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The inspiring lesson from Maggie Smith in ‘The Miracle Club’

Still - Maggie Smith in The Miracle Club

Sony Pictures

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/15/23

The 88-year-old's powerful performance gives us all a little reminder to take through life.

The long-awaited film The Miracle Club hit our screens yesterday with its cast of impressive leading ladies. And among the actors in the film is Dame Maggie Smith, the 88-year-old British actress who has spent decades giving powerful performances that have earned her numerous prestigious awards.

You may be familiar with the octogenarian’s previous work in the Harry Potter films or The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, based on the novel by Catholic writer Muriel Spark — for which she won an Oscar. Or you may have seen Dame Maggie in the popular TV series Downton Abbey, which also earned her awards and an impressive collection of fans, young and old.

The grande dame of stage and screen did not disappoint with her role as a repentant Lily Fox. And when director Thaddeus O’Sullivan spoke to Aleteia, he shared that when Smith was on set, she worked “really, really hard.”

She also took on the challenge of mastering the tricky Dublin accent, something she was able to achieve from her decades of experience and a desire to perfect her craft.

In Smith’s great performance we can see all her decades of experience — from her acting work and her real life — that imbue her character with empathy and understanding.

Embracing challenges at every age

However, casting someone of Smith’s caliber and age did not only add weight to the movie, it also gave an important lesson to the audience: no matter what age we reach, there is still much to achieve. While the challenges we embrace may have to be adapted to our circumstances, we should still seize them.

We only have to look at some other incredible seniors to see just how much they continue to bring to society: from 81-year-old Harrison Ford delighting his fans in his latest Indiana Jones movie, to Pope Francis heading the Catholic Church at the age of 86.

And of course, there are many people who really find success after they’ve lived a fair number of decades. The acclaimed American folk artist Grandma Moses only picked up a paintbrush once she’d reached 78; Laura Ingalls Wilder only started writing the Little House books at 65; and Winston Churchill was also 65 when he was first named Prime Minister of England and led his country to stand up to the Nazis in World War II.

So when you’re watching the marvelous Maggie Smith on the silver screen, bear in mind that you never know where your life’s journey will take you … at any age!

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