Being a cheerleader was the closest I ever came to being a part of a sports team. When find your “people” everyone becomes a tight-knit family and feel like nothing is impossible. But, there’s always that one person who stands out just a little bit bolder. A person whose future is so bright it burns your eyes (as Oprah would say). Caroline “Line” Johnson was that light for the Women of Troy West High Volleyball team in Iowa. Caroline was their light, their star, the glue that held that volleyball team together through thick and thin.
When a cruel twist of fate took Caroline away from this realm, it was a huge loss for her family, friends and most of all her teammates. But, these young women somehow found the strength to embody the determination of their fallen teammate and went on to win the Iowa State Championship for the second year in a row.
The Miracle Season turned out to be just that…a miracle. It’s as if Caroline herself had orchestrated the trajectory of the entire season leading to an unprecedented victory for West High.
Every single one of the actresses in this film were at the top of their game. But, Erin Moriarty as Kelly was a sight to behold. The complexity of emotional range this young 23 year-old tapped into was difficult at best and yet she pulls it off effortlessly. Watching William Hurt in a more vulnerable role as Ernie Line was lovely to watch. He brought you right inside the emotional mental torture of a grieving parent with grace and humility. However, the one who stole the film was Helen Hunt as Coach Kathy Bresnahan. Hunt’s ability to speak volumes without uttering a single word is masterful, yet heartbreaking. Hunt conveyed the complexity of the line between being a coach and being a human being.
The Miracle Season had me in tears mostly for Caroline and the life she never had a chance to live. A young woman with so much vitality, that watching her story unfold on-screen was a gentle reminder to us all to never take life for granted. You never know when the last time you say goodbye…is the last time.
Produced by LD Entertainment, The Miracle Season opens in theaters on April 6th.