The Miracle Club: EldersRock on the way to Lourdes

Maggie Smith, Laura Linney, Kathy Bates, Agnes O'Casey, in The Miracle Club

The Miracle Club merely needs to slap up a photo of the main characters, which include Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates and Laura Linney, to get me to agree to watch. May I say it? EldersRock! We’re off on a journey in search of healing, but some things are hard to heal.

Two things happen at the same time in The Miracle Club. One is a church talent contest with the first prize being tickets to Lourdes. The second is a funeral.

Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, and Agnes O'Casey in The Miracle Club
The Miracles will sing

All ready to sing in their matching outfits in the talent show are Lily (Maggie Smith), Dolly (Agnes O’Casey), and Eileen (Kathy Bates). And they really do sing, with Kathy Bates taking the solo on “He’s so Fine.” It’s a new girl group! Each of them have private reasons for wanting to win and find a miracle in Lourdes.

The funeral is for a lifelong friend of Lily and Eileen. The deceased’s daughter Chrissie (Laura Linney) has been gone from Ireland for 40 years. When she shows up for the funeral, most people are mad at her for disappearing for 40 years.

Through some convolutions in the plot, all these ladies along with young mom Dolly and her nonverbal son, end up on the bus to Lourdes together. The local priest, Father Byrne (Mark O’Halloran), is herding this bunch of cats around.

Being stuck together on a bus and in a hotel in Lourdes forces the ladies to work out their issues, which is what you would expect in a film like this. I was looking forward to that part of the story with such fine actresses doing their thing. But I was disappointed by a lack of depth in the writing. It could have been better.

The film was warm and had humor and charm, but it could have been more.

Laura Linney played her part with such tenderness, it was touching to watch. It was partly the personality of her character who had been wronged by these very people so long ago, but it also felt like honor and deference for her fellow actors, especially Maggie Smith.

In case you haven’t seen the trailer, it gives you a clear idea of what’s happening. The film is streaming on Netflix.

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