Heartwarming—Review Of The Miracle Club (2023)
It's been a while since I've seen the iconic Maggie Smith in a movie. I loved her acting in the Downton Abbey series so seeing her picture on this film poster, I made up my mind to watch this recent release. The title makes me think it's going to have a religious theme and I guessed right. It's a period sort of film set in Ireland, 1967. That's a bit olden days and the settings align with the lifestyle of that time.
The Miracle Club (2023) is about four women who desperately need a miracle. The movie's opening scene focuses on Lily Fox (played by Maggie Smith) who visits the memorial site of her late son, Declan, by the seaside. The scene changes. Lily, her friend, Eileen (played by Kathy Bates) and Dolly (played by Agnes O'Casey) participate in a talent contest at their local parish for a ticket to Lourdes, a pilgrimage site in France. The contest doubles as a sort of wake keep for their recently departed friend, Maureen.
When Maureen's daughter, Chrissie (played by Laura Linney), shows up at the talent show, Lily and Eileen turn up their noses at her because she'd been gone from the community for many years and only returned after her mother's death. Dolly, who is much younger than the other two women, inquires to know why they give Chrissie the cold shoulder. These women must face their past and reconcile it with their present as they journey to Lourdes together. Why did Chrissie stay away from the community for many years? What grudges do the older women have against her? Will their pilgrimage to Lourdes give them the miracle they seek?
I wasn't expecting anything action-packed, fast-paced or thrilling when I picked this film. I mean, two of the main cast are elderly women! I'm trying to say The Miracle Club is a mellow and heartwarming story. The plot is good and gives the audience the vibes of home, faith, life and reality. The storytelling is great in my opinion. Each character has their arc with satisfying endings so it's easy to relate to their struggles. The intertwining of faith matters with personal and emotional dramas makes this a film anyone can watch.
The cast's acting is excellent. The main characters breathe life into the film, taking the audience on a touching journey of faith, love, and forgiveness. In the beginning, it's not clear how the story would unfold, so we watch with much expectation. Towards the middle, everything is out there and the end is easily predictable. Still, I enjoyed how the subplots are neatly tied up at the end and the emotional impact is strongly conveyed. The women were after a miracle but what they truly need is acceptance of all that had happened and how wrong it was to judge anyone in any situation.
As pointed out earlier, the setting is in 1967 Ireland so it's a little old-fashioned. I love the rhythm of the neighbourhood. It's quaint, warm and inviting; a kind of community where everyone knows everyone else's business. There's kinship and support among the people but gossip also reigns which is typical and very destructive.
The cinematography is top-notch. I enjoyed the scenery of both Dublin and Lourdes in France. The beautiful views of the Irish sea, the cliffs and rocks surrounding it, as well as the small blocks of houses and scenes of the Basilica, demonstrate the meticulous attention to detail in creating these visuals.
Overall, The Miracle Club is a fine film worth watching, especially for people who enjoy introspective movies. I'll give it 3 stars out of 5.
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Other images are screenshots from the movie
Posted using CineTV