THE MIRACLE
DIRECTOR:            NEIL JORDAN
ENGLAND 1991
CAST:                      Beverly D'Angelo, Donal McCann, Niall Byrne and Lorraine Pilkington.
MUSIC:                    Anne Dudley
PHOTOGRAPHY:    Phillipe Roussolet
WRITTEN BY:          Neil Jordan
ONE WORD:            Nice story. Moody and well written.



I enjoy a lot of the smaller English films that rarely get noticed, and somehow, climb their way into a video, and is not noticed until (and if) the director becomes better known.

This is NEIL JORDAN. And as usual, it is complete and total Neil Jordan, who co wrote the script. This film came much later than the film which made Neil famous, which was called MONA LISA, and featured Bob Hoskins as a patron and helper of the many beat up prostitutes.

The title of this film is misleading to me, since it does not really take a miracle to solve this film, or save the young man from his horrible predicament, but there is a bit of a miracle in that in a sense, he is not going to become damaged like his father has. He is still the young man having fun in the end, and that is a good sight, now that he knows the truth, and has a bit less to worry about.

A young man and a (sort of) girl friend spend their teens walking around telling each other stories about the people they happen to see, and decide to watch during their fun walks. Amidst their beautiful country side and beaches they devise a game (the young girl writes stories, or so we are told though it is never really clear whether this is true or not) centered on the newer people they find. In appears a completely different person, a blonde woman in her late forties (Beverly D'Angelo) who comes by herself to a secluded area in the beach (it is clear she knows the place somewhat) and goes for a swim. The two kids start their game. She wears dark glasses. She has a past. She killed someone. She's hiding from it all. And the young man takes a fancy to her. He begins following her, and eventually finds out that she is an actress, playing an American Jean Harlow in a musical, for the fans
of the Hollywood shtick, which in many parts of the world is the closest thing to the Americana dream many people imagine.

Amidst all this is a father who is drunk all the time. He is a musician, and a good one at that, as is the son. The older woman does not allow herself to fall prey to the young man's advances, and though he praises her and does the little things which are flattering, even if they just fall in place, she manages to maintain her distance. His situation with his father deteriorates severely. There is an explanation to it all, but the father can't say it. There is an explanation to it all, but the woman can't say it. And the young man and his friend try in vain to figure out what is happening.

One evening, the young man notices the father talking to the woman. He is now suspicious, and tries to get the answer. He doesn't get it. The young man, at wit's end, tries to force the situation to a finality, and still does not succeed. The woman, still rejects his advances. After catching his father and the woman talking again, the young man is furious an uncertain of what to do. He engages the help of his young friend with another story time, by meeting the woman. And the film suggests that the young girl tells him what is going on, and what has happened, since he is not the same anymore. He walks into a church, where they sat once before, and stays the night, talking to a statue of Jesus, saying that he isn't leaving until he performs a miracle to solve the crisis. The miracle does happen with a surrealistic event reminiscent of a Luis Bunuel scene when an elephant shows up inside the church. The young girl has turned the tables on a boyfriend gone sour, who worked in the local circus. She lets the animals loose.

The two continue their story telling...... and I am not going to tell you about the woman, because it gives away the film.

FUN FILM TO WATCH. NICELY PACED. MAYBE MORE APPEALING TO A YOUNG AUDIENCE, BUT THIS IS NOT A FILM FOR KIDS.

3 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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