The Miracle Season – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Miracle Season – 3/5 – Sports film, no matter which is being represented, always give the view of a challenging road that leads to some sort of triumph.  Regardless of the outcome, the intent is to strike that pure feeling you get from playing a sport.  The Miracle Season is a sports film that hits you in the gut and strikes you at the right moments.  Through common tropes, motivational scenes and predictable storytelling, The Miracle Season delivers a good story that will inspire.

Premise –  After a tragic death that rattles the volleyball team, the group bands together with their coach in hopes of winning a second state championship.

Please refer to the film’s IMDb page for the list of actors/actresses.  Being built around a high school volleyball team, the main actresses are represented through an ensemble cast.  For the most part, each person does a good job creating distinct ‘high school’ characters that represent comradery and friendship.  You feel like they are a real team through the bantering, mannerism and interactions.  From the strength of their raw essences, it is something that is general mimicry of the ‘team’ archetype.  Even in the representation, you have a soothing sensation of relatable traits.  This leaves room for growth, emotions and one-liners that connect with the audience.  Even if there is no real development, the idealizing of ‘team’ is felt throughout the characters.  The rest of the cast flesh out the small town that is at the center of the film’s story.  There isn’t anything in the secondary cast that stands out.  They are the typical ‘inspirational’ characters built through friends, family and boyfriend archetypes.

In all sports films, the common plot surrounds character(s) that face a certain struggles, which pushes them to strive for excellence.  No matter the setting or era, at the heart of the story is the inspirational trope.  No matter the originality, concepts or the meanings pursued, it’s all about the execution.  This is what will make or break a film’s experience.  The direction takes the typical techniques, tropes and themes and blends it with high school drama and the sport of volleyball.  This brings out some layer of depth and development.  Even in the foundation, the story comes across through relative means.  In the first act, you get a very quick introduction to all the main plot points that surround the volleyball team, small town in Iowa and the high school setting of the main character(s).  The story begins after a championship season when everyone returns to school with the goal to win ‘back-to-back’ title.   After some melodramatic scenes, the ‘tragedy’ plot device is used to pivot the linearity and clichés into a focal point of an emotional journey.  This quickly drives the inspirational theme through the characters, inferring purpose through ‘moments’ that represent realism.  This helps push out the ‘techniques’ that are common, showing a hearty side that gives emotional worth.  Levity springs the audience into the second act, allowing the volleyball aspect to feel more personal.  The film quickly moves through predictable aspects of ‘struggle and perseverance’ through different characters.  This are some slight fragments in the storytelling, losing focus on the characters and sporting events.  This doesn’t completely drown the enjoyment because the fast pace glazes over the flaws, connecting all the foreshadowing elements to the ultimate payoff.  Once in the third act, it quickly falls into the typical sports storyline:

Motivational coach > reflection of ‘what is important’ > the final confrontation with the ‘antagonist’ team/player > ultimate redemption.

There isn’t anything that is really strong, but the unique situation and overall ‘true story’ elements helps create some genuine detail.  Once in the climax, you feel the strength of the message, allowing the audience to feel something good for the team.  Once in the epilogue, it fades into an ‘opening of the veil’ of the real life situation, allowing the audience to see how the real story came about.

The visuals are basic graphics of everyday life.  From the small town, the homely surrounds and volleyball court, it grounds the story for the audience.  The score is the use of popular music tracks on the radio.

The Miracle Season may not reinvent the sports genre, but it adds another story that is strong, relevant and fun.  If you’re a fan of sports films or inspirational stories, this is one for you.  Go see this as a matinee, you will have a fun time.

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