The Miracle Club: All I Need is a Miracle

Everyone is looking for a miracle but not everyone knows where to look.

Set in the heart of Ireland in the 1960s, The Miracle Club tells the story of close friends Lily (Dame Maggie Smith), Eileen (Kathy Bates) and Dolly (Agnes O’Casey). Living in a working-class town, these women are excited to embark on a journey to the holy site of Lourdes. In Lourdes, it is believed that it was once visited by the Virgin Mary, creating a space of miraculous healing. However, they are unexpectedly joined by Chrissie (Laura Linney), the daughter of an old friend that had disappeared ages ago. As they leave on their quest for a miracle, their journey will open up past hurts that need healing themselves.

Based on his family’s experiences as a child, this Miracle feels personal for director Thaddeus O’Sullivan. A lighthearted comedy with serious undertones, there’s a certain nostalgic air about this world that’s definitely born out of affection. Although these characters may not real people, O’Sullivan ensures that they feel real and earnest in their pursuits. Despite their personal flaws, these women are passionate about their faith, their families and finding hope. With miracles on their mind, the journey to Lourdes is held in such high esteem that they look towards it with incredible reverence. 

For them, the journey to Lourdes is a holy pilgrimage and they embark upon it with humility and thankfulness. 

Of course, the true Miracle her is the film’s sparkling cast. Not unexpectedly, any film that features Laura Linney, Kathy Bates, and Dame Maggie Smith already has a remarkable opportunity to create something special. As such, the chemistry between stars is simply a joy to behold. Each actress has their moment to shine and allows the others their moment in the spotlight as well. It’s their performances that give The Miracle Club its magic, offering us authentic portrayals of women who care deeply about one another yet remain looking for answers as well. 

However, the power of the film lies not in the miracle but in the search itself. Every woman may have different reasons for making the pilgrimage to Lourdes but they have one united purpose. Whether it’s a cure for cancer, loss of voice or a quest for grace, each woman is ultimately looking for some form of healing. Desperately in search for a miracle, each one of them believes that this might be their last chance. Weighed down by their hurts and fears, each has come to Lourdes looking for answers that they may (or may not) find along the way. As such, while there remains a levity in the characters, we also bear witness to the burdens that have brought them here. 

As the film unfolds, the women’s search for hope takes on unexpected forms. Billed as a holy place where miracles happen, Lourdes is not necessarily the place that they’d anticipated. (After all, how many holy shrines have a gift shop?) In this way, Lourdes seems to offer much but return little, leaving the women looking elsewhere for redemption. 

However, the film never lets the viewer lose hope. In this place were miracles took place in the past, the continue to look for them in the present? Having brought along the scars of their past, they are forced to face them amongst themselves. For some, this will unearth painful memories. 

For others, the miracle may finally bring healing.

The Miracle Club is available in theatres on Friday, July 14th, 2023.

Leave a Reply