The Miracle of the Cards (2001 TV Movie)
User ReviewsReview this title
Oh and the addition of Union Jacks everywhere to reinforce the fact you're in the UK doesn't work.
The perserverance and strength of Craig is clearly portrayed by the young actor. The actress that played Craig's mother, on the other hand, clearly did not put enough practice into her English accent. Her performance is wooden-faced and extremely strained. Craig's father is played by Peter Wingfield, who once again flawlessly became the character.
The story is told mostly through flashbacks during a sceptical reporter's interviews with the young patient's parents. From the mother's nightmares of seeing her son in a coffin (which began before his first symptoms), to his hospitalization and diagnosis with a rare form of cancer and his pursuit of the record for most cards received, this sentimental story is worth watching IF you keep reminding yourself that it is based on a true story and that it's not a sappy takeoff on an urban legend / internet hoax.
Good production values, a few solid performances and what could have been a more compelling story line are unfortunately offset somewhat by a premise that has been defamed by internet hoaxes and by the length of the film at 89 minutes. Whether or not an hour and a half was needed to tell this story is debatable, but when a movie feels too long, it probably is.
 the acting is so wooden.
 the "English" scenery (especially local church and "Royal Marsden" exteriors) is so American!
 the general 'direction' is so amateurish, and obviously "Made-for-US-TV".
It's a shame, as the story is real, and inspiring.
So why is it that US directors/actors all think that everyone in England speaks with a plum stuck in their cheek?
And why use US actors and US sets but a UK boy in a UK story?
A mawkish performance from Catherine Oxenberg is the least of the problems this film has to offer.
Everything but the "quest for cards" is given short shrift, including a sub-plot with a sibling who is feeling abandoned due to the attention his terminally ill brother is given. A 2-minute segment clears this up neat and tidy, with no hard feelings.
Ridiculous mystical events leads one to wonder why God doesn't spend his time healing the kid, rather than wasting photons lighting up pictures and letters.
If there's no re-run of Little House on the Prairie running, this may be an acceptable alternative, otherwise skip it.
It's a perfect film for the entire audience, very family oriented and very heartfelt at times. The pacing and direction are well done and most of the characters were likable, with the exception of the father who showed indifference in finding a cure for Craig for some reason.
Much of the acting was OK, though there are some corny moments, including the part where Craig's older brother roots for their mom in the contest. I guess much of these made-for-TV movies have acting that is not really on par with motion picture films, but, this movie is still a pleasant viewing experience and will sure give you a tingly and chilly feeling of goodness.
Catherine Oxenberg portraying the real-life Marion Shergold is just awful; her "emotion" was completely forced, the "accent" made me cringe, and it made me wonder if her authentic British counterparts jeered at her during filming. Aside from her god-awful performance, the storyline completely dragged--I fell asleep twice on my sofa--and regardless of what the millions of cards did for the terminally ill bugger, I was left empty and unsatisfied. This could have been much better.
This movie is made in the classic "disease of the week" made-for-TV style with predictable stereotyped characters and very poorly disguised attempts to tug at the viewer's heartstrings. The acting varies from reasonable to awful, and the British accents likewise. Catherine Oxenberg, who plays Craig's mother, was actually a real Brit but has obviously spent so much time in America (or Canada perhaps) that she has lost the accent and can't get it back. Not consistently anyway.
Unless you really like cheesy low-budget and transparently emotionally manipulative stories of survival and triumph against the odds, I strongly suggest you avoid this pointless movie. Sorry to be so negative but this movie really is pretty awful.
Bull. I like how they change all the facts to fit a sermon. Great propaganda for the weak-minded. The cool thing about this film is that it turned me on to what really happened and to thank John Kluge and Dr. Neal F. Kassell, M.D. whose resources and years of training really were the true heroes. Not some made up invisible man, written by ignorant unidentified authors, thousands of years ago.
As a follow up to the story, the Shergolds have moved and request no more mail as it is now automatically sent to a recycle plant.
The part about the cards and the Guinness World Records was to me only of mild interest, though it was great how all the cards sent to the boy Craig were a great excitement for him. It just got a bit boring, all that, and I confess to doing some fast-forwarding there.
All that said, this is a true story and an incredible one I would recommend to anyone. It is a film I would especially highly recommend anyone watch who is in fear of dying from a terminal illness or tumor. It's might hard to have faith when one lets oneself get into deep depression and "poor me" mode, and clearly this little boy and his mother had a lot of faith. Faith is one thing money cannot buy, and if it could be bought there would never be enough money to purchase it!
Lots of excellent actors throughout, a pretty good script other than the issues mentioned above, and I enjoyed seeing the actor I knew as "John Boy" on The Waltons as the final surgeon in the film. My roommate will love seeing this film because it also gives some camera time to the actual surgeries involved (which is pretty rare to see in any movie).
I would have liked to give at least an 8 or 9 rating to the film, but I can all too clearly see how new age spiritualists will see this as a film to show that "intention" saved this boy's life rather than prayer, Jesus and the Creator. God. That is my biggest disappointment in this film.
The movie takes place in the UK and the US. Based on a true story, it has some memorable lines. Like when the protagonist, a young boy, falls on the sports field and jokes, "A leprechaun tripped me." Each character is well acted, by a star-studded cast.Between the spirited determination of a mother who has an unswerving vision for her son's healing, the wonderful and very different bedside manners of the two MD's, and the personalities which make up the people around this remarkable little boy, there is much to entertain and enjoy.
For the life of me, I can't imagine why a god - any god - would only do a miracle if a lot of people had sent get well cards? Mmmmm... maybe this is the way to solve all our problems, from global warming, Islamic terrorists, poverty, pollution, to better sex!