Miracle, The (1991): Neil (“The Crying Game”) Jordan’s Intimate Tale, Starring Beverly D’Angelo

Made just one year before “The Crying Game,” the movie that put Irish-born director Neil Jordan on the international map and won him the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, The Miracle is an intimate, lyrical, small-scale film, set in the small seaside town of Ireland’s Bray, an area Jordan knows well.

This tale concerns two teenage friends, Jimmy (Niall Byrne) and Rose (Lorraine Pilkington), who spend (or waste) their days roaming the cobblestone streets and waterlogged piers.

To pass the time, Rose and Jimmy, both blessed with fertile imagination, make up stories about strangers on the street.  One day, while watching people at the train station, they spot a seemingly sophisticated and glamorous woman.  Answering to the name of Renee Baker (Beverly D’Angelo), she is clearly an outsider—she stands out from the surrounding drab and ordinary townsfolk.

Jimmy and Rose decide to follow her, determined and then obsessed to find everything about Renee. They follow her to the beach, and after many efforts, Renee finally speaks to them.

Looking at Jimmy, he’s immediately smitten by this mysterious woman. Rose, who harbors feelings for Jimmy herself, decides to make him jealous by trying to attract a young lion tamer from a traveling circus.

Jimmy, however, is completely attached to Renee and his desire leads him to shocking revelations and fateful consequences that cannot be revealed here.

Sharply dividing movie critics, “The Miracle” was a commercial flop, and never found the audience it deserved.


Spoiler alert

The film gets very close to depicting an incestuous relationship between mother and son.



Running time: 97 Minutes.

Directed and written by Neil Jordan.

Released on June 1, 1991



Beverly D’Angelo as Renee Baker

Donal McCann as Sam

Niall Byrne as Jimmy

Lorraine Pilkington as Rose

J.G. Devlin as Mr. Beausang

Cathleen Delaney as Miss Strange