The Reel Review


Three friends in a working-class suburb in 1967 Dublin get a surprise addition to their religious pilgrimage to the iconic French town of Lourdes when the long-estranged adult daughter of their recently departed friend joins them. Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates and Laura Linney star in this period dramedy.

Maggie Smith, Agnes O’Casey and Kathy Bates in The Miracle Club

The Miracle Club is a sweet but slight film that is as schmaltzy as it is predictable. No surprise – it turns out that all of the women are looking for their own individual miracle – be it physical or spiritual. The film, however, has some major believability issues. Sporting a questionable Irish accent, the 75-year-0ld Bates is horribly miscast. Her character is the mother of six children ranging in age from 10 to 21 and is supposed to be the same age as 60-year-old Laura Linney’s character. Despite this, the lead actresses’ performances do elevate the source material beyond the limits of its pedantic screenplay. Maggie Smith is, as usual, sublime.

Laura Linney, Maggie Smith and Niall Buggy in The Miracle Club

The period clothing, solid cinematography, and heartwarming message all combine to give The Miracle Club a homey, lived-in vibe. Once the “miracles” start happening, this very old-fashioned film veers into predictable, feel-good clichés that lack the emotional heft needed to make it a crowd pleaser. But still, there are worse ways to kill an hour and a half.


• Producers Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin had been trying to make The Miracle Club a reality since Maurer first sold it to HBO in 2005.

• Brenda Fricker provides the voice of Maureen in the film.

• Although set in Ireland and Lourdes, France, The Miracle Club was filmed in Ireland.


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