Big Miracle ~ Movie Review

by Lany

I really did not know what to expect as my friend and I got tickets last Saturday morning to go see Big Miracle, surrounded by hundreds of little kids.

It was such an enjoyable movie ~ I laughed, cried (slightly) and felt so great to be alive when we left the cinema!

Big Miracle is loosely based on the happenings of 1988’s “Operation Breakthrough”, in which various American and international agencies came together to rescue three grey whales who became trapped in ice in Alaskan waters. It’s not a documentary of this event, there’s several major differences in the stories and of course a faaaaaaair bit of artistic licence with the casting.

The yummy John Krasinski plays a television reporter on location in Alaska, with an NBC affiliate news channel. He spots three grey whales unable to break free of the surrounding ice, trapped and doomed to a horrible death. Enter his ex-girlfriend a Greenpeace activist played by Drew Barrymore, several biologists and an oil tycoon J.W McGraw who is portrayed by the indomitable Ted Danson. The local Inupaits and these outsiders help keep the whales alive by working tirelessly to keep the breathing hole open, but will they be able to free these unfortunate creatures in time? (Notable presence, the two de-icer guys from Minnesota- I was enchanted by the accents!)


The world media gets whipped up into a frenzy about the rescue efforts, with the Soviet Union even called in to help (this film is set in 1988, when Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev were in power and relations between the two countries was better than it had been in decades). Side note: The Russian crew ain’t so bad looking either!

You’ll have to watch the movie to see how it ends, but suffice to say I thoroughly recommend it!

There are issues I have, most noticeably the lack of chemistry between John and Drew and a personal feeling that there could have been a lot more of Dermot Mulroney as Colonel Scott of the National Guard….super delish silver fox alert!!

Another…..just because I can…

While there are shortcomings, as there is with every film, there were of course many things I approved of in Big Miracle!
I thought that public relations (PR) as an underlying theme to this movie was a brilliant move on the writers (Jack Amiel and Michael Begler) part. The whole idea of media culture and the power of the media is touched upon as the film unfolds, and it got me thinking after the feel-good glow ebbed (may I add that this took quite a while!). Another aspect that really made the movie stand out for me was the use of actual archive footage from 1988 and the comparison between these and the film made during the end credits, it made the film more accessible in a way, and more enjoyable for some reason! Oh and my favourite line from the movie “Gorby, it’s Ronnie!” -it had me in fits of laughter!!

If you haven’t seen it yet I would say that this film is a must-see; especially if you’re feeling a bit down, tired or weary of life. Kids, siblings, partners and parents alike are all suitable candidates for a Big Miracle cinema trip or dvd session!

Overall I would bestow upon this movie three and a half hearts out of five!

“To the little one!”


PS: After watching the movie I had a nose around online and found this; a guy who was actually there in 1988- an amazing blog series! I had to mention it as I took great pleasure in reading it! I hope you do too!