After the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line" Found, a team of dispirited high school girls must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
Caroline "Line" Found is the star volleyball player on the Iowa City West High School Volleyball Team and well-loved by members of the community. With Line as the captain, the Trojans have been undefeated and everyone has high hopes for West to win the championship again after the previous year, especially against their long-time rival, City High. During a party at her house, Line decides to secretly sneak away to visit her mother Ellyn at the hospital, where she is being treated for cancer. That night, Line herself is killed in a moped accident, leaving the entire community in mourning. Despite the school and community still in shock over Line's death, the Trojans' coach, Kathy Bresnahan continues to hold volleyball practice. She directly approaches Line's best friend, Kelley, encouraging her to return because Line would have wanted them to continue. Kelley refuses, but Bresnahan persists until Kelley agrees. After it is revealed that the Trojans lost their most recent match due to ...
The opening of the movie shows mountains in the distance. The nearest mountains to Iowa City, Iowa are west of Denver, Colorado - over 800 miles west. See more »
Many of the songs featured in the film did not exist in 2011 when the film is set. "Confident" by Demi Lovato wasn't released until 2015, and "Roar" by Katy Perry wasn't released until 2013. See more »
"The Miracle Season" (PG, 1:41) is a drama directed by Sean McNamara (who directed the 2015 true-story high school drama "Spare Parts") and written by David Aaron Cohen (2004's "Friday Night Lights" film) and Elissa Matsueda ("Spare Parts"). This movie is based on the true story of the tragic death of a high school volleyball team captain in Iowa in 2011 and the season in which the team struggled to overcome their grief, push forward without their best player and try to repeat as state champions.
Caroline "Line" Found (Danika Yarosh) is the effervescent captain of the West High School girls volleyball team and life-long best friend of Kelley Fliehler (Erin Moriarty, looking like a slightly younger Kate Mara). Caroline encourages Kelley when she doubts her volleyball skills and even manages to stay positive and try to boost the spirits of her mother (Jillian Fargey) who is dying of cancer. Caroline's father, Dr. Ernie Found (Oscar winner William Hurt), also seems to draw strength from his daughter as he deals with his wife's condition. All this makes for an especially devastating tragedy when "Line" dies so unexpectedly.
Caroline's teammates have a hard enough time dealing with losing such an important person in their young lives, let alone getting back on the volleyball court. The team's coach, Kathy Bresnahan (Oscar winner Helen Hunt) encourages Kelley to step up, become a team leader, and get her teammates back to practice. The coach feels that returning to the game they all love will help the girls heal and be the best way to honor Caroline's memory. The players slowly come to agree, but still find it very painful to play volleyball without Caroline - and just as difficult to win without her - but they keep on trying.
"The Miracle Season" is a touching and inspiring story. It may be predictable and have an "After School Special" vibe to it, but the excellent cast and strong performances raise this film to another level. It would've done better to wallow in its sad backstory a little less and feature the game of volleyball a little more, but the movie is still entertaining. It also serves up some valuable lessons, not just about overcoming adversity and never giving up (as important as all that is), but it also shows teenagers how fragile life can be and reminds us all to live every day to the fullest. "B"
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