“The Miracle Club”


Metacritic (7/10), Letterboxd (3.5/5), Imdb.com (7/10), TMDB.com (7/10)

When circumstances in our lives grow burdensome, many of us hope for a miracle. In some cases, that aspiration is looked upon and anticipated as a literal possibility, one that can be banked on if certain steps are taken. For many of the world’s Roman Catholics, that means making a pilgrimage to the holy shrine at Lourdes, France, site of a believed visitation by the Virgin Mary in 1858. And, in 1967, for the anguished residents of a small Irish town, that’s just what they undertake in hopes of seeing their problems miraculously vanish. That premise provides the basis for director Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s latest feature offering, which tells the story of three generations of women who make the journey to see their trials and tribulations lifted, some of which are physical, others of which are emotional and nearly all of which are familial or relationship-oriented. This delightful and touching comedy-drama is part road trip tale, part “buddy” film (even if that term doesn’t always fit), and part saga of reconciliation, redemption and rebirth. It poignantly explores the process of making our own miracles rather than relying on outside influences, as well as learning and understanding the true meaning of faith and forgiveness. Admittedly, the film takes its time getting started (and perhaps a tad too long at that), and some of its story threads come across as somewhat schmaltzy, predictable and overly “tidy.” However, it has a definite edge to it, too, especially in its incisively biting humor, pointedly and expertly delivered through the superb performances of its principal cast members, most notably Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, Laura Linney and Stephen Rea. Some may look upon “The Miracle Club” as something of a lightweight offering, but its heart and intents are decidedly in the right place, making for a generally enjoyable watch, particularly as a piece of family fare. Cynics may find much to criticize here, but I believe that’s patently unfair, considering the sincerity of its messages and earnestness of their delivery. So, in light of that, give this one a fair shake – you just might find a few miracles of your own come from it.