Miracle, The

Director: Neil Jordan

Conceived as a small film, The Miracle is set against the backdrop of the seaside town of Bray, Co Wicklow, and tells the oedipal tale of a teenage boy falling in love with an older woman who turns out to be his mother. Based on Jordan’s own short story ‘Night in Tunisia’, which was adapted for television by Pat O’Connor in 1984, it explores themes found in other Jordan work such as exploration of the family, psycho-sexual development, the importance of storytelling, and the art of imagination and performance. Despite the film’s interest in religion, the miracle is not divine but secular in that it displays Jordan’s critical response to the church as well as his belief in the power of fate. The film interweaves reality with dream and performance (musical, theatrical, and the circus), and also plays with time, in the sense of conjuring up an era that is informed by nostalgia. The film contains wonderful performances by all the leads, including Niall Byrne (as teenager Jimmy), Lorraine Pilkington as his erstwhile friend Rose, Beverly d’Angelo as Jimmy’s mother/lover, and Donal McCann as his father.
U.K.-Ireland, 1991. Colour. Dolby stereo. 97 mins.

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