The Miracle Club, rated PG-13
The Miracle Club is the story of three women that share an unhappy past, with secrets and regrets that go back forty years. The acting performances are strong, but overall, the film is heavy with sadness.
The film is directed by Emmy nominee Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Into the Storm, Shetland, Vera), and written by three-time Emmy nominee Joshua Maurer (Georgia O’Keeffe, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge), Timothy Prager, and Jimmy Smallhorne.
The film is set in Dublin, Ireland in 1967. Two-time Oscar winner Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, California Suite) portrays Lily. She still mourns the death of her nineteen-year-old son Declan, who drowned in the sea forty years ago. Lily and Eileen, played by Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery), are lifelong friends. They live in a close-knit neighborhood with their husbands.
As the film begins, their good friend Maureen has died. Maureen’s daughter Chrissie, played by three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me, Kinsey, The Savages), returns for the first time after having abruptly left forty years ago. Lily and Eileen are not happy to see Chrissie, and her return opens old wounds.
Lily, Eileen, and their much younger friend Dolly, played by Agnes O’Casey, have entered a talent contest at their local church. The prize is two tickets to Lourdes, the pilgrimage site in France, a place the women have all been longing to visit for various reasons. Eventually, all four women – Lily, Eileen, Dolly and Chrissie head off for Lourdes on a church bus, each in search of a miracle, while Lily, Eileen and Dolly’s husbands humorously struggle at home without them.
Themes include grief, confession, secrets, grudges, disillusionment, misunderstandings and betrayal. The film does include a small amount of adult language.
The film features strong performances by Smith, Bates and Linney, and does a nice job of capturing their 1967 Dublin neighborhood. My disappointment with the film was based on my expectations going into the film. What I was hoping to see was more of the portrayal of the camaraderie of the three old friends, but each had their own issues that they were dealing with; frankly there had just been too much water under the bridge. As a result, the film was heavy with sadness.