Based on a real story, the film stars Judi Dench (left) as Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who searches for her son that she was forced to give up for adoption as a teenager.
The film is based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith's 2009 book, "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee." British comedian Steve Coogan also stars in the film, which he co-wrote with Jeff Pope. He plays a journalist who helps Lee search for her son.
Buyers saw the reel at Cannes, where Pathe and BBC Films were representing the film. Deadline, which first reported news of the ongoing talks, said that the Weinsteins became the exclusive bidders after Focus Features dropped out.
The film is Frears' first since "Lay the Favorite," though "The Queen" director also made "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" for HBO.
The Weinstein Co. has a busy schedule ahead, from summer release "Fruitvale Station," a Sundance favorite, to John Wells’ take on award-winning play "August: Osage County," out in November.