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The Third Miracle (1999)

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The Vatican sends a priest to verify some miracles, performed by a woman who has been nominated for sainthood. During his investigation, the priest, who is experiencing a crisis of faith, re-discovers his own purpose in life.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Richard Vetere (novel), John Romano (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sofia Polanska Sofia Polanska ... Young Helena
Pavol Simon Pavol Simon ... Helena's Father
Ivan Lukac Ivan Lukac ... Young Priest
Patrik Minar Patrik Minar ... Young German Soldier
Michael Rispoli ... John Leone
Kenny Robinson Kenny Robinson ... Front Desk Manager
Rony Clanton Rony Clanton ... Higgins
Ed Harris ... Frank Shore
Angela Fusco ... Charity Woman
Charles Haid ... Bishop Cahill
Susan Henley Susan Henley ... Sister Margaret
Ken James Ken James ... Father Paul Panak
Jade Smith Jade Smith ... Young Maria
Monique Mojica Monique Mojica ... Sister Mary Catherine
James Gallanders ... Brother Gregory
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Storyline

A skeptical Bishop sends a broken priest as Postulator to investigate the possible beatification of a simple, devout woman whose death caused a statue of the Virgin Mary to bleed upon and cure a girl with terminal lupus. The politically weary priest unknowingly embarks on a spiritual journey that rebuilds his shattered faith and life. Written by Jim Norman <jnorman1@qwest.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language, sex-related and violent images, and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 2000 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

El tercer milagro See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,459, 2 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$736,592, 21 May 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German expression "dummes Zeug", uttered by archbishop Werner during the tribunal, means "rubbish". See more »

Goofs

During the scenes of the first miracle, young Helen has brown eyes. In the videos as an adult, she has blue eyes. See more »

Quotes

Frank Shore: You were there, weren't you? What did you see? Did you see the miracIe?
Werner: No, it was an unwise miracIe. Unwise and capricious. To grant the wishes of a gypsy girI, to spare her famiIy when millions... when millions died! Caprice of God! I wouId say it to God if He were in this room. I wouId say it to Him!
Frank Shore: And He isn't in this room?
Werner: Don't debate with me. We are not before that pompous ass Sarrazin.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Liza kai oloi oi alloi (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Menuetto
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach (as Polish Radio Orchestra)
See more »

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User Reviews

Holy Housewife
20 February 2000 | by lou-50See all my reviews

"Dogma" showed that throwing darts at the Roman Catholic Church isn't hard to do. Similarly, "Stigmata" created villains within the Church hierarchy with relative ease. The hard part is making some sense of what motivates priests and nuns to carry on in spite of this undeserved negativism. That's what makes "The Third Miracle" a joy to watch - a film that goes beyond stereotypes and biases to try to find answers. There is something in this film that believers and non-believers can take away from even though "The Third Miracle" has decidedly taken a strong stand about matters of faith. The linking of a wayward postulator, Father Frank, searching to legitimize a common woman for sainthood, with his own personal search for God is very effective. Equally so is how the film shows the powerful role of secularism in the lives of men we call 'holy' (can it be any more obvious than the Bishop's mud bath?). A stroke of trickery at the end doesn't spoil the way this film invites us to consider faith as truly an all-or-nothing proposition. Certainly for Father Frank, the invitation to faith and to his own priesthood was based on a shaky bargain with God to spare the life of his father. For Roxane, the daughter of Helen O'Reagan, the decision to exclude God was equally as capricious - that God would take her mother away from her just because she had to do God's work. For Archbishop Werner, the God he defends and the God he internalizes are two different beings - one who is all knowing and all powerful, the other who cannot see beyond things black and white. "The Third Miracle", then, is not just about canonizing a dead woman, a holy housewife, but about how these three living players interact and struggle with each other to arrive at their own faith. This interaction is played out so well due to brilliant performances by Anne Heche, Ed Harris, and Armin Mueller-Stahl. Miracles strengthen one's faith but the visible miracles are more likely to move those who need a sign to believe. The irony of Father Frank is that he was instructed to disprove the very extraordinary acts of faith which he desperately needed to save his own spiritual life. It took him two hours, the length of this film, to find his miracle. "The Third Miracle" leaves us with a similar challenge, how long will it take for us to find that same miracle, that same faith.


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