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Ron Reed

The Third Miracle

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Okay, Matt Page gave you his FIELD OF DREAMS pitch (I caught it, Matt) for All-Star consideration, a film I was happy to go to the plate for. Now I want to advocate for THE THIRD MIRACLE, inexplicably passed over in last year's voting, but which (in my opinion) is a small miracle of a film that should receive serious consideration to be canonized this time around.

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THE THIRD MIRACLE (1999, USA, Agnieszka Holland, Richard Vetere & John Romano, Vetere novel)

You ask me, God wasted a miracle.

The border between the countries of faith and unbelief is as arbitrary as the ones we invent to mark the boundaries of more earthly kingdoms, as invisible to the naked eye. For some, passing from one side to the other is as clear and identifiable a moment as passing through a border checkpoint into a new land. For others, the two are separated by a vast no man's land, and they can find themselves stranded between warring kingdoms, unable to find their way safely to either side.

Frank Shore is such a man, a priest whose certainties about God, faith and vocation have been shattered while investigating miraculous cures which follow the death of a beloved fellow priest. Now he is called on by the Church to consider the possibility that Helena Regan, a widowed volunteer at an inner city Chicago church, may have been a saint.

What is striking about this film

Edited by Ron

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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I'm with you on this, Ron. I was one of the few who actually found this in the theater (it only played here for a week), and was pleasantly surprised, going in not really knowing what to expect. The characters of Shore, Werner, and Shore's friend Father Leone (Michael Rispoli) really make the movie for me. All priests (or, in the case of Werner, an archbishop), all at different places - Shore in deep doubt, Werner with his confident (and even cynical?) certainty, and Leone with a quiet assurance of his faith and calling. I love the way these men play off of one another, and the way their differing views cause the other to reconsider.


All great art is pared down to the essential.
--Henri Langlois

 

Movies are not barium enemas, you're not supposed to get them over with as quickly as possible.

--James Gray

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FWIW, my review (which inexplicably repeats the second paragraph -- BAD editors, BAD editors).

Definitely a case where the movie is a vast improvement on the original book.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'm a HUGE fan of this film. Delicate in its approach to questions that are expansively transcendental. Outstanding performances, even Heche!

It seems a no brainer for our list.

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This has always been one of my favorite films. Ed Harris's performance is what makes this movie for me. So many movies are about someone who has no faith or has an unquestioned faith. Father Frank Shore is a man who desperately wants to believe but because of his work (testing miracles that fall short far too often), he has his dobuts.

I love the scene in flashback where he kind of baptises himself. He so wants to believe and you can see it in his face.

And the relationship he tries to pursue with Helen's daughter, Roxane - to me that's Father Shore opting for something present and tactile, something he hasn't been able to find in his faith.

Great, great, great movie. One I recomend to anyone looking for movies about faith that aren't embarasing.

So glad to see it considered here.

God bless,

randall

lonetomato.blogspot.com

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Lone, you're back! Haven't seen you round these parts for a while. (Maybe you've been posting, but I missed noticing). Anyhow... Good to see you.


I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Lone, you're back!  Haven't seen you round these parts for a while.  (Maybe you've been posting, but I missed noticing).  Anyhow...  Good to see you.

Ah, good to be back. I've been checking in from time to time, but I've been far too busy with my band and my blog to see very many movies. On top of this, we used to have a mini-art-house multiplex but it's been turned into one of those dollar theater joints. Blah. We still have a few places that show artsy, independent films but it's just not the same.

Whenever I do see something worth thinking/writing about, I stop by here to see what people are saying and perhaps drop my two cents...but it's getting hard to find films like that.

And I've missed you all as well.

God bless,

randall

lonetomato.blogspot.com

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I thought her intensity was solid in Brasco, but she had a small part. Pacino and Depp did such a great job, that it's understandable that she may have appeared like the "weak link."

I like Heche's intelligence, spunk and toughness. I like the fact that she has charisma and sexiness without looking like a super-model. Her acting is very solid, too, especially in lead roles.

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I like Heche's intelligence, spunk and toughness. I like the fact that she has charisma and sexiness without looking like a super-model. Her acting is very solid, too, especially in lead roles.

Definitely, at least in THIRD MIRACLE. She's perfectly cast, and delivers.


I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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