Banished from her community after an unplanned pregnancy, Chrissie (Laura Linney) returns home after the death of her mother. Her mother’s best friend Lily (Maggie Smith) and Chrissie’s former best friend Eileen (Kathy Bates), along with a young mother named Dolly (Agnes O’Casey), are all part of a singing group. The group is attempting to win tickets to visit the sacred French town of Lourdes in the hope of getting a miracle for Dolly’s young son Daniel (Eric Smith). On the recommendation of Father Dermot (Mark O’Halloran), Chrissie decides to join the tour at the last minute and accompanies the women to the legendary site of miracles, all the while believing that there is nothing she needs from such a place. As the women begin to communicate and past misunderstandings are explained and experiences shared, the animosity and tension begin to fade. The group may not have received the miracles they came for, but the trip gave them all something just as powerful – it taught them humility and acceptance; it provided the opportunity for forgiveness and friendship; it showed them the power of compassion; and it gave them the strength to go on.
Family estrangement; coercive control and gender stereotypes; death of a loved one; miracles; divine retribution; illness (including cancer, anxiety, miscarriage, amputation, abortion and the inability to speak) and the hope for cures
The Miracle Club has some violence. For example:
- A character dies at sea. It is implied that he committed suicide as he was an excellent swimmer and was heartbroken by the loss of his girlfriend and the lies he was fed by his mother.
- There is mention of Mary watching her Son be crucified.
- Eileen asks Chrissie if she is the woman who killed a child.
- Chrissie describes how she was forced to have a miscarriage and how it happened.
- A character tells how she threw herself down the stairs in an attempt to miscarry her child.
- A character asks Dolly if she smacked her husband.
The Miracle Club has some sexual references. For example:
- A reference is made to shagging.
- It is repeatedly noted that Chrissie was pregnant at 17.
- Eileen alludes to the fact that Chrissie is going after Father Dermot and notes how she ‘always did love a challenge’. She later makes a scene in a pub and says inappropriate comments about the pair who are nothing more than friends.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Miracle Club has some substance use. For example:
- Eileen appears to take prescription medication for anxiety.
- Some characters smoke.
- Chrissie describes how she was given pills in order to miscarry a baby.
- Dolly tearfully explains that Daniel’s ailments are her fault as she tried to miscarry him by sitting in a tub filled with 5 bottles of whiskey.
- A character is shown to have fallen asleep while caring for his child. There are 3 empty beer bottles on the coffee table.
- Characters drink shots, beers and wine in a bar and Eileen appears to be quite drunk as she makes inappropriate comments about Chrissie and Father Dermot.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Miracle Club has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, characters wear bath towels as they descend into the holy water at Lourdes. One man is seen with a bare chest as he runs around wearing nothing but a towel after having his turn in the water.
There’s no product placement in The Miracle Club.
The Miracle Club has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Miracle Club is a comedy drama with a great cast and lots of religious references. The plot largely centres around healing from trauma and the movie is therefore best suited to older teen and mature audiences.
The main messages from The Miracle Club are that there is always hope, even if you don’t believe; and that love and forgiveness are capable of working miracles in the hearts of those they touch.
Values in The Miracle Club that you could reinforce with your children include kindness, forgiveness, faith, courage, strength and acceptance.
The Miracle Club could also give you the chance to talk with your children about things like these:
- Putting absolute faith in something to provide a cure when a condition might need medical treatment.
- Trying to control a partner or spouse and refusing to allow them freedom or the opportunity to help those they love.
- Unplanned pregnancies.
- The ways that gender stereotypes can disadvantage both sexes.