Thursday, July 27, 2023


Written by Joshua D. Maurer, Timothy Prager, Jimmy Smallhorne

Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan

A Transmission Films release

In cinemas from August 3


Previewed by Len Power 20 July 2023


In this age of Hollywood blockbusters, it’s nice to see that the film industry is still capable of producing films that quietly touch the emotions.

‘The Miracle Club’ is a heart-warming film about three ordinary women and close friends, Lily (Maggie Smith), Eileen (Kathy Bates) and Dolly (Agnes O'Casey) from a hard knocks community in Dublin, Ireland.

Chrissie (Laura Linney), has returned from the U.S. after a long absence for her mother’s funeral.  She gets a hostile reception from Lily and Eileen for reasons that become clear as the film progresses.

 As a result of a local talent quest, the three women win a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France.  Chrissie also joins them at the last minute.  During the trip, this uneasy group must confront their past while searching for personal miracles.

Maggie Smith, Agnes O'Casey and Kathy Bates

The film impresses with its very real characterizations, its deliberate pacing, its photography and the performances of the four women and the colourful community of people around them.

 Maggie Smith is superb as Lily, a religious woman whose son drowned many years before.  Well known for her comedic performances, this is an opportunity to see this fine actress in a serious role.  There are still flashes of humour - Maggie Smith is priceless as a backup singer in a talent contest.

Maggie Smith as Lily

Kathy Bates, well-remembered for her roles in ‘Misery’ and ‘Titanic’, is convincing as a bitter Irish woman, Eileen, who is unable to forgive the past and Laura Linney is quietly effective as the woman returning from the US.  Agnes O’Casey as Dolly, is very real as a younger woman struggling with domesticity as well as keeping her own identity.

Once in Lourdes, the film fascinates with its depiction of the pilgrims visiting the grotto and the healing springs.  The basilica and the area surrounding is photographed beautifully by John Conroy.

Do the women get their hoped for miracles?  There have been so few miracles documented at Lourdes over the years that it seems unlikely.  Maybe there are miracles that they are not looking for?


Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at