The Third Miracle Movie Review

In the immortal words of singer Fats Waller, "I believe in miracles...." Who else is a believer? Agnieszka Holland, best known for poetic period pieces like Washington Square and trite garbage like Total Eclipse, who finally ventures into the modern era (or reasonably modern: 1979) with The Third Miracle.

Based on the poorly-received novel of the same name, The Third Miracle follows a down-and-out drunk of a priest named Frank Shore (Harris), on his assignment to debunk (or bunk) a claim of sainthood regarding a Chicago woman named Helen. The main case for sainthood? A young girl who prayed to the woman has been cured of lupus. Now the statue where that girl prayed is crying Helen's Type-A human blood. People are flocking from around the nation.

Shore, a man of lost faith who lives in a tenement building, is called back to active service thanks to a perfect record of finding fault with every saint applicant that crosses his path. During his investigation, he reexamines that faith, spars with an archrival Archbishop (Mueller-Stahl), has a very unlikely and unbelievable fling with Helen's daughter (Heche), and generally becomes an all-around good guy.

The film, on the whole, is intriguing and keeps your interest throughout. It's hardly a laugh riot: This is serious stuff, and oftentimes it's a damnation of Catholicism. It's Dogma, but with feeling. But the film's self-importance and rambling, often-lost narrative (a perpetual problem in Holland's work) robs it of its luster. For religion buffs, it's a must-see. For the typical moviegoer, it's a toss-up.

One question by way of spoiler (quit reading now if you intend to see the film): What's the deal with the title? Catholic tradition requires three miracles for sainthood, and Helen languishes with a mere two. At the film's end, Anne Heche shows up with a newborn daughter. A more cynical critic might point out that that would be a miracle indeed.

Pray for them.


Comments

The Third Miracle Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1999

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Why ‘The House of Magic’ Is The Movie To Go See This Weekend

If you’re looking for a cinematic treat for all the family this weekend, then...

Why ‘The House of Magic’ Is The Movie To Go See This Weekend

Here Comes Guardians of The Galaxy, A Huge Weekend in Store?

‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ hits cinemas next weekend with Marvel...

Here Comes Guardians of The Galaxy, A Huge Weekend in Store?

Bastille - Flaws [Live]

Bastille perform their 2012 single 'Flaws' live at The Troubadour in London to an enthusiastic crowd. The...

Bastille - Flaws [Live] Video

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

Colbie Caillat isn't known for producing 'trendy' pop songs of any kind, but she certainly always maintains...

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise

Last year's sleeper hit The Purge was an unusually intelligent thriller starring Ethan Hawke as...

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise

Nightcrawler Trailer

Lou Bloom is a hard-working budding journalist whose deep obsession with his career has rendered him...

Nightcrawler Trailer
Advertisement

'Joe' Is A Reminder That Nicolas Cage is a Great Actor

There are all kinds of theories about Nicolas Cage's acting style, usually centred on whether...

'Joe' Is A Reminder That Nicolas Cage is a Great Actor

Blunt, Mirren or Winslet? Who Will Win Best Actress Oscar 2015?

The biggest night in the film award circuit is still seven months away. But...

Blunt, Mirren or Winslet? Who Will Win Best Actress Oscar 2015?

Legendary Rocker Tom Petty Returns With New Album 'Hypnotic Eyes'

American rock legend Tom Petty reunites with backing band The Heartbreakers...

Legendary Rocker Tom Petty Returns With New Album 'Hypnotic Eyes'


More recommendations

Advertisement