THE MIRACLE CLUB – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Not all movies are made to be big box office hits with tons of merchandise for fans to buy. Those movies do have their place and add to summer fun. There is also room for films that share a bit of history, open our eyes to other life paths, and take us on a journey.
This summer Thaddeus O’Sullivan brings us The Miracle Club. This story takes place in 1967 and starts in a small village outside of Dublin. The church is hosting a talent show and first place is tickets for a trip to Our Lady of Lourdes in France. This is a popular pilgrimage site for those in the Catholic faith. In 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to a local (Lourdes) woman in the grotto. Those that bathe or drink from the spring water may experience a miracle. Chrissie (Laura Linney), Eileen (Kathy Bates), Lilly (Maggie Smith), and Dolly (Agnes O’Casey) each have their reasons for wanting to go and try for a miracle. Father Byrne (Mark O’Halloran) is along to help guide them through the path they each need to travel.
Newcomer O’Casey holds her own with the three known powerhouses. In her shared scenes I did not lose sight of her. This has happened in other films such as Love Actually and The Squid and the Whale for Linney, Titanic and Failure to Launch for Bates, and Sister Act I/II and Harry Potter for Smith. Everyone was given moments to stand out while the others held attention but did not take away focus when appropriate. I was able to relate to each of the women and their role in the tale.
The start of the film could have been a bit cleaner in showing how the characters of Chrissie and Eileen were connected. I am not sure if a few additional lines of script or maybe then and now photos just a little something. It was cleared up before the end of the film.
While the beliefs of the characters and the pilgrimage itself are Catholic-focused, I would not call this a faith-based film. There are mature subjects and a bit of language that have me suggesting parents watch it first and decide if it is appropriate for their children.
The movie has a great pace thanks to the cast. I was surprised it had been just over an hour and a half when the credits began. There are some very sweet moments sprinkled along the way. I do wish there was a bit more depth, this cast had the talent to deliver. Once it is clear who everyone is and how they tie together, knowing what will happen (not the how but the what) leaves no room for surprises. You have husbands not wanting wives to leave and then watch them try to juggle what the wives do in ways that we have seen before. While it did play into one of the ladies’ stories, there was an opportunity to be creative with the script.
I enjoyed the film and would watch it again when it plays on a channel I subscribe to, I do not see myself buying a copy to have in my personal collection. Get out of the mid-day heat and see it as a matinee or midweek summer price special.
Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan
Cast: Laura Linney, Kathy Bates, Maggie Smith, Agnes O’Casey, Mark O’Halloran
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and some language
Selig Rating: 3 Stars
Runtime: 1h 31m
Release Date: July 14, 2023
Movie Site: The Miracle Club official site
Trailer: The Miracle Club official trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .
1 Star – Total waste of time.