The Third Miracle (1999)

I'm very skeptical and so it's difficult for me to enjoy a film about saints that people pray to. The story is compelling, though contrived, and the characters honest enough, so the film is passable.

Although I'm certain that many people can enjoy this film, the writing takes on too many cliché characters: the faithless priest (saw him in The Exorcist and Signs), political church leaders, the unholy temptress, the abused teenage girl, the faithful monk, the saintly woman, etc. And while I accept these characters, I would expect them to stray a bit from established ones.

The story weaves in and out from the past and flashbacks and adds the mysticism of a statue of Mary shedding tears of blood. Viewers are inevitably drawn into the question as to whether the claimed miracles are real or not, whether the saintly woman will be beatified, whether the priest will fall in love with the temptress, whether the girl will die, whether the political clergy will be overruled, etc. But it is all quite melodramatic. We are not watching a new story.

The acting is commendable; Ed Harris reveals his doubt dramatically on various occasions. The film is set in 1977-1981, but the costumes and styles seem a bit too modern.

Truth: Faith is given purpose and strength only when it is tested.

Official Site | IMDB

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