The Women of Ballygar

The Miracle Club

Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan

Cast: Oscar winner Maggie Smith (California Suite, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery), Oscar nominee Laura Linney (The Savages, Kinsey) , Stephen Rea, Mark O’Halloran, Mark McKenna, Oscar winner Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot), Agnes O’Casey

Running Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Irish film and TV director Thaddeus O’Sullivan assembles an all-star female cast for his film The Miracle Club which had its world premiere at the less glitzy predominantly independent Tribeca Film Festival in New York early in 2023.

The Miracle Club focuses on three women from Ballygar in Dublin, Ireland in 1967 who after entering a talent show by coincidence manage to win a trip to Lourdes in France, the holy place where it is rumoured that the Virgin Mary performed miracles on the sick and vulnerable making it an attractive Catholic pilgrimage site.

The ladies in question are Lily Fox wonderfully played by double Oscar winner and veteran Hollywood and British star Maggie Smith (Gosforth Park, California Suite, A Room with a View); Chrissie Ahern expertly played by American actress and Oscar nominee Laura Linney who returns to Ireland after a long exile in Boston in America and the fast witted but wicked Eileen Dunne superbly played complete with an Irish accent by Oscar winner Kathy Bates (Misery).

As the women of Ballygar leave their men at home to fend for themselves, their holy pilgrimage to Lourdes start revealing some dark secrets about their past particularly the relationship between Chrissie and Lily’s dead son Declan, providing some brilliant scenes between Laura Linney and Maggie Smith and also between Chrissie and Eileen. The lighter moments are provided by a younger woman Dolly Hennessey played by Agnes O’Casey who brings her mute little son with her in the hopes that he will be able to talk once touched by the divine waters at Lourdes.

The Miracle Club is a light comedy drama with brilliant performances by the three main leading actresses and the funnier moments are provided by some of the male actors including Oscar nominated star Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) as Eileen’s forlorn husband Frank and Dolly’s young husband George played by Mark McKenna who has to deal with a young daughter while he hopes his wife and young son return safely from France.

As secrets are revealed and past grudges are dealt with in true Irish fashion, The Miracle Club is a rewarding and interesting film about three women who find forgiveness, independence and the strength to continue in the light of pressing health issues, chauvinism and family demands.

While not as comedic as one expected, The Miracle Club delivers a concise and entertaining film about female community, divine intervention and redemption.

Director Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s lovely Irish drama The Miracle Club gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is set in Dublin and Lourdes in France. Recommended viewing for those that enjoy a relaxing comedy drama.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2023
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90