" (exactly like that). In the body of the email, I need your full Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (each winner may bring ONE confirmed guest--if I think you gave your +1 to someone trolling for free tickets at the theater, you won't get in), and the answer to the following question: "What is your favorite on-screen, road trip pairing, and why?" So what I need is the name of the movie, the names of either the characters or actors in the movie, and an explanation for your answer. Keep your responses BRIEF--no more than 75 words (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). Best answers (as judged by me) win, and you'll hear from me very soon if you won, so keep checking your email over the next couple of days. Continue reading before you enter…

Although this is not an exclusive Ain't It Cool News event, winners' seats will be reserved until 15 minutes before showtime (meaning 6:45 pm). The venue is deliberately overbooked to guarantee a full house for our guest. If you can't arrive by 6:45 pm, don't enter this contest. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guest will have to back out of attending or arrive late if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. And the 24-hour-notice-to-cancel rule is done. If you win and don't show up, the Black List will be your new best friend.

Good luck, everyone! And thanks to the The Weinstein Company for bringing this screening and very cool guest to Chicago.

-- Steve Prokopy
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