The Miracle Club: Where Was the Feel-Good Movie Filmed?

Under the direction of Thaddeus O’Sullivan, ‘The Miracle Club’ transports us to 1960s Ireland, where we follow a group of Ballygar women as they complete their long-held dream of making a pilgrimage to the French town of Lourdes. With the good-willed intervention of their priest, Lily Fox and Eileen Dunne win tickets to visit Lourdes alongside a young Dolly Hennessy and her son. As they placate their concerned husbands and board the bus, the ladies are shocked to see that they are being joined by Chrissie Ahearn, who shares an uncomfortable past with them. The picturesque town of Lourdes welcomes the group with spring baths, grand sights of churches and cathedrals, and a serene atmosphere.

The pious environment assists the women in facing mutually painful memories and dissolving their resentments to walk a hopeful path of healing. The 2023 comedy-drama is elevated by the stellar performances of its cast, who effortlessly blend lighthearted moments and humor with poignant instances of reflection. The film’s narrative is rounded out by its nostalgic Irish and French settings, presented through enchanting cinematography. With the characters traversing such stunning backdrops, some enthusiasts are likely to investigate whether shooting for the movie really took place on the hallowed grounds of Lourdes.

The Miracle Club Filming Locations

Filming for ‘The Miracle Club’ largely took place at locations in Dublin and Wicklow, Ireland, and Lourdes, France. However, since shooting inside the holy sites in Lourdes is heavily restricted, their revered environments were recreated using an Irish film studio in the town of Bray. Principal photography for the movie took place in May and June of 2022. The film was nearly twenty years in the making before the casting and script were finalized, and production ultimately began.

Behind the scenes, director O’Sullivan was impressed with the effort and dedication of the veteran actresses. “Kathy Bates was wonderful, she just did so much work. But they all had an instinct for the characters,” he said in an interview. “It was just head down and they did the work. They brought a massive amount to the set, all of them.” Allow us to take you through the picturesque locales visited and created by the production team.

Dublin, Ireland

The capital city of Ireland became a major shooting location for the film, as its historical neighborhoods and scenic waterfront make up some of the environments seen in the film. Led by O’Sullivan, the film crew captured sweeping shots of Dublin Bay along with an aerial view of Emmet Square in Intake. In the film, the house Chrissie emerges from in her green dress is actually the one situated opposite the Blackrock Clinic on 27 Rock Road. Filming also took place along the Great South Wall, which juts out into Dublin Bay. While shooting in the city, the actors resided at the five-star Merrion Hotel on Merrion Street Upper.

Wicklow, Ireland

Situated south of Dublin, along the rocky eastern coast of Ireland, Wicklow and its small-town ambiance became the perfect location for the production team to capture breathtaking sequences of the characters’ journey. Known as the Garden of Ireland, the town draws tourists with a mesmerizing landscape of rolling hills, forests, and beaches interspersed along its rugged coastline.

Bray, Ireland

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

In order to recreate some of the interiors of Lourdes’ structures and pilgrimage destinations, the film crew ventured to the Ardmore Film Factory in Bray, a small town neighboring Dublin to its south. The Ardmore Film Factory is a movie studio located in the Industrial Development Agency Business Park, Southern Cross Road, Irishtown. The studio was used to intricately reconstruct the interiors of the holy sites in Lourdes, including the Grotte de Massabielle. Built on about 5.5 acres of land, the facility boasts over 30,000 square feet of studio space and has also hosted the production of ‘The Professor and the Madman,’ ‘Penny Dreadful,’ ‘Little Women,’ and ‘Reign.’

Lourdes, France

The spiritual center of the film’s narrative, Lourdes, a small French town nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains and steeped in religious history, became an important filming location for exterior shots in ‘The Miracle Club.’ The Grotte de Massabielle, limestone caves at the center of Lourdes’ reverence, can be seen recreated in the film as the characters make their pilgrimage around the town.

Legend has it that a young peasant girl saw visions of the Virgin Mary in the grotto and received messages of prayer, penance, and devotion from her. Another attraction of the town seen in the movie is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is constructed adjacent to the grotto. Since the holy sites do not allow shooting on their premises, the cast did not travel to Lourdes, and only exterior shots of the locations can be seen in the film.

Read More: Is Miracle Club Inspired by a True Story?