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'The Third Miracle'

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 11, 2000

   


    'The Third Miracle' Ed Harris plays a disillusioned priest in "The Third Miracle." (Sony Pictures Classics)
I'd give this movie about half a miracle – for Ed Harris's workmanlike performance as Frank Moore, a disillusioned priest who can knock back a drink or two, and is now living hand to mouth in Chicago, circa 1979. Moore gets a shot at personal redemption and reviving his faith when the Catholic Church appoints him to investigate the possibility that the late Helen O'Regan (Barbara Sukowa) might have been a saint. His investigation centers around a statue of the Virgin Mary that purportedly sheds tears of blood and may have cured a girl of incurable cancer.

Director Agnieszka Holland, who made "Europa, Europa," creates an intriguing atmosphere around this sainthood matter. But she faces a losing battle against a story which introduces an unlikely affair between Moore and Helen's wacky, orange-wigged daughter Roxanna (Anne Heche); then pits Moore against an arrogant German-accented priest (Armin Mueller-Stahl) who drives around in limos, appreciates fine wine, makes disparaging remarks about Americans and acts like a cliché.

The Third Miracle (R, 119 minutes) – Contains sexual situations, profanity and obscenity.


© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


 

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