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'The Miracle Club' Review: Maggie Smith, Laura Linney & Kathy Bates Tell a Tired Story of Forgiveness

As an actress, Maggie Smith can do no wrong. She’s more prone to mistakes when choosing projects, as evidenced by this sweet story of Irish women of different generations who travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France, to pray for miracles.

Smith is at the center of a powerful trio of actresses here, along with Laura Linney and

Kathy Bates . Although recent films such as Book Club and 31 For Brady already making the point that older women still like sex, The Miracle Club located in Dublin’s barely touched tradition through the sexual revolution of the age. For over-qualified age-specific actresses, it doesn’t improve their usual cartoon roles. By Thaddeus O’Sullivan , The Miracle Club Directed, with pedestrian abilities is about secrets that are too obvious, and the forgiveness you can see right from the start. Miracle Club

The Bottom Line A movie about A hopeless film of redemption.

Release Date: Friday, July 13
Maggie Smith, Laura Linney, Kathy Bates, Agnes O’Casey, Mark O’Halloran, Stephen Raydirector: Thaddeus O’Sullivan

Jimmy Small Calhoun, Timothy Prager, Joshua D. Maurer
Rated PG-, 1 hour13 minutes

Every main character needs a miracle for a reason. Smith plays Lily, whose son Daniel drowned decades ago at the age of 19. She thought his death was God’s punishment. Smith plays the role with ease, and when she’s on screen, the film is benign and watchable.

Erin (Bates) is the mother of a large family who has just discovered she has a lumpy breast, but apart from the parish priest Father Byrne (Mark O’Halloran) Besides, didn’t tell anyone. The role Bates played was the most difficult, as he played a character with a bad temper and sometimes rancor. She wasn’t afraid to make Eileen unlikable, but by Jimmy Smallhorn, Timothy Prager and Joshua D. Maurer based on Smallhorn’s story The shallow script didn’t help her shape the role much. “Have you seen a doctor?” the priest asked, and Irene said, “No, I want to go to Lourdes.” Her response revealed unshakable conviction. Whether we should also see her as narrow-minded (as if faith and science were mutually exclusive) is less clear at this point.

A younger generation, Dolly (Agnes O’Casey), is the mother of a young son who can’t speak. Even with a stellar cast around her, O’Casey delivers a confident performance.

When we meet these characters in the beginning, O’Sullivan (HBO Churchill TV series is caught in a storm ) and production designer John Hand effectively created their living texture in a modest working-class house with faded patterned wallpaper. This lifelike design is one of the film’s best elements. The cinematography by John Conroy is as underwhelming as the script’s formulaic script, and Lily, Eileen and Dolly sing together in a parish talent contest where the grand prize is two tickets to Lourdes.

Linney’s character, Chrissie, appears at the event and adds a welcome but fleeting bit of vitriol. Chrissy’s mother, a beloved friend of other women, has just passed away and Chrissy is back in Dublin looking polished and cosmopolitan 80 Spent a few years in the US but never set foot back in Ireland. On the one hand, there is some feud between Lily and Erin, and on the other hand, there is some feud between Chrissy. “I’m outcast!” Chrissy reminds them, and just take a shot of her musing over Daniel’s photo to guess why. Like Smith, Linney is a strong and natural actor who makes her scenes worth watching even in this film, where they inevitably suddenly become warm and fuzzy.

Chrissy’s mother left her a plane ticket to Lourdes, which she gave to Father Bourne for others to use. “Just don’t give it to the nuns,” she said. But without much prompting or apparent motivation, she ends up riding a bus with other women to the shrine. The entire film is shot in Ireland, which may explain why the Lourdes scenes seem so cramped and contrived.

Smith and Linney have one of the best scenes in the movie together, with Lily visiting a bathroom filled with holy relics. Water in the shrine. While Kris dismisses “all the deception” around her, Lily says softly, “There’s always hope, Doesn’t exist, even if you don’t fully believe it.” It’s a lovely and subtle scene, and it just goes to show what a better script might allow.

Instead, there are some tedious attempts at humor involving incompetent husbands. Stephen Rea, Eileen’s spouse, can’t shop or cook. When Dolly’s husband (Mark McKenna) uses a towel to change the baby’s diaper, you might start rolling your eyes before the diaper falls off in the next scene.

In Lourdes, all dissatisfaction vanishes. Father Byrne delivers the film’s message with a cliché: “Eileen, you didn’t come to Lourdes for a miracle, you came for the strength to keep going without a miracle.” Oh, and now he’s telling her. Of course, the idea that The Miracle Club suggests this is a lesson women must learn for themselves is just another hallmark of the film’s triteness. These actresses deserve better.

1967 Full credits 1967

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Production companies: Zephyr Films, City Films Entertainment, ShinAwil

Cast: Maggie Smith, Laura Lynn Ni, Kathy Bates, Agnes O’Casey, Mark O’Halloran, Stephen Rea

Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan
Writers: Jimmy Smallhorn, Timothy Prager, Joshua D. Maurer Producer: Chris Colin , Joshua D. Maurer, Alisander Wetterling, Larry Bass, Aaron Farrell, John Gleeson, Ossin O’Neal Director of Photography: John Conroy Production Designer: John Hand

Costume Designer: Judith Williams

Editor: Alex McKee

Music: Edmine Bart
Casting: Maureen Hughes

Rating PG-, 1 hour19 minute

1967 THR Newsletter 1967





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