Published On: Fri, Oct 13th, 2023
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Three women with one daring dream: The Miracle club is now on screen | Films | Entertainment

This weekend, The Miracle Club’s redemption-seeking pensioners will take on Paw Patrol’s superpowered puppies at the box office.

Pairing a film aimed at kiddies with one made for biddies (sorry) could make for another riotously inappropriate double bill.

There’s a Sunday afternoon TV feel to early scenes of The Miracle Club, which whisks viewers back to 1967 Ireland.

In this Dublin suburb, kids can play safely in the streets, pictures of flamenco dancers adorn the walls and menfolk are thrown into a moral panic when asked to peel a spud.

But three women are determined to abandon their useless husbands to take a pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Catholic shrine where nuns dunk the faithful in disease-curing waters.

Eileen (Kathy Bates) is worried about a lump in her breast. Lily (Dame Maggie Smith) sports one built-up shoe and a heart shattered by the death of a son.

Kindly 20-something Dolly (Agnes O’Casey) is praying the blessed spring
will make her mute little boy utter his
first words.

Chrissie (Laura Linney) has a more mysterious reason to board the charabanc. She has just returned to Ireland from Boston, 40 years after being banished for falling pregnant by Lily’s
now-dead son.

Eileen, slightly implausibly, was once Chrissie’s best friend (Bates is 16 years older than Linney) but, like Lily, she still harbours a puzzling resentment for this poor woman.

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that the miracle involves compassion.

But you may find it jarring to see issues like abortion, misogyny and suicide drenched in such a deep well of sentimentality.

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