"In, out…in, out…"
Chilean director Sebastian Lelio returns to the big screen after four years with Miracle , an adaptation of Emma Donahue's novel of the same name. This touching drama transports viewers to post-famine Ireland in a story that defies science.
Set in a small and serious community, we follow Elizabeth "Lip" Wright (Florence Pugh), an English nurse hired by the village authorities to investigate a strange case. A young girl named Anna O'Donnell (Kyla Lord Cassidy) has been without food for four months. She is miraculously still alive and shows no signs of hunger.
He says he lives "from the sky".
"How do you feel about it?" Lizaveta asks.
Anna replied: "Full."
The village elders gave the 11-year-old all the scriptures except the Bible, and visiting pilgrims called it "wonderful".
But some are not sure. A skeptical nurse is assigned to stay with the woman for two weeks, working eight-hour shifts with a nun, Sister Michaela (Josie Walker). After the fourteenth day, everyone must submit a report to determine if the miracle is real or if it is a big game based on a lie that can turn the divine aspect into evil.
From the moment you open The Marvelous , you know you're in for something special.
The film begins (and ends) in an industrial warehouse full of parts. A disembodied voice ( censored by Niamh Algar, who plays Anna Kitty's sister) invites us into the story.
"This is the beginning of a great film. The people you want to meet are heroes, who believe their stories with total honesty. We are nothing without a story, so we invite you to believe it."
The camera pans across the room before panning to the beginning of the story.
From this Brechtian adaptation of the fourth wall comes a slow-paced investigation of, Not the Way You Do It, the powerful suggestion of Daphne du Maurier and the gothic horrors of gentle bullying. Methods.
The film flirts with horror and the supernatural without fully committing to it. While in other movies this flirting might be a problem, in this one she's always in the mood. The director embraces humanity, which is one of his strengths in his previous films (especially 2017 's Wonder Woman ). Here he presents an Otherworldly sense to heighten human feelings and underscore the terrible sense of doubt many felt after the Great Famine.
This is where Ari Wegner's stunning photography comes into play. Her work, whose cinematography earned her a well-deserved Oscar nomination for The Power of Dog, captures the beauty and darkness of the Irish Midlands and brilliantly marries Matthew Herbert's haunting score. Both the graphics and audio get in the way and often make you feel like you're sinking into isolation when you hear rumors suggesting that there may be greater spiritual forces at play.
This tension between seeing and hearing highlights a key narrative: the conflict between science and religious belief. But make no mistake about the miracle , which is about the failure of organized religion, how an atheist finds faith or teaches an alien society what is right and wrong.
Lelio deftly blurs the line between intriguing theological questions—food for thought, if you will—and the pursuit of religious goals. This is done with care and compassion so that no one is offended or disrespected because of their faith. As in fairy tales, faith is presented as a tool for survival and destruction, and Leliot plays with this complex duality to create a deep psychological drama that best recalls the power of myth.
The stories we create. The stories we inherited. Enough of the story, don't ask.
Lelio's scenes take center stage, especially the double action between Pugh and Cassidy.
However, Pugh reveals that he can't handle a bad performance, even if he doesn't want to be Black Widow, regardless of the project. His role in the stunning film shows what silence can do, adding to seemingly small moments a startling tinge of contempt and a sense of hopelessness hidden behind determination.
While Elizabeth is an outsider and is called to the countryside, her scientific reasoning is inseparable from her nationality in relation to the native population, reflecting England's offensive role in the Great Famine. In their eyes, adherence to truth, however noble, may rob the country of more hope than it otherwise might. While Pugh struggles with this aspect of his personality, he is overcome with realization when the true nature of his actions is revealed.
As for newcomer Kayla Lord Cassidy, she's perfect, which makes Anna a fitting mystery.
The way Cassidy allows for moments of extreme vulnerability (in action?) with astonishing composure, making viewers believe her side of events while wondering if she's been brainwashed. or worse.
While Liliot and Alice Burch's ( Lady Macbeth , Ordinary People ) layered but deftly cheap script is excellent (and very vague for an intelligent puppet), not everything works. The slow pace may alienate some viewers, and the romance between Elizabeth and skeptical journalist Will Byrne (Tom Burke) isn't appealing. This element feels overly rushed and, while important to the development of the plot, is handled haphazardly.
But the positives in all of them far outweigh some of the minor flaws , and when we return to the plot at the end of the thriller, any fears that the fourth wall-breaking books were conscious devices are quickly dismissed. .
Algar's words, "It's a sad world that wants so badly to see miracles in every normal child" is heartbreaking, and his "in and out and out" hatred gets under your skin and camps there. .
The ending is instructive, but not necessarily optimistic, and is a very poetic and dramatic ending. It asks us to consider why we desire closed stories and the effect they have on our lives, isolating and protecting us. Lelio shows the viewer the wisdom of the stories we are told in life and in films. We enter dark rooms to escape, to suspend our disbelief and surrender to a different reality – only to emerge we see the illusion that opens our eyes and gives us a living hope in our "real" world. .
This is what makes the film even more amazing.
The Wonder is currently streaming on Netflix .