Film review: The Miracle Club.

A film I thoroughly enjoyed recently was The Miracle Club.

Set in 1967, it is a heartwarming film that follows the story of three generations of close friends.

Lily (Maggie Smith), Eileen (Kathy Bates) and Dolly (Agnes O'Casey) live in Ballygar, a working class village in Dublin.

They have one tantalising dream: to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes, a place that promises miracles and draws millions of visitors each year.

With a little benevolent interference from their mischievous priest, the women manage to win the ticket of a lifetime at the local raffle night, which will relieve them of their domestic duties for a few days.

However, just before their trip, their old friend Chrissie (Laura Linney) arrives in Ballygar for her mother's funeral, dampening their good mood and well-laid plans.

The women secure tickets and set out on the journey that they hope will change their lives, with Chrissie, a sceptical traveller, joining in place of her mother.

The glamour and sophistication of Chrissie, who has just returned from a nearly 40-year exile in the United States, are not her only distancing traits.

Old wounds are reopened along the way, forcing the women to confront their pasts even as they travel in search of a miracle. Their shared traumas can only be healed by the curative power of love and friendship.

In the end, truth, forgiveness and reconciliation are the biggest miracles.

It is a heartwarming and sometimes hilarious film that celebrates the power of love, laughter and forgiveness, with stunning performances by all the actors, including rising talent Agnes O'Casey.

The movie is the brainchild of co-writer Jimmy Smallhorne and based on his memories of his family and growing up in a small Ireland town, but the emphasis is clearly on the women in that family.