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Film Review: “The Miracle Season” (2018) ★★★★


There are two ways, a family can carry on the name and the memory of a deceased person. They can continue remembering them within the family or use their name as an inspiration for their future endeavours. Either way, it’s never easy to say goodbye to the loved one. The news of the tragedy that hits the Found family quickly spread throughout to the entire city. Caroline Found – the captain of West High School Volleyball team dies in a tragic accident. Anyone who knew and cared about her refused to accept this painful reality. Her team is dispirited and keep on losing every game they play until they realize that every game they play from now on must honour Caroline’s memory. Thus, they must win, and for that – they have to keep their emotions in check.

The film opens with an amazing sequence of scenes that show Caroline’s uplifting personality. She is a bold and brave young girl who does not hesitate and leads her team toward victory. Then, we see her help her best friend Kelly, who struggles to invite the guy from the same school to their next game. Although Caroline knows they have no chance to win that next game, but she still manages to keep the team’s spirits up.

Then, we see Caroline visit her mother in the hospital. She has only a few weeks to live, and as a loving daughter, she promises that every match she plays will be for her mother. She even promises her mom will soon be dancing at her wedding. Both women know that’s never going to happen, but that image of the beautiful future cheers them up. Those first twenty minutes of the film are incredibly emotional, and let Caroline shine in a way that after the accident we still feel her presence. There is a clever decision not to show the accident but focus on its impact.

“The Miracle Season” does not aim to show how well the team handles the tragedy, and having their emotions intact, continues winning fifteen games in a row. It is about the reasons they have for doing so and the inspiration they have that keeps them moving toward that goal. They make every game count to ensure that their star and friend Caroline would’ve been proud of them if she were there. In fact, David Aaron Cohen and Elissa Matsueda did impeccable job writing this film. The film is so overwhelming, that the viewer turns from a spectator to a part of the team and lives every moment together with the girls.

Danika Yarosh as Caroline is absolutely fabulous. Her portrayal of Caroline is strong and flawless. As a young actress, she knows that her character is going to die soon but she manages to make her Caroline Found live forever. Erin Moriarty as Caroline’s best friend Kelly is an important character to show the beautiful friendship between two girls. Her subtle performance makes their relationship shine through the silver screen. Kelly helps the team to gain the emotional strength and leads them to fulfill Caroline’s dream for the team. Helen Hunt, as Coach Kathy Bresnahan, and William Hurt as Ernie Found are remarkable. They portray a powerful duo, capturing the two most important people who give the team hope and determination pushing them forward to win one game after another.

In conclusion, director Sean McNamara felt the entire story so deeply, that it is noticeable throughout the film. He has managed to capture the human connection that gets stronger no matter how hard it is. Death, surely, is an unfortunate thing none of us can avoid. But in “The Miracle Season,” the beloved one’s death appears to turn into a new chance and an inspiration for a whole team. The film is based on a real story. As someone who knows about this sad accident and who has seen the final game, I can assure you, there is no better way to recreate such a sad but amazingly touching story than the way McNamara has done! Watching this film, you will understand why it is so important to “Live and Love like Caroline.”

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