Each year the summer blockbuster season seems to start earlier and earlier. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is just around the corner, and Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE just made a huge splash at the box office at the end of March.
Even as those movies rampage through the multiplex, there are other delightful small- to mid-budget films that open between the tentpole affairs. One of those delightful films premieres on April 6. It’s the sports drama THE MIRACLE SEASON, from director Sean McNamara.
THE MIRACLE SEASON stars not one, but two American treasures, Helen Hunt and William Hurt. Following in the footsteps of films like A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, BRIAN SONG and REMEMBER THE TITANS; THE MIRACLE SEASON tells a sporting story based on real life events.
The film centers on the Iowa City West High School volleyball team (colloquially referred to as “The Women of Troy”) after they win the State Championship in 2010. The team experienced a terrible loss during their 2011 season, when the Women of Troy’s captain, Caroline Found, died in car collision.
Grief swept through the close-knit team, and a second tragedy struck a week later, when Caroline’s mother died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Despite losing their captain and Mrs. Found, the team members still had an entire season of volleyball ahead of them. Because they were the reigning State Champions, they also faced enormous pressure to retain the title. On top of everything, they were still just high school kids trying to cope with the loss of their friend.
The Women of Troy were at an emotional tipping point. Each time they stepped out on the court, they were reminded of the friend they lost. They needed guidance and comfort – emotionally, and for their performance as a team. Their coach, Kathy Bresnahan (played by Helen Hunt In the film), understood the team’s need to grieve. At the same time, she knew that these kids needed something to strive for and move forward. Coach Bresnahan named a new team captain, and with her own brand of tough love, inspired the team to play through their grief.
One by one, the team members began to focus on the season ahead of them. Although they had a rough start, the Women of Troy began to turn things around. They drew inspiration from their coach and began came together as a family. Their new team captain and Coach Bresnahan helped get the ball rolling, but pretty soon, the team was firing on all cylinders. With a new-found sense of purpose and an even stronger bond, the Women of Troy managed to make it back to the Iowa State 4A Championships.
Their journey to the State Championship is inspiring. At the beginning of the season, they were sure they would repeat at States. Then, they lost the heart of their team. By the end of their season, the team was closer than they had ever been before. Just the fact they made it back to states is incredible; however, that’s not where their championship run ended. The Women of Troy not only made it to the big game, they won it. The game was incredibly close, but the Iowa City West High School Women of Troy held their ground.
From the ashes of tragedy, the Iowa City West High School volleyball team became an inspiration. They fought through their grief and came out the other side as champions. The film looks to honor the real women of Iowa City West High School volleyball team, but it also helps preserve their legacy. THE MIRACLE SEASON will help spread the Women of Troy’s story, and shine a light on these truly amazing women.
THE MIRACLE SEASON hits theaters on April 6, 2018.