The Miracle Season (2018) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Sometimes inspirational stories inspire filmmakers to create inspirational motion pictures. One of the most famous examples is when Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke starred in (and won Academy Awards for) The Miracle Worker (1962). The exploration of the concept of miracles is part of the reason why some films are miraculous (pun intended). It is no surprise, then, that a film entitled The Miracle Season would have a similar emotional impact on moviegoers in the present day (as of its 2018 release).

A Toast

This film is tough to sit through at times because of some very somber moments and thematic material that earned this film its “PG” rating, but the film ultimately transitions into an uplifting reminder that miracles really are possible. Helen Hunt does well as Kathy Bresnahan, the tough, no-nonsense high school volleyball coach who wants the West High volleyball team to win tournaments in order to honor the tragic loss of the volleyball player Caroline “Line” Found. Part of the brilliance of Helen Hunt’s performance is that she initially only focused on winning, but then later shifted towards practicing good sportsmanship. She and the rest of the team had to cope with tragedy, but then summon up the courage to move on towards a brighter future.

*Spoiler alert*

That makes the ending really satisfying when the West High team wins the volleyball tournament at the end of the film, and then joyously sing the song “Sweet Caroline” in order to honor their deceased team member. Even with its dark moments, this film is actually a “feel-good” movie that is very life-affirming.

Verdict

Part of the reason why this film is so sad is that it is based on a true story. Nevertheless, sometimes the truth needs to be told so that people can learn powerful life lessons. This film combines the grittiness of reality with an optimistic and hopeful approach to coping with the challenges that life can offer. The Miracle Season, in many ways, is like The Miracle Worker (1962) because both films showcase the power of women and the current feminist movement (like #Me Too) in Hollywood in 2018 while also reminding people to never give up even at the darkest hour.

The Miracle Season (2018) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time the school colors of West High (green and yellow) appear on-screen

Take a Drink: for every volleyball tournament

Drink a Shot: for every pop culture reference (including Charlie Brown and the Katy Perry songs “Roar” and “Firework”)

And then Celebrate with your Favorite Drink: at this film’s inspiring conclusion

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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