FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
The Miracle Club
Set in 1967 Dublin, This film follows the story of 3 generations of close friends played by Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates & Agnes O'Casey who win a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Just before their trip, their old friend (Laura Linney) arrives for her mother's funeral. The four set out on their journey as old wounds are reopened, forcing the women to confront their pasts as they search for a miracle.
Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan Writer: Jimmy Smallhorne, Timothy Prager, Joshua D. Maurer Producers: Larry Bass, Chris Curling, Aaron Farrell, John Gleeson, Joshua D. Maurer, Oisín O'Neill, Alixandre Witlin
Q: What did you feel was the most fulfilling element of working on this film?
- Thaddeus O'Sullivan (Director): "Working with our extraordinary actors, not only Maggie Smith, Laura Linney and Kathy Bates but also the cast of great Irish actors, many of whom are my friends and have worked with me many times over the years, it was a privilege to work with all of them."
- Jimmy Smallhorne (Writer): I think that the working class culture expressed in this film needs nurturing. Too often the culture is limited to crime and deprivation and I feel strongly that this depiction utterly misses the bigger picture of hope, resilience and community that is a truer reflection of how these communities thrive, rather than taking the rough aesthetic of appearance as fact. I feel very strongly that filmmakers from these communities should they have the talent, should be supported by affirmative action and that a portion of the monies given to support Irish cinema should be ring-fenced for this purpose."
Q: To what extent was your on-screen talent vital to the success of the film?
- Larry Bass and Aaron Farrell (ShinAwil): "The three leads in The Miracle Club – Dame Maggie Smith, Laura Linney, Kathy Bates – were joined onscreen by, amongst others, Agnes O’Casey, Mark O’Halloran, Mark McKenna, Niall Buggy and Stephen Rea. The leads speak for themselves. They have a huge breadth of talent and brought plenty of experience, inspiration and composure to the set. The supporting cast also played a huge part with their performances. Agnes lit up the screen, Stephen provided lots of comic relief, Mark O’Halloran brought some humanity to his role, Mark McKenna and Niall showed us some different perspectives on how life can change in ways we hadn’t anticipated. Combined, they brought life and laughter to the canvas laid down by Jimmy Smallhorne, Thaddeus O’Sullivan and the crew."
Q: What’s the most interesting/inspiring piece of feedback you’ve received from people who have seen the film?
- Thaddeus: "Many people, men as well as women, who remember this time were moved by the film. Some spoke about harrowing personal experiences caused by intolerance and lack of forgiveness of their perceived 'sins'."
- Jimmy: "Of all the positive feedback I have heard, none touches me more than to hear people who have come from working class backgrounds telling me how much the film has meant to them. Its emotional power resonates with them; not just the grandchildren who told me they saw their grandparents lives told on screen, but also the older audience who told me that finally there was an Irish film that told aspects of their lives."
Q: Why is it important to see your work represented at the IFTAs and to be acknowledged by your peers in the Irish film community?
- Thaddeus: "I've worked in Ireland many times since and have had some of the most enjoyable and creatively satisfying experiences of my life working with Irish producers, crews and actors. I was delighted to see the birth of IFTA and its support for Irish film and, of course, proud of my IFTA sitting there on my desk."
- "Every film and television industry internationally benefits from an annual awards ceremony, as it allows industry members recognise artistic and technical excellence in their craft. The amount of time and effort that goes into a film like The Miracle Club can easily be underestimated so any ITFA nominations for the film would go some way towards highlighting the many years of work key creatives put into this wonderful feature. These nominations would also help extend the life of The Miracle Club at the key time while the film is still available on streamer platforms and in shops."