The Miracle Club: Maggie Smith and Kathy Bates demonstrate the power of faith, trust & forgiveness

Jul 22, 2023
Don't miss 'The Miracle Club', coming August 3. Source: Supplied

Do you believe in miracles?

Well, after almost being scrapped and two decades later, the film The Miracle Club, starring a dream cast of Kathy Bates, Maggie Smith and Laura Linney, is finally hitting the big screen – a miracle in itself!

This heartwarming movie will take you back in time to the hard-knocks town of 1960 Ballyfermot, Ireland, where a group of women put their faith in the local raffle to win a trip to the place of miracles, the French town of Lourdes.

For Lily (Smith), Eileen (Bates), and Dolly (Agnes O’Casey), this trip to Lourdes is a pilgrimage of freedom, as each woman desperately seeks their own miracle and an escape from their lives as dutiful housewives.

However, when Chrissie (Laura Linney) joins the women on their pilgrimage after returning from a decades-long exile in the US, the women must confront their past.

A true journey of loyalty and faith, this stellar cast truly brings the emotions to life as they each discover the miracle they seek was in front of them the whole time.

Source: Supplied

Starts at 60 spoke with Bates on her experience filming this heartwarming flick, said acting alongside one particular actress was what spurred her into accepting the film.

“Laura and I knew that we would have the opportunity at some point to work together. But we knew we would never have another opportunity to work with Dame Maggie. And through it all, that’s what drove us, not just the script and the lovely characters, but we drove, drove, drove because we wanted to work with Maggie.”

However, with the hardships of getting the film up and running, Bates said she had mostly given up on her dream to work with the Dame.

“​I remember, talking to Maggie, we were at the Oscars that year, she was there for Gosford Park, and she said, ‘Are we ever going to do this effing movie, you know?’ And I said, ‘Well, don’t hold your breath’. And so when it came up in 2020, we received this fantastic script that had been trimmed and we all signed off on it and said, ‘Yes, this is the one we want to do’. And then, of course, the pandemic hit.”

When it came to playing her character Eileen Dunne, Bates said she felt the character and the turmoil she went through helped to create an understanding and connection with her late mother.

“As I worked on Eileen, more and more, I felt my mother with me. I understood as I grew, I came along very late in life to her. She was in her 40s. And they’d already had my sisters and they knew that their family was done. And then I came along, and in the last, I’d say 10 years or so I’ve really struggled with knowing that my mother gave up her retirement and what would have been an opportunity for her to explore different things. And who knows, she might have left my father.

“She told me once that she’d always dreamed of being a lawyer and then she’d always dreamed of living on campus and, you know, married to a professor, and she was absolutely brilliant. So I’ve really tussled in my life with thinking, ‘Oh, if only I hadn’t come along, she would have had her life’ and how wonderful that would have been for her. And I didn’t expect to find my mother and Eileen. But I did. The fact that she turns into a completely different woman reminded me a bit of my mother”

If you’re looking for a temporary escape from the ordinary, don’t miss The Miracle Club, out in cinemas across Australia from August 3, 2023.

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